0054-B1

Diffusion of Eucalyptus Tree Species in Karnataka, India

N. R. Gangadharappa[1], M. Shivamurthy and S. Ganesamoorthi


Abstract

Diffusion of technology changes the structure of the social system. Technology is considered as one of the essentials of the agricultural development process and diffusion of technology plays a pivotal role in the process of agricultural development. Diffusion is the spread of innovations through communication channels over a period of time. All the individuals in a social system do not adopt an innovation or technology at the same time because of personal, socio-psychological, situational, cultural and economic factors. Of late, emphasis is being given to the dissemination of agroforestry technologies in order to maintain balance in the ecology. Hence a field study was undertaken in order to understand the diffusion process in relation to eucalyptus, and to find out the factors influencing the rate of adoption of eucalyptus in Bangalore rural district of Karnataka. The study was conducted in 10 randomly selected villages where all the farmers had adopted eucalyptus plantation. The data was collected through structured and pre-tested schedules. The personal interview method was followed for data collection.

The study revealed that adoption of eucalyptus species has taken 52 years to reach all the farmers. In a span of 40 years, technology had reached only 43% of the farmers. While in another 12 years it has reached the remaining 57% of the farmers. Farmers perceived that the technology has advantages over the agricultural crops, is compatible with soil type and rainfall patterns and is less complex. Factors like education, size of land holding, material possessions, social participation, extension participation, mass media participation, readiness for innovation, management orientation and scientific orientation have contributed significantly to the rate of adoption of this technology. Constraints encountered in the production and marketing of eucalyptus, along with strategies to overcome these are also discussed in the main paper.


Introduction

Social change is a process by which alteration occurs in the structural and functional units of a social system and involve three sequential stages in the process namely invention, diffusion and consequences. According to research studies, the enough technologies are available and they have brought lot of changes in the system. Of late, lot of emphasis is given on the diffusion of forestry technologies. Due to the impact of different forestry development programmes, the farmer stated growing some agroforestry species especially in the rural-urban areas. The Eucalyptus species were introduced in Karnataka State, India during the year 1946 especially in the rainfed areas as its use are manifold and comes well in the low rainfall areas. The species slowly started trickling down into the system. In addition, forest department efforts also facilitated the spread of this tree species. All these, have yielded results especially in ruro-urban areas. Hence, a field study was undertaken during this year 2001 in the state of Karnataka with the following objectives.

1. To investigate diffusion of eucalyptus species

2. To assess the perceived attributes of eucalyptus species, and

3. To study the characteristics of farmers growing eucalyptus species.

Materials and methods

The villages of Karnataka State, India where in all the farmers are growing agroforestry species were listed. From among the list of villages, five were randomly selected. From the selected villages, all the farmers were interviewed with pre-tested schedule. This sample constituted 150 farmers. The data was collected by personal interview method and then tabulated and analyzed using the appropriate statistical tests.

Results & Discussion

Diffusion of Eucalyptus Species

The findings of the research study revealed that the 53 years were required to make all farmers to adopt eucalyptus species in the selected five villages. The results also revealed that in a span of 40 years technology could reach only 43 per cent of the farmers while in another 12 years it has reached the remaining 57 per cent of the farmers. Thus, the year 1988 can be considered as the 'take off' year for the diffusion of this technology (Table 1. and Fig. 1.)

Table 1. Diffusion of Eucalyptus Species
(n=150)

Year

No. of Adopters

Cumulative adopters

Cumulative percentage of adopters

1946

5

5

3.33

1956

5

10

6.66

1973

5

15

10.00

1978

15

30

20.00

1980

5

35

23.33

1982

5

40

26.66

1983

10

50

33.66

1984

5

55

36.66

1985

5

60

40.00

1986

5

65

43.33

1988

25

90

60.00

1990

4

94

63.00

1992

21

115

73.33

1993

6

121

76.80

1994

4

125

80.00

1995

20

145

96.40

1998

5

150

100

Farmers perception about the attributes of Eucalyptus species

The data in the Table 2. reveal that the majority of farmers perceived the cultivation of eucalyptus species required less cost as well as operational cost (78%). When profitability was analyzed, maximum number of farmers (68%) felt that it had given higher profit. Similarly when complexity of growing this species was analyzed, 68% of the farmers felt that it was not difficult to grow. It is very interesting to reveal that 72 % of farmers felt that eucalyptus was not compatible as they felt that the growing of eucalyptus decreases the soil fertility. Also, trailability of the technology was measured and the finding revealed that nearly 92% of the farmers felt that it is trailable on a small scale.

Table 2. Farmers' perception about the attributes of Eucalyptus species
(n=150)

Sl. No.

Attributes

Percentage of the farmers

1.

Less initial cost

78

2.

Profitability

68

3.

Less complex

68

4.

Not compatible

72

5.

Trailable

92

Characteristics of eucalyptus growing farmers

The data in the Table 3. and Fig. 2. indicates that 43.33 per cent of the farmers were aged beyond 35 years. Majority of the farmers were not participating in the social activities and had very low social participation level (76.67%) and belonged to low income group (56.67%). A great majority of the farmers possessed 2.5 to 5 acres of land (83.33%) while 56.67 per cent of the farmers had medium extension participation level. It is very interesting to note 43.33% farmers belonged high age category and 40% of the farmers had high scientific orientation.

Table 3. Characteristics of the farmers
(n=150)

S. No.

Characters

Low %

Medium %

High %


Age

20.00

36.66

43.33


Education

20.00

40.00

40.00


Land holding

6.67

83.33

10.00


Income

56.67

30.00

13.33


Material possession

33.33

43.33

23.33


Social participation

76.67

6.67

16.67


Extension participation

23.33

56.67

20.00


Mass media participation

33.33

36.67

30.00


Innovation proneness

40.00

20.00

40.00


Cosmopoliteness

36.67

30.00

33.33


Management orientation

20.00

46.67

33.33


Scientific orientation

33.33

26.67

40.00

Constraints

The farmers perceived that non-availability of saplings, lack of know-how and marketing the produce are the major constraints in the spreading of Eucalyptus species.

Conclusion

Though the technology possess relative advantageous, compatible, less complex, trialable it took nearly 43 years to reach all the farmers of the selected villages. This points out that the concerned agencies will have study other personal, socio-psychological and cultural characteristics of the farmers in addition to the technological characteristics in order to reduce the diffusion period and hasten the rate of adoption.

References

Rogers, E.M. 1987, Diffusion of innovations. The Free Press, New York.

Shah, P. 1988. Potential of Agroforestry as land use technology for rural poor. Advances in Forest Research in India, 1:27-200.


[1] Department of Agricultural Extension, Agricultural College, G.K.V.K., University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore - 560065, India. Tel: R - 91-080- 3432722; Fax: 91 - 080 - 3330277; Email: nrganga@yahoo.co.in; ganganadig@hotmail.com