Setting the Stage

  • B. H. Farmer
  • C. M. Madduma Bandara
  • V. Shanmuga Sundaram
  • W. P. T. Silva
Part of the Cambridge Commonwealth Series book series (CAMCOM)


The previous chapter emphasised the need, in choosing study areas for our research project, to avoid ‘delta bias’. Further, we wished to explore the benefits of inter-country comparison between Sri Lanka and India. In Sri Lanka it was important that the area should be in the non-deltaic dry zone lowlands where, rather than in the wet zone, the Green Revolution in rice-growing had taken root. Since we wanted to compare the agrarian impact of different political and administrative systems, including different approaches to agricultural research and extension, it was important that the natural environment of the Indian study area should not be grossly dissimilar from that of the Sri Lanka dry zone: otherwise comparability would be obscured by the consequences of, for example, greatly differing cropping seasons and hydrological conditions. Tamil Nadu seemed an obvious Indian State to choose for reasons of propinquity; and within Tamil Nadu, field reconnaissance indicated the advantages of North Arcot District, or rather that part of it east of the Javadi hills and south of the sandy belt along the Palar (Fig. 2.1). For here was a traditional and reportedly progressive ricebowl area within reach of, yet not overshadowed by Madras, which, like the Sri Lanka dry zone, was floored by crystalline rock overlain by an aquiferous layer of weathered material and soil and subject to a north-east monsoon rainfall maximum. Within Sri Lanka the choice fell in the south-east on that part of Hambantota District which lies in the dry zone, together with the southern portion of the adjacent Moneragala District (Fig. 2.2), a rice-growing area known to be influenced by the new technology but relatively untouched by the insurrection whose effects were, at the time of reconnaissance, still to be felt in northern parts of the dry zone. (The insurrection of April 1971, was basically an armed uprising of certain frustrated groups of educated unemployed.)


Rice Output Green Revolution International Rice Research Institute Surface Irrigation Crop Insurance 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. H. Farmer
    • 1
  • C. M. Madduma Bandara
  • V. Shanmuga Sundaram
  • W. P. T. Silva
  1. 1.Centre of South Asian StudiesUniversity of CambridgeUK

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