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Targeting technology to reduce poverty and conserve resources: Experimental delivery of laser land leveling to farmers in Uttar Pradesh, India:

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  • Lybbert, Travis J.
  • Magnan, Nicholas
  • Spielman, David J.
  • Bhargava, Anil K.
  • Gulati, Kajal

Abstract

Demand heterogeneity often makes it profitable for firms to price and promote goods and services differently in different market segments. When private consumption brings public benefits, this same heterogeneity can be used to target public subsidies. We explore the design of public–private targeting and segmentation strategies in the case of a resource-conserving agricultural technology in India. To understand farmers’ heterogeneous demand for laser land leveling (LLL), we conducted an experimental auction for LLL services with an integrated randomized controlled trial to estimate the private benefits of the technology. We use graphical and econometric approaches to characterize farmer demand for LLL. We then add detailed cost data from LLL providers to simulate and evaluate several potential targeted delivery strategies based on measures of (1) the cost-effectiveness of expanding LLL dissemination, (2) water savings, and (3) market surplus in a welfare framework. These simulations demonstrate inherent tradeoffs between increasing the amount of land that is leveled and expanding the number of farmers who adopt the technology, and between adoption and water savings. While segmenting and targeting are popular elements of many public–private partnerships to develop and disseminate agricultural technologies, formulating and implementing effective delivery strategies requires a rich understanding of costs, benefits, and demand. Our experimental approach generates such an understanding and may be relevant in other contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Lybbert, Travis J. & Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Bhargava, Anil K. & Gulati, Kajal, 2013. "Targeting technology to reduce poverty and conserve resources: Experimental delivery of laser land leveling to farmers in Uttar Pradesh, India:," IFPRI discussion papers 1274, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1274
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    10. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Lybbert, Travis J. & Gulati, Kajal, 2013. "Leveling with Friends: Social Networks and Indian Farmers' Demand for Agricultural Custom Hire Services," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150711, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhargava, Anil K. & Lybbert, Travis J. & Spielman, David J., 2015. "Public benefits of private technology adoption: The localized spatial externalities of water conservation in eastern Uttar Pradesh:," IFPRI discussion papers 1455, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Gulati, Kajal & Lybbert, Travis J., 2015. "Information networks among women and men and the demand for an agricultural technology in India:," IFPRI discussion papers 1411, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Katherine P. Adams & Travis J. Lybbert & Stephen A. Vosti & Emmanuel Ayifah, 2016. "Using an economic experiment to estimate willingness-to-pay for a new maternal nutrient supplement in Ghana," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(5), pages 581-595, September.
    4. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Gulati, Kajal & Lybbert, Travis, 2015. "Information Networks among Women and Men and the Demand for an Agricultural Technology in India," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212209, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Gulati, Kajal & Ward, Patrick & Lybbert, Travis & Spielman, David, 2016. "Intrahousehold valuation, preference heterogeneity, and demand of an agricultural technology in Bihar, India," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236280, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Nicholas Magnan & David J Spielman & Travis J. Lybbert & Kajal Gulati, 2013. "Leveling with Friends: Social Networks and Indian Farmers’ Demand for Agricultural Custom Hire Services," Working Papers id:5591, eSocialSciences.
    7. Bhargava, Anil K. & Lybbert, Travis J. & Spielman, David J., 2014. "The Public Benefits of Private Technology Adoption," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170682, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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    Keywords

    conservation agriculture; resource management; demand heterogeneity; Market segmentation; Laser land leveling; technology targeting;

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