Adoption and Impacts of Zero-Tillage in the Rice-Wheat Zone of Irrigated Punjab, Pakistan
This study documents the adoption and impacts of zero-tillage (ZT) wheat in the ricewheat systems of Pakistan’s Punjab province primarily drawing on a detailed empirical survey of 458 rice-wheat farmers. Our random stratified sample revealed 19% to be ZT wheat adopters and a similar share of the wheat area in the surveyed communities to be under ZT. The study suggests that diffusion has stagnated and also flags the issue of disadoption (14%). ZT adopters, non-adopters, and disadopters differ significantly in terms of their resource bases, with adopters typically showing the most favorable values. ZT drastically reduces tractor operations in farmers’ ZT wheat fields from an average of 8 passes to a single pass, implying a saving of 7 tractor hours and 35 liters of diesel per hectare. ZT did not have any significant effect on the mean farmer estimated wheat yield of 3.3 tons per hectare. ZT also had no significant effect on water productivity for wheat or spillover effect on the subsequent rice crop. ZT primarily appears to be a cost-saving technology for wheat in Pakistan’s Punjab. Based on these findings, the study provides a number of recommendations for research and development in Pakistan Punjab’s rice-wheat systems.
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