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Indian farmers' valuation of yield distributions: Will poor farmers value `pro-poor' seeds?

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  • Lybbert, Travis J.

Abstract

Potential poverty traps among the rural poor suggest a need to reduce poor farmers’ vulnerability by stabilizing crop yields and limiting yield losses. Advances in biotechnology will help address this need directly with crops that tolerate climate fluctuation or resist biotic stresses. Evaluating ex ante how farmers will value these "poor" seeds is important for delivery design, but also challenging. This paper describes an experimental economic approach to understanding farmers’ valuation of such seeds. Using data from a survey and experiment, I assess Indian farmers’ valuation of changes in the mean, variance, and skewness of payoff distributions. These farmers value increases in expected value, but seem indifferent about higher moment changes in payoff distributions. Farmer traits such as wealth and risk exposure affect their valuation of these changes only mildly. While various limitations to the experimental approach must qualify practical implications of these findings, the experiment demonstrates the viability of conducting valuation experiments with open-ended questions in developing countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 31 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 415-441

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:31:y:2006:i:5:p:415-441

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

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  1. Lybbert, Travis J. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Narjisse, Hamid, 2002. "Market-based conservation and local benefits: the case of argan oil in Morocco," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 125-144, April.
  2. Travis J. Lybbert & Christopher B. Barrett & Solomon Desta & D. Layne Coppock, 2004. "Stochastic wealth dynamics and risk management among a poor population," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 750-777, October.
  3. Frederic Zimmerman & MICHAEL R. CARTER, . "Asset Smoothing, Consumption Smoothing and the Reproduction for Inequality under Risk and Subsistence Constraints," Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Staff Papers 402, Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department.
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  7. Stefan Dercon, 1996. "Wealth, risk and activity choices: cattle in Western Tanzania," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1996-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Lisa A. Cameron, 1999. "The Importance of Learning in the Adoption of High-Yielding Variety Seeds," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 83-94.
  9. Thirtle, Colin & Beyers, Lindie & Ismael, Yousouf & Piesse, Jenifer, 2003. "Can GM-Technologies Help the Poor? The Impact of Bt Cotton in Makhathini Flats, KwaZulu-Natal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 717-732, April.
  10. Carter, Michael R. & May, Julian, 1999. "Poverty, livelihood and class in rural South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-20, January.
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  12. Michael Lipton, 2000. "Reviving Global Poverty Reduction: What Role for Genetically Modified Plants?," PRUS Working Papers 06, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  13. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-98, January.
  14. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  15. Adesina, Akinwumi A. & Baidu-Forson, Jojo, 1995. "Farmers' perceptions and adoption of new agricultural technology: evidence from analysis in Burkina Faso and Guinea, West Africa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 1-9, October.
  16. Humphrey, Steven J. & Verschoor, Arjan, 2004. "The probability weighting function: experimental evidence from Uganda, India and Ethiopia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 419-425, September.
  17. Robert Tripp & Suresh Pal, 2000. "Information and agricultural input markets: pearl millet seed in Rajasthan," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 133-144.
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Cited by:
  1. Francisco Galarza & Michael Carter, 2011. "Risk Preferences and Demand for Insurance in Peru: A Field Experiment," Working Papers 11-08, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Jan 2011.
  2. Ward, Patrick S. & Ortega, David L. & Spielman, David J. & Singh, Vartika, 2013. "Farmer preferences for drought tolerance in hybrid versus inbred rice: Evidence from Bihar, India:," IFPRI discussion papers 1307, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Galarza, Francisco, 2009. "Risk, Credit, and Insurance in Peru: Field Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 17833, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Ward, Patrick S. & Ortega, David L. & Spielman, David J. & Singh, Vartika & Magnan, Nicholas, 2013. "Farmer Preferences for Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Hybrid versus Inbred Rice: Evidence from Bihar, India," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150786, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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