Constraints Perceived by the Stakeholders in Planning and Implementing Development Projects : Environmental Concerns in Rice Farming

K.P. Smitha and A. Anilkumar


Rice fields have high ecological significance and are one of the highly fragile wetland eco-system. Success of any
sustainable agriculture development effort is based on the stakeholders’ concern for environment which in fact
turns out to be a pre-requisite for eco-friendly rice farming. As part of decentralization process large tracts of rice
fields were brought under the control of Padashekarasamithis who were involved in planning at the grass roots.
Considering the threats of intensive farming in rice, this study delineates the constraints faced by the stakeholders
of rice farming in planning and implementing development projects addressing environmental concerns under
decentralized planning. A total of 160 respondents belonging to the four categories; farmers, agricultural labourers,
extension personnel and people’s representatives/social activists constituted the sample of this study. A direct
survey approach along with focus group discussions (FGDs) were adopted for recording the primary data of the
respondents at the field level. The respondents were asked to assign first rank to the item, which they considered as
the most serious constraint and a score value was assigned. The frequencies of the stakeholders ranking each
constraints were found out and multiplied with the corresponding score value. It was evident of the study that the
major constraint in the planning stage was that the padashekarasamithi was merely looked upon as a supplier of
inputs provided by krishi bhavans and thereby ignored its crucial role in sustainable development of the group
farms. Labour unavailability was found to be the foremost constraint in the implementation phase.

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