An economic evaluation of system of rice intensification in Odisha

Seventy five rice farm families of Odisha practising system of rice intensification (SRI) were personally interviewed during 2011. Data envelopment analysis (DEA), a nonparametric technique was employed for technical efficiency estimation using computer software DEAP ver. 2.1. The investigation shows that farmers allocated a little more than 25% of the total rice area to SRI. Pooja was the most preferred variety both in the SRI and conventional system of cultivation. The study further indicated that the SRI package was not being followed in its entirety. However, even with partial adoption of SRI practices the average grain and straw yield on SRI plots was 25 and 13% higher than the conventional plots. Farmers who followed the SRI packages in a better manner produced higher output, indicating that possibilities exist for many farmers to increase average output further. Evidence from the study suggests that though the cost of cultivation was 3.2% higher, the cost of production was almost 19% lower in SRI due to higher grain yield. Gross and net returns were higher in SRI by more than 30% and 69% respectively. Technical efficiency (TE)analysis indicated that the average TE was about 88% in SRI and 75% in conventional. Further, farmers had positive perception about the SRI.