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On farm conservation of rice biodiversity in Nepal


  • Van Dusen, M. Eric
  • Gauchan, Devendra
  • Smale, Melinda


This paper presents an empirical case study about farmer management of rice genetic resources in two communities of Nepal, drawing on interdisciplinary, participatory research that involved farmers, plant breeders, and social scientists. The decision-making process of farm households is modeled and estimated in order to provide information for the design of community-based conservation programs. A bivariate model with sample selection treats the simultaneous process of whether farmers decide to plant landraces or modern varieties, and whether the landraces they choose to plant constitute genetic diversity of interest for future crop improvement. Findings show that the two landrace choices are affected by different social and economic factors, indicating that they are separate decision processes. Policies to promote the conservation of local rice diversity will need to take both processes into account. Fitted equations are then used to compare the likelihood that households targeted for conservation according to one set of conservation criteria also meet other conservation criteria. Households most likely to plant landraces identified as important for crop improvement also grow richer, more spatially diverse rice varieties. In these communities, few policy trade-offs would result from employing one set of criteria instead of the other.

Suggested Citation

  • Van Dusen, M. Eric & Gauchan, Devendra & Smale, Melinda, 2005. "On farm conservation of rice biodiversity in Nepal," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19210, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19210

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benin, S. & Smale, M. & Pender, J. & Gebremedhin, B. & Ehui, S., 2004. "The economic determinants of cereal crop diversity on farms in the Ethiopian highlands," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(2-3), pages 197-208, December.
    2. Boyes, William J. & Hoffman, Dennis L. & Low, Stuart A., 1989. "An econometric analysis of the bank credit scoring problem," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 3-14, January.
    3. Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1983. "Stochastic Structure, Farm Size and Technology Adoption in Developing Agriculture," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 307-328, July.
    4. Bellon, Mauricio R & Taylor, J Edward, 1993. ""Folk" Soil Taxonomy and the Partial Adoption of New Seed Varieties," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(4), pages 763-786, July.
    5. Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
    6. William A. Brock & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2003. "Valuing Biodiversity from an Economic Perspective: A Unified Economic, Ecological, and Genetic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1597-1614, December.
    7. Smale, Melinda & Bellon, Mauricio R & Aguirre Gomez, Jose Alfonso, 2001. "Maize Diversity, Variety Attributes, and Farmers' Choices in Southeastern Guanajuato, Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 201-225, October.
    8. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Wasantha Athukorala & Muditha Karunarathna, 2017. "Conservation of Genetic Resources of Crops: Farmer Preferences for Banana Diversity in Sri Lanka," Working Papers id:11931, eSocialSciences.

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