Type : Other Article

Quantifying Risk Factors and Assessing Farmers' Perceptions in Vegetable Production: An Empirical Study of Kerala, India

Navitha Raj, Allan Thomas, Usha C. Thomas and Nisha Rakhesh


Vegetable production is a vital component of agriculture in Kerala, India, but it is also a high-risk enterprise due to several factors, such as biological and environmental uncertainties. Farmers' perceptions of the severity of risks and their management strategies are critical for decision-making and policy formulation in agriculture. This study was conducted in blocks of Devikulam in Idukki district, Kanjikuzhy in Alappuzha districts, Pazhayannur in Thrissur district and Chittoor- Kollengode in Palakkad district which were identified as Special Agricultural Zones for vegetables in Kerala. Purposive sampling technique was used to select a sample of 270 vegetable farmers. This study was to identify and quantify risk factors in vegetable production and assess farmers perceptions of the severity of risks. Pareto analysis was the tool used to prioritize the most severe risk factors in vegetable production using the 80-20 principles. The study disclosed major sources of production, market, institutional, financial and human risk sources in vegetable production. Further revealed that crop damage by wild animals, surplus production of the same crop, complicated banking procedures, climatic variations, lack of vegetable-oriented schemes, price fluctuation, high cost of production, lack of government support, import of produce from other states, labour shortage, high-interest rates, poor soil quality, fragmented land holdings, water scarcity, poor extension to farmer linkage, and incidences of pests and diseases account for 80 per cent of the risks in vegetable farming. The findings provide a comprehensive understanding of risk factors in vegetable production in Kerala and can guide policymakers, extension workers, and farmers in developing effective risk management strategies.

Keyword: Sensitivity; Uncertainty; Risk perception; Pareto analysis;

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