By : Wasantha Athukorala and Muditha Karunarathna
This study investigates farmer preferences for banana diversity in Sri Lanka. First, we investigate farmers' attitudes towards banana cultivation in the country. Secondly, we estimate diversity selection models to identify the important factors that contribute to the conservation of banana diversity. The analysis uses survey data covering 450 banana growers in three different districts representing different climatic zones in the country. It employs the Poisson model and OLS for the Shannon Diversity Index to determine the key household, market and other characteristics that are important for the conservation of banana diversity. The study
indicates that maintaining on-farm diversity is receiving increased attention from farmers as a strategy for mitigating production risk and protecting food security in the rural areas of Sri Lanka. The results of the study show that family size, education, experience, method of marketing, and attitude of farmers are the major determinants of banana diversity maintenance on farms. The study recommends a subsidy to farmers to cultivate traditional varieties for the purpose of maintaining farm diversity since farmers are attracted to new varieties for their productivity.
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