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Cultivation of fruits as alternative crops in Hambantota district: potential and prospects

Authors:

D. P. Kumarage ,

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya 81100, LK
About D. P.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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K. K. I. U. Arunakumara

University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya 81100, LK
About K. K. I. U.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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Abstract

Alternative crops are considered to be one of the feasible solutions for common constraints faced by the paddy farmers. Therefore the present study was undertaken in Hambantota district of Southern Sri Lanka with the objectives of identifying and assessing the potentials and prospects of different fruits as alternative crops. Through a structured questionnaire, the primary data were collected from randomly selected Agricultural Instructors (AIs), Agriculture Research and Production Assistants (ARPAs) and farmers. Fruit cultivation in terms of alternate crops are found to be dominated by banana (68%) followed by papaya (8%),watermelon (6%), passion fruit (3.5%) and pomegranate (3.47%).The higher number of farmers per visits (>125 farmers/visit) made by the majority of Agricultural Instructors (AIs) (72%) has caused an inefficient knowledge dissemination. As a result, the majority of farmers (52%) have to depend on dealers for the pesticides usage followed by AIs and farmers’ traditional knowledge. Moreover in order to popularize potentially available fruit crops, meeting the requirement of local seeds/ planting materials ought to be supplied with subsidy. Furthermore, implementation of few attractive financial inducements for the non – paddy farmers is vitally important. Water shortage, unavailability of storage facilities, lack of farmer involvement in processing and value addition of harvest, crop damage by wild animals are some of the identified constrains. Cultivation of fruits as alternatives crops could be achieved in Hambantota district through an integrated approach including effective means of knowledge dissemination, farmer supportive services and improved facilities for storage, processing and value addition.
How to Cite: Kumarage, D.P. and Arunakumara, K.K.I.U., 2017. Cultivation of fruits as alternative crops in Hambantota district: potential and prospects. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension, 20(1-2), pp.1–10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v20i1-2.5369
Published on 24 Dec 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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