CHANGE DYNAMICS IN MAHARASHTRA STATE SMALL FARMING SYSTEMS ― FIELD SURVEY AND ANALYSIS THROUGH THE ANALYTICAL HIERARCHY PROCESS
Several issues threaten the sustainability of small farms. While the physical or energy conversion ratios are more than one the financial efficiencies are inadequate. Green revolution did serve the needs of self sufficiency in Indian food supplies during 1970-80; however, the post green revolution situation is not certain. A wide section of scientific community, policy makers and farmers themselves are confronted with difficult decisions in selecting the optimal agricultural practices. This paper reports results from a study that uses a multi-criteria analysis tool called AHP (Analytical Hierarchical Process) to assess options such as chemical, organic and partial organic farming. Farmers practicing these three farming systems were interviewed to fill the questionnaires. Information on both quantitative and qualitative attributes was synthesized. Three different crops (i.e. rice, sugarcane and mango) were considered for AHP analysis. Farmers prefer and accept particular farming practice that gives good economic returns with due care for environment. AHP methodology is useful in explaining multi-criteria analysis to the extension agents and opinion makers. The tool may facilitate them to extend the use of best farming practices in a given context that cares for sustainability.