Labor, Liquidity, Learning, Conformity And Smallholder Technology Adoption: The Case Of Sri In Madagascar
Although rice accounts for approximately forty-four percent of land under cultivation and forty-six percent of caloric intake in Madagascar, most farmers cannot produce enough rice to feed their families. Total rice production increased little in the country during the 1990s, and yields were stagnant and well below world average yields. Because of the importance of rice for both family income and nutrition and because of the significant role upland rice cultivation plays in deforestation in Madagascar, intensification of lowland rice production has been a major focus of many development interventions. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a method that has been promoted and closely followed in Madagascar for more than ten years. SRI is remarkable for its dramatic increases in yields achieved without external inputs. While the method is more labor intensive, the doubling or even tripling of yields would appear to make the method extremely profitable. Despite its apparent potential and intensive extension efforts in some areas, adoption rates have generally been low, and the average rate of disadoption (the percentage of households who have tried the method and who no longer practice it) for study area was 40 percent. Using survey data from five communities in Madagascar, a sample selection model and a probit model were used to study three related choices farmers must make concerning the SRI. The first is whether to try the method, and then, conditional on having tried the method a farmer must decide how much of his lowland rice area to put in the SRI. Finally, for all subsequent years, a farmer must decide whether to continue using the method. While many adoption studies have looked at the role of liquidity and labor, few have done so in a dynamic setting. We take advantage of reliable recall data and NGO records on technology use to construct a panel data set, which was used to analyze the effects of learning, labor, liquidity, and social benefits over a five-year period. Learning has been the focus of several recent adoption studies, but this study tries to separate the learning effects from the effects of compliance with authority figures and with social and cultural norms. The results show that planting-season labor and liquidity constraints are extremely important factors in the adoption decisions of Malagasy farmers. Although the method is low-external input, the poorest farmers are not able to take advantage of the technology. This result is very important for development policy-makers in Madagascar who have often seen rice intensification as the most important means by which to alleviate rural poverty in Madagascar.
|Date of creation:||2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202|
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Kevane, Michael & Wydick, Bruce, 2001. "Social Norms and the Time Allocation of Women's Labor in Burkina Faso," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 119-29, February.
- Neill, Sean P & Lee, David R, 2001. "Explaining the Adoption and Disadoption of Sustainable Agriculture: The Case of Cover Crops in Northern Honduras," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(4), pages 793-820, July.
- Frisvold, George B., 1994. "Does supervision matter? Some hypothesis tests using Indian farm-level data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 217-238, April.
- Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-64, May.
- 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.
- Reardon, Thomas, 1997. "Using evidence of household income diversification to inform study of the rural nonfarm labor market in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 735-747, May.
- George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
- Christopher B. Barrett & Paul A. Dorosh, 1996. "Farmers' Welfare and Changing Food Prices: Nonparametric Evidence from Rice in Madagascar," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 656-669.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaea02:19680. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.