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An Empirical Investigation on the Effect of Land Size on its Productivity of Coconut Plantations in Sri Lanka

Authors:

K V N N Jayalath ,

Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness Division, Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka, 61150, LK
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P M E K Pathiraja,

Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness Division, Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Lunuwila,, LK
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U K Jayasinghe-Mudalige,

Dept. of Agribusiness Management, Faculty of Agriculture & Plantation Management Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila,, LK
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M T N Fernando

United Nations Development Project, Asia & Pacific Regional Centre, 23, Independence Avenue, Colombo 7, LK
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine empirically the relationship between productivity and size of coconut lands in Sri Lanka. The primary data collected by means of a field survey conducted by the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka from 69 coconut cultivations located in the Kurunegala, Puttalam and Gampaha districts in 2004/05 were used. These cultivations were categorized into three groups depend on their size, namely: (1) Home gardens [< 2 ac]; (2) Smallholdings [2 – 20 ac], and (3) Estate sector [> 20 ac]. The empirical model explaining the relationship between productivity and land size and several other variables that can have an impact on productivity (e.g. land suitability class, age of the plantation, number of bearing palms/ac, agro-ecological region, availability of labor and management practices adopted by growers such as fertilizer application, soil and moisture conservation and pest & disease control etc.) was tested. The results of analysis show that there exists a significant negative relationship between land size and productivity of coconut lands in Sri Lanka for home gardens and smallholders. The minimum productive land size was 21 ac, where the estimated productivity was 1 052nuts/ac/year. On the other hand, the productivity of estates increases as the land size increases from 21 ac onwards up to 40 ac. Only the availability of labor was significantly affected on productivity, while the impact of other factors was insignificant in this respect. The results imply that policymakers and regulatory agencies responsible for coconut industry in Sri Lanka must take efforts to secure large estates from unnecessary fragmentation, and fragmentation of smallholding may be allowed if the separated lands are remained predominantly with coconut.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v19i2.4754

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v19i2.4754
How to Cite: Jayalath, K.V.N.N. et al., (2012). An Empirical Investigation on the Effect of Land Size on its Productivity of Coconut Plantations in Sri Lanka. COCOS. 19(2), pp.67–75. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v19i2.4754
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Published on 16 Oct 2012.
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