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Apparent gains, hidden costs: examining adoption drivers, yield, and profitability outcomes of rotavator tillage in wheat systems in Nepal

Author: Paudel, G.P.
Author: Krishna, V.V.
Author: Mcdonald, A.
Year: 2020
ISSN: 1477-9552
Abstract: The ‘high speed’ rotavator is used for shallow tillage to create a fine tilth and incorporate crop residues, often with a single tractor pass. Rotavator tillage has spread quickly in many parts of South Asia, despite short‐term experimental trials suggesting deteriorating soil quality and crop yield penalties. Evidence of rotavator impacts on farmer fields across soil gradients and time is largely absent. From a farm household survey conducted among wheat farmers in Nepal, we estimate wheat yield and profitability outcomes for rotavator adopters and non‐adopters using propensity score matching. We find that rotavator adoption leads to inferior outcomes, despite significant cost savings for land preparation (US$ 11–15 per hectare). With rotavator adoption, farmers lose about 284–309 kg of wheat grain and about US$ 93–101 of profits on average per hectare per season, and these penalties increase with longer‐term use of the technology. Adoption of rotavator appears to be driven by the cost and time savings for land preparation. Against this backdrop, new policy and extension efforts are required that discourage rotavator use and favour more sustainable tillage technologies.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Place of Publication: USA
Pages: 199-218
Issue: 1
Volume: 71
DOI: 10.1111/1477-9552.12333
Keywords: Impact Heterogeneity
Keywords: Propensity Score Matching
Keywords: Sustainable Tillage Practices
Keywords: Technology Adoption
Country of Focus: NEPAL
Agrovoc: TILLAGE
Notes: The dataset related with this article is only referential
Related Datasets:
Journal: Journal of Agricultural Economics

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  • Socioeconomics
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS

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