AUTHOR: Thinley Gyem, Ngawang Chhogyel and Tanka Maya Pulami
An economic analysis of spring rice cultivation at Rinchengang, Wangdue District was carried out to determine the cost effectiveness of spring rice cultivation. A total of 45 households engaged in spring rice cultivation with input support in the form of free seeds, polythene sheets and fertilisers from the ARDC Bajo were interviewed. An analysis of cost and returns of the practice indicated that spring rice cultivation is indeed not economical owing to low yield and high production costs. Rice is a labour intensive crop and the spring rice production costs do not vary much with that of the main season crop, however the yield is quite low leading to comparatively lower economic returns for spring paddy. Attack from birds was found to be the main reason behind the lower yield in spring rice causing up to 60-80% of yield damage. This was also identified to be one of the main reasons behind farmers decreasing interest in spring paddy. Other factors such as labour shortage, high labour costs and low levels of farm mechanization were found to be restraining spring rice in the region. In order to enhance spring rice cultivation and to encourage more farmers, the study identified the need for a sustainable bird control mechanism, without which spring rice promotion initiatives may not succeed.
Double cropping; costs, labour; material; yield
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