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Constraints to farmers' adoption of direct-seeding mulch-based cropping systems: A farm scale modeling approach applied to the mountainous slopes of Vietnam

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  • Affholder, François
  • Jourdain, Damien
  • Quang, Dang Dinh
  • Tuong, To Phuc
  • Morize, Marion
  • Ricome, Aymeric
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    Abstract

    Substantial initiatives are under way in the tropical world to develop and promote direct-seeding mulch-based cropping systems (DMC) in order to reduce soil erosion and improve crop nutrient and water balances. DMC have been adopted by large-scale mechanized farmers, especially in America and Australia, but seldom by resource-poor farmers in the developing world. This study was conducted in Vietnam with the aim of evaluating the feasibility of farmers' implementing DMC in a mountainous area. The method involved simulation of rational households maximizing their income subject to food security constraints and availability of resources. It generated insight into why farmers of a small region were reluctant to adopt DMC due to the extra labor and input required to implement these techniques during the first years, which hampers their economic performance. In another region, under different biophysical and economic environmental conditions, the study showed that DMC were more likely to be adopted provided that possible constraints at the community level are overcome. The method also allowed us to discuss the types of technical improvements that would make DMC more attractive to farmers. For most farm types, labor required by mulch establishment would have to be reduced by more than 30%. This would mean spreading much less biomass than the 7 t ha-1 currently necessary, compromising the weed-control function of mulch. This would be technically feasible only by using herbicides but this would not be economically sound since it would increase cash requirements. The study showed that subsidies of 50 to more than 200 USD ha-1 were necessary to enable the conversion of all conventionally managed sloping land into DMC in the simulations. These amounts are high relatively to gross margins (250-750 USD ha-1) under conventional management.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

    Volume (Year): 103 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 51-62

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:103:y:2010:i:1:p:51-62

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agsy

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    Keywords: Innovation adoption Smallholder Ecological intensification Cover crops Family farms Conservation agriculture;

    References

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    1. Janssen, Sander & van Ittersum, Martin K., 2007. "Assessing farm innovations and responses to policies: A review of bio-economic farm models," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 622-636, June.
    2. Knowler, Duncan & Bradshaw, Ben, 2007. "Farmers' adoption of conservation agriculture: A review and synthesis of recent research," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 25-48, February.
    3. Shiferaw, Bekele & Holden, Stein T., 1998. "Resource degradation and adoption of land conservation technologies in the Ethiopian Highlands: A case study in Andit Tid, North Shewa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 233-247, May.
    4. Barbier, Bruno, 1998. "Induced innovation and land degradation: Results from a bioeconomic model of a village in West Africa," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 19(1-2), September.
    5. White, Douglas S. & Labarta, Ricardo A. & Leguia, Efrain J., 2005. "Technology adoption by resource-poor farmers: considering the implications of peak-season labor costs," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 183-201, August.
    6. Barbier, Bruno, 1998. "Induced innovation and land degradation: Results from a bioeconomic model of a village in West Africa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 15-25, September.
    7. Alary, V. & Nefzaoui, A. & Jemaa, M. Ben, 2007. "Promoting the adoption of natural resource management technology in arid and semi-arid areas: Modelling the impact of spineless cactus in alley cropping in Central Tunisia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 573-585, May.
    8. Yiridoe, Emmanuel K. & Langyintuo, Augustine S. & Dogbe, Wilson, 2006. "Economics of the impact of alternative rice cropping systems on subsistence farming: Whole-farm analysis in northern Ghana," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 102-121, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. Pannell, David J & Llewellyn, Rick S & Corbeels, Marc, 2013. "The farm-level economics of conservation agriculture for resource-poor farmers," Working Papers 166526, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

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