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T. Frank Sunil Justus

Sunitha .T

Dhivya .R

The Influence of Demographics on the Coordination and Assistance of Sugar Industry as perceived by Sugar Cane Growers in Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu

Abstract

The survival of the sugar industry is extremely dependant on the relationship of that industry with cane growers of the nearby area as it becomes expensive to transport sugar cane from a far off area. Sugar cane the base raw material from which sugar is obtained is the key member in the value chain network of a sugar industry. Sugar industries need to have a motivated team of farmers who can perpetually continue to supply sugar cane to the industry. hence it becomes imperative to understand the perception of sugar farmers and how demographics has an influence over it. The study was conducted over a forty five day period in May and June 2015 at Panruti area in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu and included 105 respondents. This study should help the sugar industries to understand the significance of demographics in the way their role is perceived by the sugar cane farmers. The companies can employ a differentiated strategy based on demographics to ensure the mutual benefit of industry and farmers. Future studies can be based on farmers based on other sugar growing areas as also farmers of other crops who sell their produce directly to industries.

______________________________

Author Details

T. Frank Sunil Justus is a chemical Engineer with doctorate in management, was earlier senior operation Engineer, Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited and is presently Assistant Professor, Department of Business Administration, Annamalai University

T. Sunitha is an agricultural graduate with doctorate in Management and is presently an Assistant Professor in Department of Business Administration, Annamalai University

R. Dhivya is a final year management student at Department of Business Administration, Annamalai University (the paper is based on her 45 day internship program with sugar industry)

The survival of the sugar industry is extremely dependant on the relationship of that industry with cane growers of the nearby area as it becomes expensive to transport sugar cane from a far off area. Sugar cane the base raw material from which sugar is obtained is the key member in the value chain network of a sugar industry. Justus & Sunitha (2012) revealed, the company’s value chain is embedded in a larger system of activities that include the value chain of suppliers and distribution channels engaged in getting its product out. Hence sugar industries should ensure to have a motivated team of farmers who can perpetually continue to supply sugar cane to the industry. This indicates the importance of demographics and its role in the successful running of sugar industry Gaucher, Soler & Tanguy (1998) indicated that it will be more useful for stakeholders to consider ways of increasing the total value of the chain, rather than engage in altercation over the distribution of the existing value.

Significance of the Study

The sugar industry is dependent on farmers for their supply of sugar cane as the laws do not allow the industry to own sugar cane fields. The Tamil Nadu Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling on Land) Act, 1961 fixed the ceiling area for a family consisting of five members had been fixed as 30 standard acres. For every additional member of the family consisting of more than five members, an additional extent of 5 standard acres was allowed in addition to the ceiling area of 30 standard acres, subject to the overall ceiling of 60 standard acres. While sugar companies in countries like Brazil own large farms, the legislative environment makes it compulsory for companies in India to depend on farmers for sugar cane inputs. Hence the success of the sugar industry rests on the relationship the industry manages with the farmers. Sugar cane farmers have the option of diverting their produce to jiggery manufacture.

The interests of the industry and the farmers tend to be juxtaposed as the industry will need cane all through the year whereas the farmer would plan to have the harvest as early as possible in order to have a quick yield. Hence length of harvesting and milling tends to be in conflict which the company has to manage by its relationship with its farmers. As Gaucher (2003) puts it the sugar industry faces such coordination problems especially when a large number of cane suppliers are involved. and millers organize their cane supply to ensure regular mill operations throughout the entire season in accordance with milling capacity which also take into account the variability in cane quality that tends to maximize sugar production. The decisions made by millers impart on the choice growers make regarding their harvest capacities and management. Farmers should get the feel that agriculture is run as agri business rather than subsistence agriculture.

Literature review

Dev (2012) found the share of rural females in agriculture was around 83 per cent in 2004 - 05 as compared to 67% among rural men, showing the importance of women in agriculture in rural areas and insisted that agriculture is becoming increasingly feminized and men are migrating to rural non - farm sector. Thapa and Gaiha (2011) identified that small holdings face new challenges on integration of value chains, liberalization and globalization effects, market volatility and other risks and vulnerability, adaptation of climate change etc. Lipton, (2006) revealed that the role of small farms in development and poverty reduction is well recognized. These reviews identify the importance of industry interface to ensure that people continue to be interested in agriculture and maintain it as a profession as also the importance of women in agriculture.

Method

The objective of this study is to identify the influence of demographics on the assistance provided by sugar industry as perceived by sugar cane growers. The questions were based on various characteristics faced by the farmer while involved in sugar cane harvesting. This scale was developed on a five point scale with 1 anchored as strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neither agree nor disagree, 4 agree and 5 strongly agree. A focus group study was undertaken with respondents on problems in sugar cane harvesting and the areas of help they expected from sugar industry. The study was conducted over a forty five day period in May and June 2015 at Panruti area in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. A panel initially assessed these for face validity and it was then pilot tested on twenty five respondents. Cronbach’s alpha value of 0.88 as a test for internal validity was considered satisfactory. The experiences of the focus group respondents gave an insight into the dimensions of farmer satisfaction as perceived by sugar cane farmers.. The questionnaire was translated into vernacular so as to make it easily understandable for the respondents.

Analysis

A factor analysis was carried out to identify the dimensions based on which the sugar grower perception can be studied

Table 1 DIMENSION OF CANEGROWER PERCEPTION OF SUGAR INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE

DIMENSION

Components of satisfaction as perceived by sugar cane farmers

Loadings

Facilitation

Action taken to control the activities of inter borer

.956

Creating awareness for utilizing newer fertilizer variations like Pampurn

.941

Help in carrying out inter cropping to increase fertility of soil

.933

Making available the usage of Pressed mud from sugar mill

.930

Taking care of logistic cost post harvesting

.928

Help in arranging of manpower to aid harvesting

.913

Technology

Making available Cane planting machinery

.926

Usage of Organic fertilizer

.913

Making available harvesting machine for quick cutting of sugar cane

.910

Allowing the dried leaf to decompose rather than burning it

.898

Coordinating the Use of tractor to make 5 foot ridge plantation

.889

Coordination in spraying of micro nutrients

.887

Finance

Company reference for assistance in implementing drip irrigation system

.899

Reference to farmers in facilitation of bank loan

.898

Getting remuneration at the appropriate time for the sugar cane supplied

.895

Being provided half a Kg of sugar per ton of sugar cane supplied

.893

Fixing the remuneration by mutual dialogue with farmers

.872

Company aid in arranging education loan to farmers children

.787

Training

Training on drip irrigation practices

.955

Training on systematic sugar cane intensification (SSI) practices

.937

Leaflets and study material on cane growth practices

.934

Symposiums to farmers through the sugar industry training centre

.928

Time

Help during price fluctuation in market

.933

Help in sugar cane harvest at the right time

.926

Making available needed manpower at the time of harvest

.924

Facilitating vehicle for transportation of sugar cane to sugar mills

.902

Source: Primary data computed

The above table indicates that the sugar grower perception can be classified as five dimensions namely facilitation, technology, finance training and time.

Table 4.11 Mean and Standard deviation of cane grower satisfaction based on age of respondents

Cane grower Satisfaction factors

Age

N

Mean

Std. Dev.

F

Sig.

Technology

up to 30

22

4.39

0.71

41.559

<0,001**

31 - 40

41

3.97

0.93

41 - 50

34

2.17

1.02

Above 50

8

2.00

0.67

Finance

up to 30

22

4.26

0.72

88.876

. <0,001**

31 - 40

41

4.53

0.64

41 - 50

34

1.84

0.66

Above 50

8

3.79

1.47

Training

up to 30

22

2.26

0.91

44.291

<0,001**

31 - 40

41

4.46

0.55

41 - 50

34

2.40

1.12

Above 50

8

2.69

1.29

Facilitation

up to 30

22

2.17

0.81

38.035

<0,001**

31 - 40

41

2.41

1.00

41 - 50

34

4.27

0.73

Above 50

8

1.77

1.38

Time

up to 30

22

3.52

1.59

24.909

<0,001**

31 - 40

41

4.25

0.80

41 - 50

34

2.35

1.37

Above 50

8

1.19

0.22

Source: Primary data computed ** Significant at one percent level

From the above table it is inferred that respondents of the up to 30 and 31 – 40 age group have a higher satisfaction towards factors of technology than those from the 41 – 50 and above 50 age group. P value indicates that there is significant difference between respondents of different age group based on factors of technology in cane cultivation

Respondents of the up to 30 and 31 – 40 age groups have a very high satisfaction towards financial factors The mean value of 4.46 indicates that respondents of the 31 -40 age group have a very high satisfaction towards training factors concerning growing of cane. The respondents of 41-50 age group have a higher satisfaction towards facilitation factors compared to respondents of other age group.. There is significant difference at one percent level on facilitation factors based on age. It is observed that respondents of the 31-40 age group and up to 30 group as indicated by the mean value of 4.25 and 3.52 have a higher satisfaction towards factors of time

Mean and Standard deviation of cane grower satisfaction based on gender of respondents

Dimensions

Gender

N

Mean

Std. Dev.

t-test for Equality of Means

t

df

Sig.

Technology

Female

37

2.62

1.24

-4.317

103

<0,001**

Male

68

3.72

1.23

Finance

Female

37

2.96

1.45

-3.348

103

.001**

Male

68

3.87

1.28

Training

Female

37

2.89

1.41

-1.758

103

.082

Male

68

3.37

1.31

Facilitation

Female

37

3.55

1.27

3.910

103

<0,001**

Male

68

2.57

1.22

Time

Female

37

2.75

1.63

-2.509

103

.014*

Male

68

3.52

1.42

Source: Primary data computed * Significant at five percent level ** Significant at one percent level

From the above table it is inferred that male respondents have a higher satisfaction towards factors of technology than female respondents. P value indicates that there is significant difference between male and female respondents based on factors of technology in cane cultivation. Male Respondents have a higher satisfaction towards financial factors as indicated by the mean value of 3.87 which is because the company makes prompt payment within fourteen days of supply of sugar cane. The mean value of 3.37 indicates that male respondents have a moderate satisfaction towards training factors concerning growing of cane. The female respondents have a higher satisfaction towards facilitation factors compared to male respondents. male respondents as indicated by the mean value of 3.52 have a higher satisfaction towards factors of time

Mean and Standard deviation of cane grower satisfaction based on job nature of respondents

Cane grower Satisfaction factors

Nature of Profession

N

Mean

Std. Dev.

t-test for Equality of Means

t

df

Sig.

Technology

Part time agriculture

37

2.52

1.37

-5.102

103

<0,001**

Fulltime agriculture

68

3.76

1.09

Finance

Part time agriculture

37

2.55

1.20

-6.285

103

<0,001**

Fulltime agriculture

68

4.09

1.21

Training

Part time agriculture

37

2.52

1.14

-4.041

103

<0,001**

Fulltime agriculture

68

3.57

1.33

Facilitation

Part time agriculture

37

3.15

1.50

1.348

103

.181

Fulltime agriculture

68

2.79

1.20

Time

Part time agriculture

37

2.64

1.60

-3.138

103

.002**

Fulltime agriculture

68

3.58

1.41

Source: Primary data computed ** Significant at one percent level

It is inferred that respondents involved in full time agriculture have a higher satisfaction towards factors of technology and P value indicates that there is significant difference between full and part time agriculture respondents based on factors of technology in cane cultivation. Full time agriculture respondents have a higher satisfaction towards financial, time and training factors as indicated by the mean value of 4.09, 3.58 and 3.57 respectively whereas Part time agriculture respondents have a higher satisfaction towards facilitation factors

Mean and Standard deviation of cane grower satisfaction based on acreage of land owned by respondents

Dimensions

Size of land in acres

N

Mean

Std. Dev.

F

Sig.

Technology

Up to 5 Acre

33

3.68

1.29

9.352

<0,001**

5.1 - 10 Acre

36

3.59

1.20

more than 10 Acre

36

2.74

1.32

Finance

Up to 5 Acre

105

4.01

1.07

12.736

<0,001**

5.1 - 10 Acre

33

3.95

1.29

more than 10 Acre

36

2.72

1.45

Training

Up to 5 Acre

36

2.95

1.44

2.921

.058

5.1 - 10 Acre

105

4.16

0.88

more than 10 Acre

33

2.46

1.12

Facilitation

Up to 5 Acre

36

2.55

1.31

10.075

<0,001**

5.1 - 10 Acre

36

2.71

1.20

more than 10 Acre

105

3.46

1.29

Time

Up to 5 Acre

33

3.43

1.63

2.676

.074

5.1 - 10 Acre

36

3.67

1.23

more than 10 Acre

36

2.66

1.59

Source: Primary data computed ** Significant at one percent level

From the above table it is inferred that respondents of up to 5 acre holdings and 5.1 – 10 acre holdings have a higher satisfaction towards factors of technology than those from the above 10 acre holding group. P value indicates that there is significant difference on factors of technology in cane cultivation between respondents of different holding size. Respondents of up to 5 acre holding and 5.1 – 10 acre holdings have a high satisfaction towards financial factors whereas the mean value of 4.16 and 3.67 respectively indicates that respondents of the 5.1 – 10 acre holdings have a high satisfaction towards training and time factors. The respondents of more than 10 acre holding have a higher satisfaction towards facilitation factors

Mean and Standard deviation of cane grower satisfaction based on marital status of respondents

Cane grower Satisfaction factors

Marital status

N

Mean

Std. Dev.

t-test for Equality of Means

t

df

Sig.

Technology

Un married

19

3.96

1.02

2.339

103

.021*

Married

86

3.18

1.35

Finance

Un married

19

4.30

0.82

2.644

103

.009**

Married

86

3.38

1.46

Training

Un married

19

4.04

1.28

3.109

103

.002**

Married

86

3.01

1.31

Facilitation

Un married

19

2.26

0.96

-2.433

103

.017*

Married

86

3.06

1.35

Time

Un married

19

4.14

1.08

2.910

103

.004**

Married

86

3.05

1.56

Source: Primary data computed * Significant at Five percent level ** Significant at one percent level

it is inferred that unmarried respondents have a higher satisfaction towards factors of technology as the technology transfer from lab to land is effectively implemented by cane extension wing of industry. Unmarried respondents have a higher satisfaction towards financial, training and time factors as indicated by the mean value of 4.30, 4.04and 4.14 respectively. Married respondents have a higher satisfaction towards facilitation factors

Mean and Standard deviation of cane grower satisfaction based on education qualification of respondents

Cane Grower Satisfaction Factors

Education Level

N

Mean

Std. Dev.

F

Sig.

Technology

School level

65

3.45

1.26

4.031

.021*

Under graduate

26

2.74

1.32

Post graduation

14

3.82

1.39

Finance

School level

65

4.14

1.18

33.666

<0,001**

Under graduate

26

2.04

0.89

Post graduation

14

3.58

1.09

Training

School level

65

3.60

1.28

9.028

<0,001**

Under graduate

26

2.70

1.45

Post graduation

14

2.27

0.67

Facilitation

School level

65

2.62

1.18

9.820

<0,001**

Under graduate

26

3.83

1.16

Post graduation

14

2.57

1.50

Time

School level

65

3.42

1.53

1.127

.328

Under graduate

26

2.99

1.55

Post graduation

14

2.91

1.51

Source: Primary data computed * Significant at Five percent level ** Significant at one percent level

Respondents with post graduation degrees are more satisfied with factors of technology in cane cultivation. The mean value of 4.14, 3.60 and 3.42 indicates that respondents with school level education have a higher satisfaction towards factors of finance, training and time respectively in cane cultivation. However Respondents with undergraduate education have a high satisfaction towards facilitation factors

Findings

Respondents of 31-40 age group have a higher satisfaction towards the finance, training and time dimensions of cane growing whereas respondents of up to 30 age group have a higher satisfaction towards the technology dimension of cane growing. The 41 - 50 age group respondents have a higher satisfaction towards the facility dimension of sugar cane handling process.

Male respondents have a higher satisfaction towards the technology, time, training and finance dimensions of cane growing whereas female respondents have a higher satisfaction towards the facilitation dimension of cane growing

Full time agriculture respondents have a higher satisfaction towards the technology, time, training and finance dimensions of cane growing whereas part time agriculture respondents have a higher satisfaction towards the facilitation dimension of cane growing.

Respondents of the 5.1 – 10 acre holding size have a higher satisfaction towards the finance, training and time dimensions of cane growing whereas respondents of the up to 5 acre ownership group have a higher satisfaction towards the technology dimension of cane growing. The more than 10 acre group respondents have a higher satisfaction towards the facilitation factor of cane processing.

Unmarried respondents have a higher satisfaction towards the technology, time, training and finance dimensions of cane growing whereas married respondents have a higher satisfaction towards the facilitation dimension of cane growing.

Respondents with school level education have a high satisfaction towards technology, training, time and finance factors, whereas respondents with under graduation degree have a high satisfaction towards facilitation factors.

Suggestion

· The companies should conduct specialized training for women farmers to acquire farming skills as also in managing funds

· The companies should help in arranging bank credit to farmers and coordinate in the acquisition of technical and financial expertise for installing drip irrigation

· The companies should help farmers in intercropping practices as it increases the fertility of the soil

· Sugar companies should coordinate the supply of pressed mud from sugar industry to cane farms

· Help in the supply of adequate labor at the time of harvesting

· Industries can also target their corporate social responsibilities towards the small and marginal farmers

Conclusion

This study should help the sugar industries to understand the significance of demographics in the way their role is perceived by the sugar cane farmers. The companies can employ a differentiated strategy based on demographics to ensure the mutual benefit of industry and farmers. Future studies can be based on farmers based on other sugar growing areas as also farmers of other crops who sell their produce directly to industries.

________________________

Author Details

T. Frank Sunil Justus is a chemical Engineer with doctorate in management, was earlier senior operation Engineer, Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited and is presently Assistant Professor, Department of Business Administration, Annamalai University

T. Sunitha is an agricultural graduate with doctorate in Management and is presently an Assistant Professor in Department of Business Administration, Annamalai University

R. Dhivya is a final year management student at Department of Business Administration, Annamalai University


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dev, S. Mahindra., (2012) Small Farmers in India: Challenges and Opportunities WP-2012 – 2014, June, Indira Ghandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai

Gaucher S., Leroy P., Soler, L.G., & Tanguy H., (1998) Modelling as a support for diagnosis and negotiations in the redesign of agro food industries supplying organization In: GW Ziggers, JH Trienekens and PJP Zuurbier (Eds) Proceedings of the third international conference on chain management in Agribusiness and the Food industry Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, 679 – 689

Justus, Frank Sunil .T & Sunitha .T (2012) Mapping the Value Chain, Indian Management, 51(8, August), pp 80 – 84

Lipton, M. (2006), “Can Small Farmers Survive, Prosper, or be the Key Channel to cut Mass Poverty”, Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Vol 3, No.1, 2006, pp58 – 85

Thapa, G. and R. Gaiha (2011), “Smallholder farming in Asia and the Pacific: Challenges and Opportunities”, paper presented at the Conference on new directions for small holder agriculture, 24 - 25 January 2011, Rome, IFAD

 
 

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