IMPACT OF IMPROVED VEGETABLE FARMING TECHNOLOGY ON FARMERS' LIVELIHOODS IN ASIA: AN OVERVIEW OF RESULTS OF CASE STUDIES IN FIVE COUNTRIES
This paper summarizes the principal results of a research project in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The objectives were to assess the impact of improved vegetable varieties and associated cultivation technologies on small farmers livelihoods, as well as the factors accounting for successful diffusion and adoption. Ten case study hybrid varieties were selected, based on the extent of adoption. For each variety, at least five case study locations were selected in order to reflect varying conditions. Rapid appraisals were conducted in each location, which comprised of farmer discussions and diagramming techniques on the history of adoption and the factors which were most influential. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with at least 30 farmers in each location to estimate changes in net income from cultivating the case study hybrid. Where possible, comparable farmers cultivating traditional varieties were also interviewed. Based on perceived changes over time, the median increase in surveyed farmers income was estimated to range between 0 and 180%, depending on the variety studied. In some instances, the increase was reported to be as high as 400%, but many farmers also reported declines in their income. The most commonly reported constraint for farmers to cultivate a new variety and adopt the associated technology was the lack of credit to finance the higher input costs. It is also clear that farmers receive information about new technology packages primarily through the marketing and demonstration activities of seed companies. The results suggest that public policy should consider opportunities for supporting this diffusion process through enabling actions such as credit programs or infrastructure and more innovative extension activities. Seed companies may also benefit from an improved understanding of the mixed experiences of farmers.
Eaton, D. and Wiersinga, R. (2009). IMPACT OF IMPROVED VEGETABLE FARMING TECHNOLOGY ON FARMERS' LIVELIHOODS IN ASIA: AN OVERVIEW OF RESULTS OF CASE STUDIES IN FIVE COUNTRIES. Acta Hortic. 809, 77-90
hybrid vegetables, tropical Asia, technology adoption, income, livelihoods, policy, credit