B. Nirmala, Amtul Waris and P. Muthuraman
The small and marginal holdings at the national level constitute about 85% of the total number of operational holdings in 2011. The importance of rice cultivation on these small farms warrants systematic assessment of yield gaps and production constraints. Hence, a study was undertaken to measure the yield gap in small scale rice farming and to identify the factors that contribute to the gap. Guntur and Nalgonda districts of Andhra Pradesh were selected and the data were collected from 120 small holder rice farmers during Kharif 2012. The Index of yield gap was found to be 17.4 %. Garrettâ€™s ranking technique revealed that lack of remunerative price, shortage of labour during peak operation periods, non-availability of fertilizers in time and incidence of pests and diseases were the major constraints in rice production. If the production constraints experienced by farmers in this region are addressed, productivity can be increased. The paper discusses various issues related to the yield gaps in small scale rice farming and strategies to address such gaps. Several extension approaches like Mobile application approach to provide price information, Volunteer farmer trainers for fertilizer, pest and disease management, farmer to farmer exchange and farmerâ€™s field schools are discussed for translating research yields to yields on small farms.
Keyword: Rice yield gaps; Extension approaches; Small farms