Farmers' welfare, food production and the environment: a model-based assessment of the effects of new technologies in the northern Philippines

A.G. Laborte, R.A. Schipper, M.K. van Ittersum, M.M. van den Berg, H. van Keulen, A.G. Prins, M.M. Hossain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Policy objectives of attaining food self-sufficiency and improving the well-being of subsistence farmers while protecting the environment have stimulated the development of many improved agricultural production technologies. With a choice of technologies, farm household decisions are governed not only by productivity and profitability considerations but also by factors such as available resources and their quality, family consumption preferences and attitudes towards risks, and prevailing policies. It is therefore necessary to analyse the adoption of such technologies from a whole-farm perspective. In this paper, a farm household model is used to assess possible technology adoption behaviour of farmers in Ilocos Norte Province, Philippines. Four alternative technologies were evaluated: hybrid rice production (HYR), balanced fertilization strategy (BFS), site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) and integrated pest management (IPM). Possible impacts of price policies and infrastructure improvements on technology adoption were assessed. The results show that all four alternative technologies considered are attractive to farmers, although simulations show differential adoption rates for poor, average and better-off households. IPM and HYR appear the most attractive amongst all technologies considered. In all technology simulations, relative profitability and risks, labour and capital requirements and availabilities are decisive factors in the adoption of alternative technologies. Adoption of alternative technologies would result in higher discretionary income, higher rice production and lower biocide use and nitrogen loss. Amongst policy simulations considered, availability of low-cost credit shows the largest improvements in farmer welfare for poor and average households, but its effect on simulated adoption of alternative technologies was variable. We argue that the methodology and results presented can contribute to ex ante assessments of policies targeted at stimulating technology adoption by farmers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-373
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • intensive cropping systems
  • nutrient management
  • lowland rice
  • adoption
  • risk
  • economics
  • dynamics
  • behavior
  • policies
  • ghana

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