MULTI-OBJECTIVE APPROACH FOR EVALUATION OF FARMING SYSTEMS IN KUTTANAD REGION OF KERALA STATE, INDIA: A MODEL FOR DECISION

MAKING
M. KRISHNAN* and B.N. SHARMA
*Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture, 141, Marshalls Road, Egmore, Madras 600 008, India Division of Agricultural Economics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi 110 012, India

ABSTRACT Multi-objective analysis, via the constraint approach, of paddy-fishery enterprise system in the Kuttanad region of Kerala State. lndia, is attempted to develop a trade-off analysis between paddy and fishery systems and to suggest optimal operating policies for the Thaneernukhom salt-water barrage for maximizing the returns from the region. Both primary an secondary data were collected and used in formulating the linear programming matrix, which formed the basis of the multi-objective analysis and the trade-off analysis by way of transformation curves. The trade-off analysis revealed a greater pay-off in gross area at the ‘ideal’ point of paddy area ‘anti-ideal’ point of fish area. The shift in area from fish to paddy was greater in all the three cases than vice versa. The net benefit-loss figures arrived from actual and normative values of area and income generated showed an estimated maximum loss of 39.69% (1981-82) to a minimum loss 20.89% (1984-85) during the 1980s for the region. Income was greater per unit area allocated from fish culture than from paddy cultivation. The study offered three alternatives for planners. The highest income. Rs. 340.30 million, could be generated from the region by keeping the barrage open year-round. The highest paddy production could be obtained by keeping the barrage closed for 6 months. A via media solution is to keep the barrage open for 3 months (mid-December to March). This would provide an income of Rs. 267 8 million. Key words: project evaluation, multi-objective programming, trade-off analysis, transformation curves

Kuttanad region is a waterlogged low-lying area in South-central Kerala that has proven advantage in paddy cultivation over other regions in the state. Yields and area under paddy in Kuttanad have been consistent in comparison to other districts of Kerala, which show a steady decline (BKH Consulting Engineers, 1989). Kuttanad offers practically no scope for crops other than paddy because of its geographical location. Brackishwater fish and shrimp are cultured on a commercial

J. Aqua. Trop., 11 (1996) 205-213 © Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd.

scale in the paddy fields. This culture. owing to the tidal ingress of sea water via the Vembanad lake, is an age-old avocation and is practised seasonally or in an integrated manner with paddy and perennially in a few locations (Shetty, 1965). Till 1975. the agricultural activities of Kuttanad were governed by nature. In an effort to encourage paddy cultivation and also in an apparent effort to improve the sown area under paddy in the state, the Government of Kerala commissioned in 1975 the Thaneermukhom salt-water barrage across the Vembanad lake to help the paddy farmers of Kuttanad to raise the punja’ (summer) crop well protected from the tidal influx of the ease water during December to March. The barrage, originally scheduled to be closed for 3 months from mid-December to mid-March every year, is now closed for almost 6 months each year owing to the indisciplined way in which the ‘punja’ crop came to be cultivated from October to April of every year and also because of the growers’ vociferous protests of crop damage in case the barrier was opened before the onset of the monsoon. This barrier has reportedly led to steady and substantial decline in the diversity and population of aquatic species including shrimps (Kurup and Samuel, 1985). It also had a significant adverse impact on the fisherfolk of the region, who are losing substantial production and consequently income (Venugopal, 1992). It is obvious that the unique and traditional farming system in the region has been disturbed. An attempt to resolve this complex problem arising out of conflicting interests of paddy farmers on the one hand and the fish farmers on the other in the context of the barrage operations should consider the various issues and multiple objectives. MATERIALS AND METHODS The nature of conflicting objectives forces the economists and planners to have a broader and more comprehensive notion of the project and its evaluation. The nature of the problem and the type of empirical data dictate the specific model to be used, although non-availability of reliable and relevant empirical data limits the scope of mathematical modelling in farming system studies (Maji 1991). Multiple-criteria decision making became acceptable to researchers in 1972 (Romero and Rehman, 1989). Its superiority over the standard linear programming approach has been often repeated. The choice of appropriate approach of multiobjective analysis in the attempt to model the Kuttanad farming system in the context of enabling a trade-off between paddy and fish farming systems and suitable operating policies for the Thaneermukhom salt-water barrage for maximizing the returns from the region rests on the capacity of the methodology to (1) maximize the returns from paddy farming, (2) maximize the returns from fish farming, and (3) facilitate a trade-off between the two enterprises. Of the available approaches to multi-objective analysis (Thampapillal, 1978; Willis and Perlack. 1980; Sandiford, 1986), multi-objective programming via the constraint approach (Romero and Rehman, 1989) offered the most appropriate and correct methodology. Primary data were collected from 150 farmers, 50 each from ‘Karapadam, Kari’, and Kayal’ lands. All data relating to agricultural operations pertaining to paddy, fish, paddy-fish-paddy, and paddy-cum-fish farming were collected. Secondary data on macrovariables such as gross cropped area, availability of

human labour, bullock labour, tractor hours, fertilizers, and teed for each type were collected from various sources for the period under analysis. The standard linear programming matrix was developed and formed the basis of the constraint approach to multi-objective programming. The general nature of the multi-objective programming problem with q objectives can be stated as follows (Romero and Rehman, 1989): Eff Z(X) = [Z1(X), Z2(X),….. Zq(X)] Sub to :XεF where Eff search for the efficient solutions and F = feasible set. The initial and useful information of the constraints approach to multiobjective programming was generated by optimizing one of the objectives (maximizing area paddy1) while the other (maximizing area under fish1) was specified ass restraint. This mathematical programming problem can be stated as Maximize Zk(X). Sub to: XεF Zj(X)≥Lj J=1,2,……k-1, k+1,……..q where Zk (X) is the objective to be optimized. Through parametric variation of the right side L1, the efficient set was generated. This methodology enabled us to generate the pay-off matrix containing the deal and the ‘anti-ideal’ values for maximization of paddy area and fish area. The values when converted to monetary terms by using the farm harvest prices and yields gave the range of returns from paddy and fish. The ‘ideal’ and ‘anti-ideal’ values defined the upper and lower bounds for the range where the parameter L1 can vary. Parameterizing L1 for values belonging to the interval, an approximation of the efficient set was obtained. Efficient solutions were generated when the parametric constraints were binding at the optimal solutions. Trade-offs The trade-off between two criteria meant the amount of achievement of one criterion that was sacrificed to gain a unitary increase in the other one. Given two efficient solutions X1 and X2 the trade-off between the j th or kth criteria is given fj ( X 1 ) − fj ( X 2 ) Tjk= fk ( X 1 ) − fk ( X 2 ) where f j= maximization of padd area and f k maximization of fish area The trade-off provided index for measuring the opportunity cost of criterion in terms of another.

1

Statistics on paddy area and fish area have been used in lieu of production statistics owing to the non-availability of the latter on a time series basis. Trial runs made with the objective of maximization of paddy/fish production did not indicate any substantial difference in the levels of production of either, between values of the efficient set, thus justifying the use of area figures as a proxy for production in generating the efficient set.

The transformation curves The area transformation curves were derived from the efficient set(s) generated turns through the constraints approach of the multi-objective programming. The iso-revenue curve for each year considered was derived as a ratio of the farm harvest prices of the commodities under study. Graphically the normative equilibrium of the region for each year with respect to area of paddy/fish is defined by the point of tangency of the respective transformation curve and the highest iso-relevant curve. Non loss-benefit evaluation The region’s net loss/benefit was arrived at by subtracting the actual area under paddy and fish farming from the transformation curve in real and monetary terms on an annual basis. Programming situation Thaneermukhom barrier for evolving operating policies for the

The standard linear programming matrix was used to arrive at normative figures of area under paddy and fish farming in each land type by suitably simulating the objective function row for three different scenarios of barrage operations. Three sets of these optimal plans were worked out for the three land types and put together in a single pay-off matrix representing the region. 1. Optimal plan for period of closure of the barrier from mid-December to June. 2. Optimal plan for the period of the closure of the barrier from midDecember to mid-March. 3. Optimal plan for no closure situation. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Table 1 represents the pay-off matrices of area transformation in the ‘ideal’ and the ‘anti-ideal’ situations in Karapadam, Kari, and Kayal lands. The best values are given in bold along the main diagonal. Table 2 accounts for the major factors that can be deduced from the pay-off matrices of the different land types of Kuttanad. The gross cropped area was 51,489 ha at the ‘ideal’ point of paddy area and ‘anti-ideal’ point of fish area in Karapadam lands. For the same parameter it s 20,024 and 13,757 ha in Kari and Kayal lands respectively. This indicated a cropping intensity of 154.10% in Karapadam lands, 166.05% in Kari lands, and 145.36% in Kayal lands. The gross cropped area was 41,488 ha at the ‘ideal’ point of fish area and ‘anti-ideal’ point of paddy area in Karapadam lands, indicating a cropping intensity of 149.59% in the former and 142.86% in the latter land type. ‘ldeal’ returns were maximum in Karapadam lands at Rs 330.61 million. The total ideal returns for Kuttanad would be Rs 515.56 million. The pay-off matrices also provided an index of the opportunity cost of paddy and fish farming in terms of shifts in area from one enterprises to the other. The ratio of shift in area from fish to paddy was greater in

all land types than vice versa. This shift was maximum in the Kayal lands in the ratio of 1:5.85 ha, and lowest in Kari lands at 1:3.92 ha. The shift from paddy to fish was maximum in Karapadam lands in the ratio of 1:3.92 ha The use of transformation cures and the principle of iso-revenue curves in solving situations of bicriterion problems was available in Cohon et al (1979), Vedula and Rogers (1981), and Long (1990). Table 1. Pay-off matrix of area transformation (ha) Particulars Karapadam Paddy Fish Returns (Rs million) Kari Paddy Fish Returns (Rs million) Kayal Paddy Fish Returns (Rs million) Paddy 43,420 8,069 221.86 15,951 4,073 76.62 11,750 2,007 51.35 Fish 10,017 31,471 188.85 7,560 10,479 71.61 5,016 8,504 57.85 Returns (PS million,) 226.78 183.86 330.61 88.16 60.07 103.07 59.81 49.39 81.88

Table 2. Factors emerging from pay-off matrices of different land types of Kuttanad Particulars Karapadam Kari Kayal GCA 1(ha) 51489 20024 13757 GCA 2 (ha) 41488 18039 13520 Ideal returns (Rs Million) 330.61 103.07 81.88 Shift in area 1 (ha) 1:5.38 1:3.92 1:5.85 Shift in area 2 (ha) 1:3.14 1:1.39 1:1.69 GCA 1 = gross cropped at the ‘ideal’ point of paddy area and ‘anti-ideal’ point of fish area. GCA 2 = gross cropped at the ‘Ideal’ point of paddy area and ‘anti-ideal’ point of paddy area. Ideal returns = maximum returns possible as a combination of ‘ideal’ points of paddy and fish areas. Shift in area 1= shift in area from fish to paddy Shift in area 2 = shift in area from paddy to fish.

Table 4. Income area and production of paddy and fish in Kuttanad region under different scenarios of barrage operations (area in ha, production in thousand t , profits in Rs. Million) Period of Scenarios barrage closures December I to June December II to March No III closing Z (Rs. M) 212.90 267.80 340.30 Paddy area 78,818. 80 75,787.80 63,371.70 Fish area 7,202.8 21, 768.5 50,523.0 Paddy Prod. 315.3 250.10 190.10 Fish Prod. 3.3 7.3 9.3

actual figures was 39.69%. It was 32.54% in 1981-82 20.89% in 1984-85, and 27.62% in 1988-89. This analysis helped in estimation of the possible losses that had been sustained by Kuttanad over the time considered. In the context of both ex-ante and ex-post evaluation of prolects simulation offers a comprehensive methodology for assessment of large scale and complex systems (Budnick et al. 1988). In a broad sense simulation is a methodology for conducting experiments using a model of the real system (Lal, 1990). Using simulation income, area and production of paddy and fish for each land type of Kuttanad for three different scenarios of barrage operations have been optimized independently and presented in a single matrix (Table 4). Optimizing for each of the scenarios independently ,for income, area, and production of paddy and fish in each of the land types, it may be seen that income for the region was maximum at As 340.13 million under scenario Ill with no closure of the barrage. Income was maximum at Rs.267.84 million under scenario II indicating a lower revenue of As 72.47 million than the income obtained under scenario III. Under scenario I the income was Rs 127.38 million less than under scenario Ill. Paddy area and production was the highest under scenario I with barrage being closed from December to June. It was the lowest under scenario III. Contrarily, area and production under fish farming was maximum under scenario Ill and lowest under scenario I. It is obvious that contribution to income was greater per unit area/production from fish than from paddy farming. The analysis thus offered alternatives to policy makers to (1) maximize income from the region by opting for no closure of the barrage (2) enhance production of both paddy and fish while maximizing income reasonably well by closing the barrage from December to March or (3) maximize production of paddy from the region when the barrage remains closed for 6 months from mid-December to June. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance given to the project by the Regional Research Station Kerala Agricultural University, Kumarakom and Mancompu, the Fish Farmers Development Agency, Alleppey, Statistical Office, Kuttanad Taluk and District Statistical Office, Alleppey The first author expresses his thanks to the Post Graduate School, Indian Agricultural Research institute, New

Delhi for the senior fellowship awarded for conducting this project and also Dr. E.G. Silas, former Vice Chancellor Kerala Agricultural University for his constructive suggestions on an earlier draft of the paper. REFERENCES B.K.H. Consulting Engineers. (1989). Kuttanad Water Balance Study, Kingdom of Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amsterdam, 483 pp. Budnick, Frank S., McLeavey Dennis and Mojena, Richard. (1988). Principles of operations Research for Management. Richard D. Irwin Inc., Homewood, Illinois, 988 pp. Cohon, J.L., Church R.L., and Sheer, D.P. (1979). Generating multiobjective tradeoffs: An algorithm for bicriterion problem. Water Resources Res. 15:10011010. Gilbert, Sylvia. (1993). Market information and fisheries management. A multiobjective analysis. Aquaculture and seafood markets: public policy, consumer behaviour and industry relationships. University of Rhode Island/Oregon State University Research Paper Series. OSU-93-103. Krishnan, M. (1994). Multiobjective analysis of paddy-fishery enterprise systems in the Kuttanad region of Kerala State. Ph. D. thesis, Division of Agricultural Economics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, 197 pp. Kurup, Madhusoodhana B., and Samuel, C.T. (1985). Fish and fishery resources of Vembanad Lake. In Harvest and Post Harvest Technoloqy of Fish. Society of Fisheries Technologists Cochin, pp. 77-82 Lal Babu. (1990) Impact of Farakka barrage on the hydrological changes and productivitv potential of Hooghly Estuary J. Inland Fish Soc. India, 22 (1 & 2):38-42. Long, Roger B. (1990). A trade off analysis of alternative water uses. Water Resources Bull., 26(1). Maji, C.C. (1990). Farming systems approach to research Indian J. Agro. Econ., XLVI(3): 403-411. Romero, C., and Rehman, T. (1989) Multiple criteria Analysis for Agricultural Decisions. Elsevier Science Publishes B.V. Amsterdam, 255 pp. Sandiford, Francis. (1986) An analysis multiobjective decision making for the Scottish inshore fishery. J. Agric. Eon., 37(2):207-219. Shetty, H.P.C. (1965). Observations on the fish and fisheries of the Vembanad backwaters, Kerala Froc. Nat. Acad. Sci. India, Secion B 35(1):115-130. Thampapillai, D.J. (1978) Methods of multiple objective planning. Word Agric. Econ. Sociol. Abst., 20(12):803-813. Vedulla, S., and Rogers, P.P. (1981). Multiobiective analysis or irrigation planning in river basin development. Water Resources Res., 17(5):1304-1310. Venugopal, P. (1992). A barrier that is fishermen’s bane. The Hindu, 18 March, Coimbatore ed., p. 4. Willis, C.E and Perlack, R..D. (1980). A comparison for generating techniques and goal programming for public investment, multiple objective decision making. Amer. J. Agric. Econ. 62:66-74

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