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Farmers' Preference for Farming: Evidence From a Nationally Representative Farm Survey in India

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  • Pratap S. Birthal
  • Devesh Roy
  • Md. Tajuddin Khan
  • Digvijay Singh Negi

Abstract

type="main"> Using data from a nationally representative farm survey in India, we have analyzed Indian farmers' stated preference for farming as a profession. Findings show that more than 40% of farmers dislike farming as a profession because of low profits, high risk, and lack of social status, yet they continue with it owing to a lack of opportunities outside agriculture. Farmers who express a preference for moving out of agriculture are mostly those with small landholdings, poor irrigation facilities, fewer productive assets including livestock, and follow a cereal-centric cropping pattern. They also have relatively lower access to credit, insurance, and information, and are weakly integrated with social networks such as self-help groups and farmers' organizations. Importantly, the disinclination for farming, conditional on other covariates, is not significantly differentiated by caste, an important indicator of social status in rural India. Yet, within a caste group, the dislike for farming moderates with larger landholdings.

Suggested Citation

  • Pratap S. Birthal & Devesh Roy & Md. Tajuddin Khan & Digvijay Singh Negi, 2015. "Farmers' Preference for Farming: Evidence From a Nationally Representative Farm Survey in India," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 53(2), pages 122-134, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:deveco:v:53:y:2015:i:2:p:122-134
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/deve.12072
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Derek Headey & Dirk Bezemer & Peter B. Hazell, 2010. "Agricultural Employment Trends in Asia and Africa: Too Fast or Too Slow?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(1), pages 57-89, February.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
    3. Pratap Singh Birthal & Pramod Kumar Joshi & Devesh Roy & Amit Thorat, 2013. "Diversification in Indian Agriculture toward High-Value Crops: The Role of Small Farmers," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 61(1), pages 61-91, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Varun Kumar Das, 2018. "Looking beyond the farm and household: Determinants of on-farm diversification in India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2018-023, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    2. Wagener, Andreas & Zenker, Juliane, 2015. "Stochastic Transfers, Risky Investment and Incomes: Evidence from an Income Guarantee Program in Thailand," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-562, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    3. Bina Agarwal & Ankush Agrawal, 2016. "To farm or not to farm? Indian farmers in transition," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 012016, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    4. Varun Kumar Das, 2018. "Looking Beyond the Farm and Household: Determinants of On-farm Diversification in India," Working Papers id:12945, eSocialSciences.

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