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Adoption and Utilization of Cactus Pear in South Asia—Smallholder Farmers’ Perceptions

Mounir Louhaichi (), Suresh Kumar (), Sunil Tiwari (), Muhammad Islam (), Sawsan Hassan (), Om Parkash Yadav (), Devi Dayal (), Hloniphani Peter Moyo (), Rahul Dev () and Ashutosh Sarker ()
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Mounir Louhaichi: Resilient Agricultural Livelihood Systems Program, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Amman 11195, Jordan
Suresh Kumar: Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Jodhpur 342003, Rajasthan, India
Sunil Tiwari: Indian Grassland & Fodder Research Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Jhansi (UP) 284003, India
Muhammad Islam: Consultant Rangeland Management, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
Sawsan Hassan: Resilient Agricultural Livelihood Systems Program, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Amman 11195, Jordan
Om Parkash Yadav: Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Jodhpur 342003, Rajasthan, India
Devi Dayal: Regional Research Station Kukma, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Bhuj 370105, Gujarat, India
Hloniphani Peter Moyo: Resilient Agricultural Livelihood Systems Program, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Amman 11195, Jordan
Rahul Dev: Regional Research Station Kukma, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Bhuj 370105, Gujarat, India
Ashutosh Sarker: South Asia & China Regional Program, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), New Delhi 110012, India

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 10, 1-15

Abstract: Livestock production in arid and semi-arid regions is facing the challenges of low and erratic rainfall, poor nutrient soils, and high temperatures, which all contribute to inadequate forage production to support livestock. Under these challenging conditions, promoting forage species, such as cacti, that are tolerant and well adapted is important to sustain and improve livestock production. This study analyzes the potential of adopting a spineless cactus through analysis of smallholder farmers’ perceptions with respect to its potential use as a livestock feed in South Asia. A total of 456 households were stratified into three groups in 2017: Farmers not familiar with cactus (non-adopters), farmers familiar with cactus but not growing it (potential adopters), and those already growing it (actual adopters). Main findings confirm that farmers already growing cactus are satisfied with its potential. A considerable proportion of non-adopter farmers cited the unavailability of plant material and technical information as the main reason for their lack of interest in cultivating spineless cactus. Therefore, the potential gains of livestock farming from spineless cactus production in the world’s dry areas could be immense, although more efforts, through farmer education and information sharing, are needed to ensure that the plant’s potential is effectively realized.

Keywords: livestock sustenance; farmer knowledge; livelihoods; farmer response; opuntia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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