This survey was started in the year 1950. It is conducted in Yala and Maha seasons with a view to estimate the average yield of paddy and production by District. In a Maha season about 6000 and in a Yala season about 4000 experiments are being conducted for this survey and it is the only source to estimate the country's paddy production. The findings are essential to calculate various important figures such as volume of additional rice requirement of the country to be imported
This survey is carried out in each season of a cultivation year to collect the paddy extent under categories namely;
Paddy extent is estimated on the basis of complete enumeration of paddy parcels in the county covering both Maha and Yala seasons.
All these variables are being collected through a form. The extent categories are again classified by type of irrigation namely;
Major Irrigation Schemes
Minor Irrigation Schemes
Crop estimating survey on paddy which is popularly known as "Crop Cutting Survey" commenced in the year 1950. It is conducted in Maha and Yala season with a view to estimate the average yield of paddy and production by District. In a Maha season about 6,000 and in a Yala season about 4,000 experiments are being conducted for this survey and it is the only source to estimate the country's paddy production. Policy Planners are benefited by these data in numerous ways for taking the decisions such as volume of additional rice requirement of the country to be imported in time, evaluation of extension programs undertaken to uplift the average yields of paddy, pricing policies of rice, mobilization of stocks from one place to another and many more. Therefore, it is a great responsibility to estimate paddy production accurately and timely to fulfill the national requirement.
Field staff attached to each District has been entrusted with many responsibilities on various data collection activities and among them, method of data collection for crop cutting is different from the other surveys. This survey is associated with an objective approach; as such crop cutting officers should carry out experiments in the field by themselves. According to the standard procedure, the crop cutting officer must visit the selected paddy field and they should follow a number of steps such as; demarcate the specified plot of land equivalent to 16' ½'' X 16' 1/2" (a paddy land of one perch of an acre), harvest the crop of the plot, thresh the grain, measure the grain using standard set of seers and finally report the results through the prescribed form CC3.
Special remarks - effective from 2005/2006 Maha Season
In order to perform these steps, Crop Cutting Officers should get the fullest co-operation from selected farmers. According to the available information, the whole process of conducting such an experiment takes around three hours. Also, all steps are being performed manually in many occasions. It is obvious that the crop cutting is a laborious procedure at present. Considering the volume of work and practical difficulties which could affect negatively, it is a must to introduce an updated method in order to maintain the quality of data. Some of the suggestions to overcome this burden are as follows.
(1) Reduce the volume and time of involvement of the officers
(2) Introduce modern equipment to thresh the grain or assess the paddy yield of the plot.
(3) Replace the current methodology with an alternative survey procedure.
As an initial step, the Agriculture Division of DCS in line with above suggestion noted in (1) a pilot survey has been conducted in Kegalle District in the 2005/06 Maha season. This was extended to Matara and Kurunegala Districts during the Maha 2007/08, by reducing the experimental plot size to half of that of the standard plot which is used at present. Now, the Agriculture Division is statistically testing the results of the pilot survey against the results of the standard survey conducted hitherto. If there is no significant difference between these two, the new plot size would be introduced in the near future.
Concepts, Definitions and Classifications associated with Crop Estimation of Paddy Survey
Seasons - In Sri Lanka there are two major cultivation seasons associated with two monsoons and they are known as Maha season and Yala Season.
Maha Season is the main season associated with North-east monsoons effective during September - April in the following year. When a particular crop is planted and harvested during this period is known to be Maha Crop.
Yala season is the secondary season which is associated with South-west monsoons effective during the period between May to September. When a particular crop is planted and harvested during this period is known to be Yala Crop.
Mode of Irrigation
There are three type of irrigations related with paddy cultivation. They are (1). Major Irrigation schemes (2). Minor Irrigation schemes (3). Rain-fed schemes.
Major Irrigation schemes defined to be an irrigated scheme of which water is fed to more than 200 acres otherwise it defines as a Minor Irrigation scheme.
Rain-fed is defined, if the cultivated extent is purely depending on rain water in absence of permanent water tank or reservoir.
Volume of Production is reported in Metric Tons.
Average Yield per acre or Hectare: An Indicator of productivity per area unit (2.471 acres = 1 hectare while 1 hectare is equal to 1,000 square meters) estimated through crop cutting survey. Average yield per acre is reported in Bushels while per hectare is reported in Kgs.
Average yield is expressed in terms of Paddy (grain with the husk form but not in Rice form)
Area Harvested refers to the gross area of which the harvest is gathered excluding the area damaged due to different causes.
Gross Area refers to the extent of which reported by enumerators or respondents based on cultivated extent estimated by seed rates but not based on cadastral surveys while Net Area refers to the extent evolved by deducting the extent set a part for bunds and ridges.
Production for a year should consider to be the sum of the production of Maha season and Yala season. For instance the production of the year 2005 is to be the sum of 2004/05 Maha season and Yala season of 2005.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Paddy land Parcel 16 1/2" X 16 1/2", Where smaller experimental plot sizes are used in terraced fields, the actual length and breadth of these plots should be deducted.
V1.0: Full edited dataset, original version for internal DPD Use
Paddy parcel information
System of tenure
Method of preparation of land
Variety of seed
Method of sowing
Application of Fertilizer
Adverse affects on crop
The survey covered a random sample from all the paddy lands in Sri Lanka
Producers and sponsors
Department of Census and Statistics
Ministry of Finance and Planning
Government of Sri Lanka
Sampling Design: The sampling design adopted in the survey is a stratified multistage sampling method where DS Divisions were treated as strata and mode of irrigation schemes namely; Major, Minor, and Rain-fed as sub strata. Number of villages to be selected for crop cutting experiments in each scheme is decided on the basis of the following proportions.
Acreage sown in the previous corresponding season Number of villages to be selected
< 500 Acres 3
500 - <1000 Acres 5
1000 - < 5000 Acres 10
5000 - < 10,000 Acres 15
10,000 - < 15,000 Acres 20
15,000 - < 20,000 Acres 25
20,000 Acres and above 30
Though the recommended design is such, considering the sampling variances occurred during the previous seasons, the number of experimental villages to be selected is being curtailed in order to keep the number of villages within a range of 3,000 for a Maha season and 2,000 for a Yala season in a year. Other reasons for such restrictions were related to practical aspects like cost of the survey and number of personnel that could be deployed to carry out crop cuttings.
In each selected village two crop cutting experiments are conducted. The whole procedure in conducting the experiment is stated in detail in the manual of Crop Cutting Experiments prepared by the Agriculture Division. At present the sample villages and the parcels are selected at random. However, prior to 1980, selection of villages as well as parcels was done at random with probability proportional to the area cultivated during the previous corresponding season with replacement. As the procedure was somewhat laborious and time consuming, it was replaced with the present system i.e. both stages at random. Sample villages are selected in the head office while the selections of parcels are done at the respective Districts.
Controlling of Non-sampling Errors: In view of the accuracy of the experimental results, a sample of 1/5 of selected villages are to be supervised by executive officers/District Heads identified from the District such as DS/GA, Divisional Secretary, Director/Deputy Director of Agriculture, Deputy Commissioners of Agrarian Development in addition to the Senior Staff of DCS attached to the District. Spot checks are to be performed by them by visiting the sample villages.
Estimation of Average Yield of Paddy
Average yield of paddy per acre/hectare by mode of irrigation and by District is being estimated through an objective survey which is popularly known as crop cutting survey on paddy. This has been initiated in 1950 and the methodology introduced by Dr. Koshal, Statistician of FAO (an Indian expert) under the assistance of FAO. From time to time some modifications have been introduced and the procedure is still in operation to estimate the paddy production in each season.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
“Agricultural Research and Production Assistants (ARPO) earlier known as “Govi Sevana Niyamakas” of Agrarian Development Department attached to Agrarian Service Centers do play the role of “Primary Reporters” to report the extent in P1 form which is parcel-wise enumeration of all paddy growing parcels.
They list out the area Asweddumized, Sown and Harvested in Maha and Yala seasons at village/Yaya,Tract/Kandam in the prescribed form. Here the “paddy parcel” is defined to be piece/plot of land cultivated by one individual farmer or group of farmers jointly surrounded by another paddy parcel cultivated by another individual farmer or group of farmers or any land cultivated with crops other than paddy or uncultivated land such as road, stream etc.
The paddy extent thus enumerated is summarized by Village/Yaya/Tract/Kandam and transferred to the form known as P2 which gives the aggregate extent under paddy by above categories and by irrigation modes at GN division level and by DS level. This form is prepared by the Range Statistical Officer attached to a particular DS. During the Yala season the sown and harvested extents are recorded while asweddumized extent is updated, only if there occurs a change.
However, it is to be noted that the Districts where ARPOs are not appointed, Grama Niladaris (GNN) are still acting as primary reporters for the collection of paddy statistics as well as other agricultural statistics. This is specifically true for Northern and Eastern Provinces.
The aggregate extent prepared for DS level leads to the compilation of paddy extent at various higher levels such as District and All Island Level. It is important to note that the extent reported/listed in the P1 form is the “Gross Extent” since the extent of most of the paddy parcels are not based on any cadastral survey or measures, but reported extent are based on seed rates or traditional measurement or guesstimates as per the knowledge of respective farmers. This gross extent is ultimately converted to net-extent by applying correction factors which were determined at District level through a land measurement survey carried out by means of a sample of paddy parcels with the assistance of the Survey General Department in 1970s.
The list prepared by the primary reporters in the P1 form acts as the basis for the selection of sample of paddy parcels while the list of paddy growing villages compiled in the P2 form acts the basis to select villages for the National Crop Cutting Survey on Paddy conducted by the Agriculture and Environment Statistics Division of DCS.
Data Collection Notes
Crop Cutting Officers: Once the list of villages are transmitted to the Statistics Branch of the respective District, the Head of the Division Deputy Director/Senior Statistician/Statistician has to identify the crop cutting officers who are to be suitable for conducting these experiments in the selected villages. Guideline is to choose them preferably out of the field officers attached to the respective DS Divisions who are related to the discipline of agriculture such as Agricultural Officers/Agricultural Instructors of the Ministry of Agriculture, Divisional Officers of Department of Agrarian Development, Colonization Officers, etc. in addition to the Range Statistical Officers of DCS. Range Statistical Officers should undertake at least three experiments in his range. The direction is to discuss this matter in the District Agriculture Committee Meeting (DAC) held once in a month chaired by District Secretary/Government Agent and then assign the villages in concurrence with the DS/GA
The Statistical officer (SO) or the Agriculture Instructor (AI) in the area visits the selected paddy land along with the farmer and cuts the crop in the demarcated area. The crop is measured in Seers then and there and the yield is recorded. Then in the same way yield for the other parcel is recorded. The crop collected for measuring is returned to the farmer. In addition to the yield recorded in this manner, other relevant information requested in the form C.C.3 has to be collected .
Ancillary Information: When crop cuttings are done in the field, in addition to sample fields selected for crop cuttings, an extra set of sample (four parcels) fields are selected to collect ancillary information related to the paddy crop viz. usage inputs, system of tenure, variety of seed, etc. Along with the final estimates on production and average yield the estimated extent related to the above characteristics are being disseminated.
The questionnaire is Form C.C.3 printed in Sinhala/English and Tamil/English languages. It has three parts.
Part I is about the geographical and Paddy land parcel information.
Part II includes System of tenure, Method of preparation of land, Variety of seed, Method of sowing, Application of Fertilizer, Weeding, Insecticides, Fungicides, Adverse affects on crop.
Part III Collects yield information.
In the questionnaire the above information is recorded for two parcels selected for the survey. The same Form C.C.3 is used to collect data for both Yala and Maha seasons. Maha Season falls during "North-east monsoon" from September to March in the following year. Yala season is effective during the period from May to end of August.
Average yield per acre/hectare of paddy is estimated at the Head quarters in Colombo, based on the crop cutting sample data received from the Districts using a DBASE program and SPSS software customized for this purpose by the Agriculture and Environment Statistics Division of DCS. Prior to final processing manual coding, verifications of data entries and checking outliers are performed
Data in the From C.C.3 are entered District-wise by about 10 Data Entry Operators / Coding Clerks into a dBase III database. Then the databases they generate are merged to get the total file for the survey. This file which is in dbase form is imported to SPSS to produce standard tables.
Estimates of Sampling Error
Formulae needed to calculate Avg. Yield & Variance for a given Stratum is available in the External Resource Section.
Under the Statistical ordinance, micro data cannot be released with identifications for public use. Procedures are in place to ensure that information relating to any particular individual person, household or undertaking will be kept strictly confidential and will not be divulged to external parties. Information on individual or individual Household/establishment will not be divulged or published in such a form that will facilitate the identification of any particular person or establishment as the data have been collected under the Census/Statistical ordinance, according to which the information at individual level cannot be divulged and such information is strictly
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[Department : The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS)]
Department of Census and Statistics, Crop Estimation Survey on Paddy [Maha] 1988, [CESP(M)1988], Version 1.0 of the internal use dataset July, 2009 provided by the National Data Archive, Data Processing Division, www.statistics.gov.lk"