This paper examines the influence of important socio-economic, institutional/policy level factors in determining the adoption/non-adoption of rubber-integrated farming systems in traditional and non-traditional rubber-growing regions in India. The empirical analysis is based on a survey of rubber growers in the traditional rubber regions of Kerala (south India) and the non-traditional rubber regions of Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura (north east India). In sharp contrast to Kerala, where smallholder responses toward adoption of rubber-integrated farming systems have been lukewarm, the emerging rubber economies (most of which are tribal communities) of north east (NE) India have shown interest in adopting rubber as an integrated farming system along with pre-existing land-use livelihood activities. The study clearly demonstrates contrasting empirical evidence of adoption of rubber-integrated farm-livelihood systems in the rubber-growing regions in Kerala and the NE states in India. The contrasting scenarios of adoption of rubber-integrated farming systems are mostly explained by region-specific factors dominated by socio-economic, institutional variables, and policy-level constraints, as also revealed by multivariate analysis. By and large, the findings of the study have significant bearing on the socio-economic outcomes and the existing institutional development paradigm underlying the rubber-development programmes introduced in India since independence. The study shows that the existing institutional arrangements and policies, which evolved historically to facilitate rubber area expansion in the traditional regions (including Kerala), have been highly instrumental in perpetuating rubber farming as a monoculture system. However, such an institutional mechanism proves to be highly redundant in the context of the NE states which are otherwise diverse in terms of integrated farm-livelihood systems and shifting cultivation.
Dr. Viswanathan P. K. and Shivakoti, G. P., “Adoption of Rubber Integrated Farm Livelihood Systems: Contrasting Empirical Evidences from the Indian Context”, Journal of Forest Research, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 1-14, 2008.