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Analysing Adoption of Soil Conservation Measures by Farmers in Darjeeling District, India

Chandan Singha
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Chandan Singha: Hindu College, University of Delhi

No 275, Working papers from Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics

Abstract: The study attempts to assess the key determinants of the decision to adopt soil conservation. The study area is Teesta River Watershed, in Darjeeling District in the Eastern Himalayas. In this watershed, there have been soil conservation interventions both by the individual farmers on their own farm and by the government at the sub-watershed level. The data for this study was collected through a primary survey conducted during 2013. The distinguishing feature of our analysis is that it explicitly accounts for possible neighbourhood effects in influencing adoption. This is captured both by identifying adoption practices among farmers who are immediately upstream, and using spatial econometric techniques that incorporate the spatial distance between neighbouring farms. We use Bayesian formulation of a standard probit model in conjunction with Markov Chain Monte Carlo to estimate the model. The findings suggest strong and positive evidence of neighbourhood impact on farmers in making soil conservation decisions. We also examine if adoption decisions differ between farmers residing in treated and untreated sub-watershed and conclude that they do not. Knowledge about the magnitude and extent of spatial dependency can help the Government in designing better policies to promote the adoption of soil conservation practices at a lower cost.

Keywords: Soil conservation measure; neighbourhood effect; spatial dependence; sub-watershed (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q24 C21 C13 C11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-dev
Date: 2017-05
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