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Importance of Underutilized Crops in Thanamalwila Divisional Secretariat Division in Monaragala District in Sri Lanka

Author:

S H.P Malkanthi

Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. P O Box 02, Belihuloya, 70140, LK
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Abstract

Underutilized crops serve many purposes for a household. This study was conducted to study the importance of these crops for households in Thanamalwila divisional secretariat division in Moneragala District. The purpose of this research was to identify the importance of underutilized crops for farmers in Monaragala District of Sri Lanka. Data were collected from 120 farmers who cultivate underutilized crops, through a field survey with the help of a questionnaire during January- October 2015. Group discussions were also conducted to collect in-depth information. The findings reveal, a significant number of underutilized crop species are being cultivated by the farmers. Among them, some cereals, vegetables, legumes, fruits, yams and tuber crops and herbals are common. Farmers’  main goals of cultivation are to fulfill the food requirement of the family, find extra income and to use them as herbals for simple health disorders. When farmers’ attitudes towards the underutilized crops are taken into consideration, they have positive attitude towards economic benefits of cultivating underutilized crops, medicinal and nutritional values, low cost of cultivation, less water requirements, less pest and disease problems, etc. However, farmers have neither agreed nor disagreed upon three broad levels of importance of underutilized crops namely, contributing to the biodiversity, environmental protection and tolerance to climate changes. Most of the farmers have general understanding about the importance of underutilized crops. Moreover, farmers are still willing to cultivate these crops for selling if they can have necessary facilities and a good market.
How to Cite: Malkanthi, S.H.P., (2017). Importance of Underutilized Crops in Thanamalwila Divisional Secretariat Division in Monaragala District in Sri Lanka. Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 12(3), pp.197–206. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jas.v12i3.8266
Published on 01 Sep 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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