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Factors Affecting Rice Farmers’ Choice of Formal Seed

Ilangathilaka, K.A.G., Rupasena, L.P. and Fernando, S.


Stagnation of rice productivity is a major issue in Sri Lanka because expansion of land extent
is not possible due to reach of its maximum level. Moreover, it is urgently need to release
some rice lands for cultivation of non-rice crops to meet their demand. Among other factor
seed quality greatly influences on rice productivity. Despite the seeds supplied through formal
sources such as government and private seed producers are certified for their quality, use of
uncertified seeds sourced from informal sources such as farmer-saved seeds which are not
certified has been a major problem resulting low productivity. Understanding how farmers
choose between formal and informal seed sources is important to promote the use of certified
quality seeds among farmers to enhance the productivity. Therefore, this study aims to
identify the factors that determine the choice of formal seeds. A total of randomly selected 59
rice farmers in Nachchaduwa settlement of Anuradhapura district was interviewed using a
pretested questionnaire. Tabular analysis and binary logistic regression were used to analyze
the data. The tabular analysis showed that a 43% of the sampled farmers used informal seeds
due to the unavailability of formal seeds in the farming communities. The price of seeds
(p<0.05) and the distance to the source (p<0.05) from the farmer’s dwelling have significantly
and positively affected the choice of formal seeds over informal seeds. Farmers are more
likely to travel far in searching and pay more for formal seeds. This type of behavior reflects
the quality consciousness of farmers. To improve the uptake the access to formal rice seeds
needs to be increased. Since private or government suppliers of formal seeds are less available
in the settlement, individuals and farmer organizations should be incentivized to produce
certified formal seeds.

KEYWORDS: Formal seed, Informal seed, Seed quality

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