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Determinants of millet diversity at the household‐farm and village‐community levels in the drylands of India: the role of local seed systems

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  • Latha Nagarajan
  • Melinda Smale
  • Paul Glewwe

Abstract

This research characterizes the biological diversity of millet crops in the semiarid regions of India at the household and village‐community ( panchayat) scales of analysis, placing that evidence in the context of local seed systems. A set of seed system parameters that span formal and informal exchange and can be measured empirically are proposed. The analysis is based on data collected through sample surveys of farmers and traders in selected sites of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, combined with cultivar taxonomies developed with geneticists and applied to seed samples. Findings demonstrate that millet crop diversity levels at both scales of analysis are significantly influenced by seed system parameters, factors which related studies have omitted. In particular, the presence of active local (formal and informal) seed markets enhances millet richness among and within farming communities. Crop improvement strategies oriented toward local seed markets could provide important benefits and incentives to farm households living in these marginal environments. There is a need, however, for an enhanced theoretical understanding of local seed markets in analyzing crop variety choices and the diversity of materials grown in less favored environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Latha Nagarajan & Melinda Smale & Paul Glewwe, 2007. "Determinants of millet diversity at the household‐farm and village‐community levels in the drylands of India: the role of local seed systems," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(2), pages 157-167, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:36:y:2007:i:2:p:157-167
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-0862.2007.00195.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-0862.2007.00195.x
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    1. Van Dusen, M. Eric, 2000. "In Situ Conservation Of Crop Genetic Resources In A Center Of Diversity," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21889, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Nagarajan, Latha & Smale, Melinda, 2005. "Local seed systems and village-level determinants of millet crop diversity in marginal environments of India:," EPTD discussion papers 135, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Van Dusen, M. Eric, 2000. "In Situ Conservation Of Crop Genetic Resources In The Mexican Milpa System," Dissertations 11941, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
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    2. Karunarathna, Muditha & Wilson, Clevo, 2017. "Agricultural biodiversity and farm level technical efficiency: An empirical investigation," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(PA), pages 38-46.
    3. Negassa, Asfaw & Hellin, Jonathan & Shiferaw, Bekele A., 2012. "Determinants of Adoption and Spatial Diversity of Wheat Varieties on Household Farms in Turkey," Socioeconomics Program Working Papers 147106, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
    4. Pray, Carl E. & Nagarajan, Latha, 2009. "Pearl millet and sorghum improvement in India:," IFPRI discussion papers 919, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Shawn McGuire & Louise Sperling, 2016. "Seed systems smallholder farmers use," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(1), pages 179-195, February.
    6. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Zilberman, David & Qaim, Matin, 2009. "Transgenic technology adoption and on-farm varietal diversity," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51750, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Shawn McGuire & Louise Sperling, 2016. "Seed systems smallholder farmers use," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(1), pages 179-195, February.
    8. Krishna, Vijesh V. & Zilberman, David & Qaim, Matin, 2009. "GM Technology Adoption, Production Risk and On-farm Varietal Diversity," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49173, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Jaeck, Melanie & Lifran, Robert, 2011. "The Economic Determinants of the On-farm Management of Rice Cultivars in the Rhone River Delta (France)," 2011 Conference, August 25-26, 2011, Nelson, New Zealand 115508, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    10. Benjamín Figueroa-Sandoval & Martín A. Coronado-Minjarez & Eduviges J. García-Herrera & Artemio Ramírez-López & Dora M. Sangerman-Jarquín & Katia A. Figueroa-Rodríguez, 2019. "Production System Diversification and Livelihood in the Drylands of North Central Mexico," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(10), pages 1-14, May.

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