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How does farmers' field schooling impact eco-efficiency? Empirical evidence from paddy farmers in Bangladesh

Md. Sariful Islam, Sabiha Ferdousy, Sonia Afrin, Md. Nasif Ahsan (), Mohammed Ziaul Haider and Debasish Das ()

China Agricultural Economic Review, 2020, vol. 12, issue 3, 527-552

Abstract: Purpose - Recent studies suggest extensive use of environmental resources in agrofarming degrades ecosystem significantly. In this backdrop, this study aims at assessing ecoefficiency of paddy farming. Because ecoefficiency links up between economic performances and environmental resources supporting the provision of goods and services for the society, this study further investigates the effectiveness of attending Farmers' Field School (FFS), an agroenvironmental program, in conserving environmental resources through improving farm-level ecoefficiency. Design/methodology/approach - In a dataset of 200 randomly selected paddy farmers from three districts of the southwestern Bangladesh, data envelopment analysis (DEA) is applied to compute both radial and pressure-specific (nutrient balance, energy balance, irrigation and pesticide lethal risk) ecoefficiency scores. Furthermore, propensity score matching (PSM) technique is applied to examine the impact of FFS program on farm-level ecoefficiency. Findings - The DEA results suggest that paddy farmers are highly eco-inefficient. The computed radial eco-efficiency score is 0.40 implying farmers could reduce around 60% of environmental pressure equiproportionally even by maintaining the same level of value addition. In addition, the PSM results suggest farmers' participation in FFS program led to around 22.5% higher radial ecoefficiency and 7–25% higher environmental pressure-specific eco-efficiencies. Furthermore, simulation exercises reveal that FFS participation in interaction with farm size would lead to around 32–40% reduction of all environmental pressures. Practical implications - Promoting FFS programs among paddy farmers could be an effective policy option to improve eco-efficiency through environment-friendly farming paradigm. Originality/value - This study is probably the maiden effort that has examined the impact of attending the FFS program on ecoefficiency improvement in Bangladesh. This study contributes to both the concern literature by adding useful information and the policymakers by providing new insights about the reduction of environmental resource usage with maintaining the same value addition from agrofarming.

Keywords: Farmers' field school; Eco-efficiency; Paddy production; Data envelope analysis; Propensity score matching; Bangladesh; Q12; Q18; Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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