B. Shanmugasundaram, Neetha Rose and Chitra Parayil
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method of rice cultivation was introduced to the Palakkad plain agroecological zone of Kerala state as an alternative rice production method to cope with intensified groundwater shortage, long dry spells, and shrinkage in rice cultivation area in the Palakkad plains. The sole aim was to produce more rice with less use of resources. In spite of its advantages, the method gained less popularity among rice farmers. The present study on resource use analysis tried to analyze the input wise use efficiency. The results show that the SRI rice cultivation method provides higher grain yield and net returns compared to the conventional rice cultivation method. The increased net returns realized in the SRI method were constrained by the high cost of cultivation contributed by intercultural, harvesting, and planting operations. From a profitability point of view, the reduction in the cost of cultivation is possible only by using cheap human labour or by indulging more family labor which poses the question of social sustainability. Therefore, the SRI method to be refined with less labor-intensive, technology-oriented, and user-friendly improvements for the continued adoption.
Keyword: Resource use efficiency; System of rice intensification; Agro ecological zones; Kerala.