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Targeting technology to reduce poverty and conserve resources: Experimental delivery of laser land leveling to farmers in Uttar Pradesh, India:

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Author Info

  • Lybbert, Travis J.
  • Magnan, Nicholas
  • Spielman, David J.
  • Bhargava, Anil K.
  • Gulati, Kajal

Abstract

Demand heterogeneity often makes it profitable for firms to price and promote goods and services differently in different market segments. When private consumption brings public benefits, this same heterogeneity can be used to target public subsidies. We explore the design of public–private targeting and segmentation strategies in the case of a resource-conserving agricultural technology in India. To understand farmers’ heterogeneous demand for laser land leveling (LLL), we conducted an experimental auction for LLL services with an integrated randomized controlled trial to estimate the private benefits of the technology. We use graphical and econometric approaches to characterize farmer demand for LLL. We then add detailed cost data from LLL providers to simulate and evaluate several potential targeted delivery strategies based on measures of (1) the cost-effectiveness of expanding LLL dissemination, (2) water savings, and (3) market surplus in a welfare framework. These simulations demonstrate inherent tradeoffs between increasing the amount of land that is leveled and expanding the number of farmers who adopt the technology, and between adoption and water savings. While segmenting and targeting are popular elements of many public–private partnerships to develop and disseminate agricultural technologies, formulating and implementing effective delivery strategies requires a rich understanding of costs, benefits, and demand. Our experimental approach generates such an understanding and may be relevant in other contexts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1274.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1274

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Related research

Keywords: conservation agriculture; resource management; demand heterogeneity; Market segmentation; Laser land leveling; technology targeting;

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  1. Awudu Abdulai & Wallace E. Huffman, 2005. "The Diffusion of New Agricultural Technologies: The Case of Crossbred-Cow Technology in Tanzania," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 645-659.
  2. Sabina Alkire & Maria Emma Santos, 2010. "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-11, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  3. Pascaline Dupas, 2010. "Short-Run Subsidies and Long-Run Adoption of New Health Products: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Papers id:2498, eSocialSciences.
  4. Frode Alfnes & Kyrre Rickertsen, 2003. "European Consumers' Willingness to Pay for U.S. Beef in Experimental Auction Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 396-405.
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  6. Hugo De Groote & Simon Chege Kimenju & Ulrich B. Morawetz, 2011. "Estimating consumer willingness to pay for food quality with experimental auctions: the case of yellow versus fortified maize meal in Kenya," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 42(1), pages 1-16, 01.
  7. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Lybbert, Travis J. & Gulati, Kajal, 2013. "Leveling with Friends: Social Networks and Indian Farmers' Demand for agricultural Custom Hire Services," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150711, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. William A. Masters & Diakalia Sanogo, 2002. "Welfare Gains from Quality Certification of Infant Foods: Results from a Market Experiment in Mali," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(4), pages 974-989.
  9. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
  10. Mukherji, Aditi, 2007. "The energy-irrigation nexus and its impact on groundwater markets in eastern Indo-Gangetic basin: Evidence from West Bengal, India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6413-6430, December.
  11. Matin Qaim & Alain de Janvry, 2003. "Genetically Modified Crops, Corporate Pricing Strategies, and Farmers' Adoption: The Case of Bt Cotton in Argentina," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 814-828.
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Cited by:
  1. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Lybbert, Travis J. & Gulati, Kajal, 2013. "Leveling with friends: Social networks and indian farmers’ demand for agricultural custom hire services:," IFPRI discussion papers 1302, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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