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Better Technology, Better Plots or Better Farmers? Identifying Changes In Productivity and Risk Among Malagasy Rice Farmers

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Author Info

  • Barrett, Christopher B.
  • Moser, Christine M.
  • Barison, Joeli
  • McHugh, Oloro V.

Abstract

It is often difficult to determine the extent to which observed output gains are due to a new technology itself, rather than to the skill of the farmer or the quality of the plot on which the new technology is tried. This attribution problem becomes especially important when technologies are not embodied in purchased inputs but result instead from changed farmer cultivation practices. We introduce a method for properly attributing observed productivity and risk changes among new production methods, farmers and plots by controlling for farmer and plot heterogeneity using differential production and yield risk functions. Results from Madagascar show that the new system of rice intensification (SRI) is indeed a superior technology. Although most observed productivity gains appear due to farmer aptitude, the technology alone generates estimated average output gains of more than 37 percent. These findings also help resolve several outstanding puzzles associated with observed low and incomplete uptake and high rates of disadoption of SRI in spite of the technology’s manifest superiority.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management in its series Working Papers with number 127212.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:127212

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Related research

Keywords: Productivity Analysis; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; Risk and Uncertainty;

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References

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  1. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Christine M. Moser & Christopher B. Barrett, 2006. "The complex dynamics of smallholder technology adoption: the case of SRI in Madagascar," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(3), pages 373-388, November.
  5. Moser, Christine M. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2003. "The disappointing adoption dynamics of a yield-increasing, low external-input technology: the case of SRI in Madagascar," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 1085-1100, June.
  6. Just, Richard E. & Pope, Rulon D., 1978. "Stochastic specification of production functions and economic implications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 67-86, February.
  7. Stoop, Willem A. & Uphoff, Norman & Kassam, Amir, 2002. "A review of agricultural research issues raised by the system of rice intensification (SRI) from Madagascar: opportunities for improving farming systems for resource-poor farmers," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 249-274, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nyangena, Wilfred & Köhlin, Gunnar, 2009. "Estimating Returns to Soil and Water Conservation Investments - An Application to Crop Yield in Kenya," Working Papers in Economics 402, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Kijima, Yoko & Otsuka, Keijiro & Sserunkuuma, Dick, 2011. "An Inquiry into Constraints on a Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of NERICA Rice in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 77-86, January.
  3. Grisham, Elisabeth & Gillespie, Jeffrey M., 2007. "Record-Keeping Technology Adoption in the Louisiana Dairy Industry," 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama 34975, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  4. Noltze, Martin & Schwarze, Stefan & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Farm Diversity and Heterogeneous Impacts of System Technologies on Yield, Income and Poverty: The System of Rice Intensification in Timor Leste," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125595, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Abdulai, Awudu & Glauben, Thomas & Herzfeld, Thomas & Zhou, Shudong, 2005. "Water Saving Technology in Chinese Rice Production - Evidence from Survey Data," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24708, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  6. Nassul S. Kabunga & Thomas Dubois & Matin Qaim, 2011. "Impact of Tissue Culture Banana Technology on Farm Household Income and Food Security in Kenya," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 89, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  7. Bart Minten & Jean-Claude Randrianarisoa & Christopher B. Barrett, 2007. "Productivity in Malagasy rice systems: wealth-differentiated constraints and priorities," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 37(s1), pages 225-237, December.
  8. Ndiiri, J.A. & Mati, B.M. & Home, P.G. & Odongo, B. & Uphoff, N., 2013. "Adoption, constraints and economic returns of paddy rice under the system of rice intensification in Mwea, Kenya," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 44-55.
  9. Aslihan Arslan & J. Edward Taylor, 2008. "Farmers' Subjective Valuation of Subsistence Crops: The Case of Traditional Maize in Mexico," Kiel Working Papers 1457, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  10. Minten, Bart & Randrianarison, Lalaina & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2006. "Spillovers from Globalization on Land Use: Evidence from Madagascar," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25699, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  11. Kabunga, Nassul S. & Dubois, Thomas & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Yield Effects of Tissue Culture Bananas in Kenya: Accounting for Selection Bias and the Role of Complementary Inputs," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 43, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  12. Nyangena, Wilfred & Juma, Ogada Maurice, 2014. "Impact of Improved Farm Technologies on Yields: The Case of Improved Maize Varieties and Inorganic Fertilizer in Kenya," Discussion Papers dp-14-02-efd, Resources For the Future.
  13. Nassul S. Kabunga & Thomas Dubois & Matin Qaim, 2011. "Yield Effects of Tissue Culture Bananas in Kenya: Accounting for Selection Bias and the Role of Complementary Inputs," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 82, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  14. World Bank, 2010. "Improving Water Management in Rainfed Agriculture : Issues and Options in Water-Constrained Production Systems," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13028, The World Bank.
  15. Kostandini, Genti & La Rovere, Roberto & Abdoulaye, Tahirou, 2013. "Potential impacts of increasing average yields and reducing maize yield variability in Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 213-226.
  16. Jonas Kathage & Matin Qaim, 2011. "Are the economic benefits of Bt cotton sustainable? Evidence from Indian panel data," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 80, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  17. Minten, Bart & Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Agricultural Technology, Productivity, and Poverty in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 797-822, May.

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