Sustainability of traditional rice cultivation in Kerala, India—a socio-economic analysis

Jayasree Krishnankutty, Michael Blakeney, Rajesh K. Raju, Kadambot H.M. Siddique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditional rice cultivars and cultivation are on the decline in most rice-growing areas, mainly as a result of their low productivity. Packed with nutritionally, environmentally and locally superior qualities, traditional cultivars hold the key for sustainability in rice cultivation. This study explored the dynamics of traditional rice cultivation in Kerala, India. It examined the economic, institutional and socio demographic factors involved in the production and marketing of traditional rice. We employed a multinomial logit model and discriminant function analysis to extract the key factors governing farmers’ marketing behaviour, and various cost measures to study the economics of rice enterprises. The socio-demographic factors were analysed using descriptive statistical tools. Holding size and institutional support were the main factors governing the marketing behaviour of farmers. Even though traditional rice farming was not found to be cost-effective in implicit terms, it was remunerative when imputed personal labour and owned land costs were not considered. The study found that traditional farmers are ageing, have a lower education and use limited marketing channels. However, the majority of them were satisfied with their farm enterprise. By streamlining the market support mechanism and processing facilities, traditional rice would most likely gain momentum in key areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number980
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021


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