Assessment of Productivity and Income Generation from Rural Agricultural Systems in the Mid-country Wet Zone of Sri Lanka - A Case Study

Main Article Content

P. G. A. S. Warnasooriya
W. A. P. Weerakkody
N.A.S.P. Nissanka
J. K. Vidanarachchi


Majority of the rural population in the wet mid elevations in Sri Lanka are predominantly engaged in Kandyan Homegardening (KHG) and smallholder tea cultivations (TS). Reports indicate that recent developments in this region are very low due to marketing, extension and production issues. The study was conducted to evaluate the recent changes in the agricultural productivity and other socio economic parameters of the households in a selected village belonging to Yatinuwara Divisional Secretariat in 2017. Information on social and family status, agricultural systems and income generation of a sample households (65%) were collected using a structured questionnaire. Results revealed that there was a trend of leaving agriculture by the young generation, resulting in just a 58.4% of the males (predominantly middle aged and old) for agriculture, mostly on part-time basis. Low percentage of women involvement in agricultural livelihoods clearly indicated their potential engagements in agricultural livelihoods in the future, bringing about a good solution for their unemployment issue. Nearly 76% families were engaged with KHGs whereas 36% and 7% were involved in TS and other cropping systems, respectively. The livestock sector was very much at a diminishing phase, limiting only to 7.8% of the households. The highest annual income was recorded by the TS, compared to KHG farmers. This could be justified with lower productivity of KHGs (compared to potential productivity of its major crop components). Majority of the households (38.2%) belongs to the lowest annual income category of less than Sri Lankan Rupees (LKR.) 50,000 (from agriculture). Hence a boost in agriculture will be an urgent need for improving the financial status and the living standards of the villagers. The outcome of the survey will be an eye-opening for policy makers and the institutional setup that are mandated for rural development in Sri Lanka.

Environment, Kandyan homegarden, livestock, rural economy, tea small-holding.

Article Details

How to Cite
Warnasooriya, P. G. A. S., Weerakkody, W. A. P., Nissanka, N., & Vidanarachchi, J. K. (2020). Assessment of Productivity and Income Generation from Rural Agricultural Systems in the Mid-country Wet Zone of Sri Lanka - A Case Study. Asian Journal of Advances in Agricultural Research, 12(1), 11-20.
Original Research Article


Annual Report. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Colombo. Sri Lanka; 2018.

Department of Census & Statistics. Sri Lanka; 2009.

Hochegger K. Farming like the forest: traditional home garden systems in Sri Lanka. Weikersheim: Germany; 1998.

Dash SS, Misra MK. Studies on hill agro-ecosystems of three tribal villages on the Eastern Ghats of Orissa, India. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 2001;86(3): 287-302.

Jacob VJ, Alles WS. Kandyan gardens of Sri Lanka. Agroforestry Systems. 1987; 5(2):123-137.

Landreth N, Saito O. An ecosystem services approach to sustainable livelihoods in the homegardens of Kandy, Sri Lanka. Australian Geographer. 2014; 45(3):355-373.

Pushpakumara DKNG, Wijesekara A, Hunter DG. Kandyan homegardens: A promising land management system in Sri Lanka. In Sustainable use of biological diversity in socioecological production landscapes, ed. C. Belair, K. Ichikawa, B.Y.L. Wong, and K.J. Mulongoy. Background to the ‘Satoyama Initiative for the benefit of biodiversity and human well-being. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal, Canada. 2010;102–108.

Devendra C, Thomas D. Crop–animal interactions in mixed farming systems in Asia. Agricultural Systems. 2002;71(1-2):27-40.

Jayamanne VS, Wijeratne M, Wijayaratna CM. Adoptability of new technology in the small-holdings tea sector in the low country of Sri Lanka. Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics. 2002;103(2):125–131.

Annual Report. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Colombo. Sri Lanka; 2017.

Perera P. Tea smallholders in Sri Lanka: Issues and challenges in remote areas. International Journal of Business and Social Science. 2014;5(12):107-117.

Department of Census and Statistics. Sri Lanka; 2016.

Perera AH, Rajapakse RN. A baseline study of Kandyan forest gardens of Sri Lanka: Structure, composition and utilization. Forest Ecology and Management. 1991;45(1-4):269-280.

Batagalle NK, Kotagama HB, Senaratne DMAH. An economic assessment of the sustainability of traditional agroforestry systems: The case of Kandyan forest gardens. Proceedings of the Second Annual Forestry Symposium: Management and Sustainable Utilization of Forest Resources, Sri Lanka. 1996;32- 38.

Department of Census and Statistics. Sri Lanka; 2017.

Schupp JL, Sharp JS. Exploring the social bases of home gardening. Agriculture and Human Values. 2012;29(1):93-105

Basnayake BMJK, Gunaratne LHP. Estimation of technical efficiency and it's determinants in the tea small holding sector in the Mid Country Wet Zone of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Journal of Agricultural Economics. 2002;4:137-150.

Mohri H, Lahoti S, Saito O, Mahalingam A, Gunatilleke N, Hitinayake G, Herath S. Assessment of ecosystem services in homegarden systems in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Ecosystem Services. 2013;5:124-136.

Korale-Gedara P, Weerahewa J, Pushpakumara G, Kodithuwakku SS. Commercial orientation and its effects on plant diversity in homegardens: An empirical investigation of rural households in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Agricultural Economics. 2012;14:17- 42.

Pookpakdi A. Sustainable agriculture for small-scale farmers: A farming systems perspective. Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand; 1992.
(Accessed 18 June 2019)

Department of Export Agriculture. Sri Lanka; 2017.

Jayawardena LNAC, Jayatilaka MWAP. Role of gender in the optimum use of Kandyan forest gardens as a source to food to meet food security requirements. In: Multipurpose Tree Species in Sri Lanka – Fuelwood Energy and Gender Issues. Proceedings of the Ninth National Workshop on Multipurpose Trees. 1998; 47-60.

Sangakkara UR, Frossard E. Characteristics of South Asian rural households and associated homegardens a case study from Sri Lanka. Tropical Ecology. 2016;57(4):765-777.