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Developing an Assessment Frame for Tea Sector Farmer Organizations Based on Opinions of Agriculture Extension Personnel

Authors:

K. G. J. P. Mahindapala ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About K. G. J. P.

Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture

 

Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Ratnapura

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M. W. A. P. Jayathilaka,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About M. W. A. P.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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L. N. A. C. Jayawardana,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About L. N. A. C.
Department of Agriculture Extension, Faculty of Agriculture
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T. Sivananthawerl

University of Peradeniya, LK
About T.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

Farmer based, Tea Smallholding Development Societies (TSDSs) were established to address resource limitation problems faced by individual farmers. Well established Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) provide many services to the members, including the supply of inputs, capacity building, extension, processing and marketing, financial services, welfare and business activities. This study attempted to understand the relative importance of these tasks of the TSDSs. An opinion survey was conducted, using a self-administered structured questionnaire, with two groups of respondents, who were requested to give a rating for a set of functions. These two groups consisted of working extension officials (EO) and extension experts having close interactions with the tea sector. Results revealed that a majority of the extension officials prefer TSDS to be focused on need identification, extension activities and dealing with inputs and resources. The EOs affiliated to the two main extension organizations had similar opinion on the functions. The Chi-square test confirmed that the socio-personal factors did not differ in the two groups. In contrast with the opinion of the EOs, the Experts group expect the TSDS to be more committed to marketing related activities. This was in line with the ground situation of the success FBOs in the region. However, the Expert group has not undermined the importance of the three tasks that EOs valued. For-profit activities have received fairly good rating from the Experts than that of the other category. Other functions received a low rating by both parties except welfare activity which was slightly favoured by EOs. Based on the factor analysis, it appears that some of these dimensions may be grouped into two components, such as economic-oriented and service-oriented. This information on relative importance could be used in assessing the TSDS.
How to Cite: Mahindapala, K.G.J.P., Jayathilaka, M.W.A.P., Jayawardana, L.N.A.C. and Sivananthawerl, T., 2021. Developing an Assessment Frame for Tea Sector Farmer Organizations Based on Opinions of Agriculture Extension Personnel. Tropical Agricultural Research, 32(2), pp.135–145. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v32i2.8461
Published on 01 Apr 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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