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 stakeholdersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 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 peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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.
Keyword: Constraints; Decentralized planning; Eco-friendly rice farming; Padashekarasamithi