Is Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) Technology More Profitable than Conventional Method for Sugarcane Production? — An Economic Analysis§
The study has examined profitability, sources of productivity improvement and determinants of a new technology-Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI) —adoption in sugarcane cultivation in Tamil Nadu by collecting primary data from 120 sugarcane farms during 2014–15. Although the cost of cultivation has been found higher in SSI method vis-a-vis conventional method, the cost of production is lower due to 26 per cent more cane yield. The cost and return analysis has indicated that sugarcane cultivation is more profitable under SSI method than under the conventional method. The decomposition analysis has shown that the inputs, viz. fertilizers, micro-nutrients and deployment of labour are the major sources of productivity enhancement in the SSI method. The estimates of logit model have indicated that farmers’ educational level and experience are the major determinants of adoption of SSI method in sugarcane cultivation. The major policy options suggested to improve production and profitability of sugarcane include a provision of drip irrigation with a subsidy, ensuring timely availability of critical inputs and imparting periodical training to farmers on SSI method such as fertigation, wide row spacing, etc.