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Human Capital Accumulation and Productivity Improvements in Asian Cassava Systems: Are Participatory Research Approaches Beneficial?


  • Dalton, Timothy J.
  • Lilja, Nina K.
  • Johnson, Nancy L.
  • Howeler, Reinhardt


Recently, discussion had reemerged over the value of integrated pest and crop management training, through intensive approaches such as farmer field schools or participatory training, as a development approach (Feder et al, 2004). This paper develops a model of human capital accumulation through participatory research and tests several hypotheses on the effectiveness of this approach to increase the adoption of soil conservation and fertility management innovations and improve farm productivity in southeast Asia. Bivariate Probit models with treatment effects are estimated using full information maximum likelihood (Evans and Schwab, 1995: Trost and Lee, 1984) and covariates related to changes in land allocation and productivity, measured before project and after project intervention, are investigates. We follow Greene (1998) to control for simultaneity between adoption and impact by using the predicted adoption decision from the second set of regressions to calculate productivity differentials. Overall, we find that treatment affects associated with the participatory research activities are significant and positive in explaining the differential adoption rates of intercropping, hedgerows, contour ridging, the usage of farm yard manure and chemical fertilizer. The positive relationship between the adoption of soil conservation and fertility management techniques and participation, given very limited productivity impact, may indicated the "value" of the participatory approach to illustrate the social costs of land degradation, sensitize participants towards internalizing these costs, and demonstrate the importance of long-run strategies to preserve land productivity, or both. Secondly, we find that there are additional benefits to participatory research activities that are not embodied in the adoption of soil conservation or fertility management techniques.

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  • Dalton, Timothy J. & Lilja, Nina K. & Johnson, Nancy L. & Howeler, Reinhardt, 2005. "Human Capital Accumulation and Productivity Improvements in Asian Cassava Systems: Are Participatory Research Approaches Beneficial?," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19250, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19250

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    1. Gershon Feder & Rinku Murgai & Jaime B. Quizon, 2004. "Sending Farmers Back to School: The Impact of Farmer Field Schools in Indonesia," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 26(1), pages 45-62.
    2. Chambers,Robert G., 1988. "Applied Production Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521314275, May.
    3. William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-974.
    4. Johnson, Nancy L. & Lilja, Nina & Ashby, Jacqueline A., 2003. "Measuring the impact of user participation in agricultural and natural resource management research," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 287-306, November.
    5. Fuglie, Keith O., 2004. "Challenging Bennet's law: the new economics of starchy staples in Asia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 187-202, April.
    6. Fujisaka, Sam, 1994. "Learning from six reasons why farmers do not adopt innovations intended to improve sustainability of upland agriculture," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 409-425.
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    Labor and Human Capital;


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