Heterogeneous preferences and the effects of incentives in promoting conservation agriculture in Malawi

Patrick S. Ward, Andrew Bell, Gregory M. Parkhurst, Klaus Droppelmann, Lawrence Mapemba

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    There is a great deal of interest in increasing food security through the sustainable intensification of food production in developing countries around the world. One such approach is through Conservation Agriculture (CA), which improves soil quality through a suite of farming practices that reduce soil disturbance, increase soil cover through retained crop residues, and increase crop diversification. We use discrete choice experiments to study farmers' preferences for these different CA practices, and assess willingness to adopt CA. Despite many long-term agronomic benefits, some farmers are not willing to adopt CA without incentives. Our results suggest that farmers perceive that CA practices interact with one another differently, sometimes complementing and sometimes degrading the benefits of the other practices. But our results also indicate that preferences are a function of experiences with CA, such that current farm level practices influence willingness to adopt the full CA package. Further, exposure to various risks such as flooding and insect infestations often constrains adoption. Providing subsidies can increase likely adoption of a full CA package, but may generate some perverse incentives that can result in subsequent disadoption.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)67-79
    Number of pages13
    JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
    Volume222
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 15 2016

    Fingerprint

    Malawi
    incentive
    agriculture
    farmers
    effect
    soil cover
    crop residue
    subsidies
    food production
    food security
    crop residues
    soil quality
    developing countries
    soil
    farming systems
    flooding
    developing world
    farm
    insect
    disturbance

    Keywords

    • Conservation agriculture
    • Discrete choice experiments
    • Malawi
    • Technology adoption

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology
    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Agronomy and Crop Science

    Cite this

    Heterogeneous preferences and the effects of incentives in promoting conservation agriculture in Malawi. / Ward, Patrick S.; Bell, Andrew; Parkhurst, Gregory M.; Droppelmann, Klaus; Mapemba, Lawrence.

    In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol. 222, 15.04.2016, p. 67-79.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Ward, Patrick S. ; Bell, Andrew ; Parkhurst, Gregory M. ; Droppelmann, Klaus ; Mapemba, Lawrence. / Heterogeneous preferences and the effects of incentives in promoting conservation agriculture in Malawi. In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2016 ; Vol. 222. pp. 67-79.
    @article{1ea8c2e0cbff4125ae73b621ef4a7ac5,
    title = "Heterogeneous preferences and the effects of incentives in promoting conservation agriculture in Malawi",
    abstract = "There is a great deal of interest in increasing food security through the sustainable intensification of food production in developing countries around the world. One such approach is through Conservation Agriculture (CA), which improves soil quality through a suite of farming practices that reduce soil disturbance, increase soil cover through retained crop residues, and increase crop diversification. We use discrete choice experiments to study farmers' preferences for these different CA practices, and assess willingness to adopt CA. Despite many long-term agronomic benefits, some farmers are not willing to adopt CA without incentives. Our results suggest that farmers perceive that CA practices interact with one another differently, sometimes complementing and sometimes degrading the benefits of the other practices. But our results also indicate that preferences are a function of experiences with CA, such that current farm level practices influence willingness to adopt the full CA package. Further, exposure to various risks such as flooding and insect infestations often constrains adoption. Providing subsidies can increase likely adoption of a full CA package, but may generate some perverse incentives that can result in subsequent disadoption.",
    keywords = "Conservation agriculture, Discrete choice experiments, Malawi, Technology adoption",
    author = "Ward, {Patrick S.} and Andrew Bell and Parkhurst, {Gregory M.} and Klaus Droppelmann and Lawrence Mapemba",
    year = "2016",
    month = "4",
    day = "15",
    doi = "10.1016/j.agee.2016.02.005",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "222",
    pages = "67--79",
    journal = "Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment",
    issn = "0167-8809",
    publisher = "Elsevier",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Heterogeneous preferences and the effects of incentives in promoting conservation agriculture in Malawi

    AU - Ward, Patrick S.

    AU - Bell, Andrew

    AU - Parkhurst, Gregory M.

    AU - Droppelmann, Klaus

    AU - Mapemba, Lawrence

    PY - 2016/4/15

    Y1 - 2016/4/15

    N2 - There is a great deal of interest in increasing food security through the sustainable intensification of food production in developing countries around the world. One such approach is through Conservation Agriculture (CA), which improves soil quality through a suite of farming practices that reduce soil disturbance, increase soil cover through retained crop residues, and increase crop diversification. We use discrete choice experiments to study farmers' preferences for these different CA practices, and assess willingness to adopt CA. Despite many long-term agronomic benefits, some farmers are not willing to adopt CA without incentives. Our results suggest that farmers perceive that CA practices interact with one another differently, sometimes complementing and sometimes degrading the benefits of the other practices. But our results also indicate that preferences are a function of experiences with CA, such that current farm level practices influence willingness to adopt the full CA package. Further, exposure to various risks such as flooding and insect infestations often constrains adoption. Providing subsidies can increase likely adoption of a full CA package, but may generate some perverse incentives that can result in subsequent disadoption.

    AB - There is a great deal of interest in increasing food security through the sustainable intensification of food production in developing countries around the world. One such approach is through Conservation Agriculture (CA), which improves soil quality through a suite of farming practices that reduce soil disturbance, increase soil cover through retained crop residues, and increase crop diversification. We use discrete choice experiments to study farmers' preferences for these different CA practices, and assess willingness to adopt CA. Despite many long-term agronomic benefits, some farmers are not willing to adopt CA without incentives. Our results suggest that farmers perceive that CA practices interact with one another differently, sometimes complementing and sometimes degrading the benefits of the other practices. But our results also indicate that preferences are a function of experiences with CA, such that current farm level practices influence willingness to adopt the full CA package. Further, exposure to various risks such as flooding and insect infestations often constrains adoption. Providing subsidies can increase likely adoption of a full CA package, but may generate some perverse incentives that can result in subsequent disadoption.

    KW - Conservation agriculture

    KW - Discrete choice experiments

    KW - Malawi

    KW - Technology adoption

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84957629116&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84957629116&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1016/j.agee.2016.02.005

    DO - 10.1016/j.agee.2016.02.005

    M3 - Article

    VL - 222

    SP - 67

    EP - 79

    JO - Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

    JF - Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment

    SN - 0167-8809

    ER -