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Adoption Constraints for Small-scale Agroforestry-based Biofuel Systems in India

Floris Dalemans, Bart Muys and Miet Maertens

Ecological Economics, 2019, vol. 157, issue C, 27-39

Abstract: Small-scale agroforestry-based biofuel production has recently been proposed as a strategy for rural poverty alleviation, but few empirical evidence is available on farmer adoption of such novel systems. This study describes adoption of oilseed tree mixtures on smallholdings in Hassan district, South India, and examines the impact of a biofuel extension program and farmer characteristics on adoption. Cross-sectional survey data and regression analyses addressing various forms of selection bias, are used. The findings reveal that tree cultivation is much more prevalent than oilseed collection, and that various activities of the biofuel extension program only stimulate the former. Low seed prices and high opportunity costs of labour are major factors impeding households to collect seeds from planted or wild oilseed species. The paper concludes that the program succeeds as an agroforestry program but not as a biofuel program. Similar challenges pertain to small-scale agroforestry systems as to jatropha-based plantation systems, although the former are a Low-Risk High-Diversity approach to build feedstock for the future.

Keywords: Biofuel; Oilseed trees; Technology adoption; Extension; Value chains (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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