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Investigating Farmers’ Choice of Pearl Millet Varieties in India:. Dorene Asare-Marfo, Ekin Birol and Devesh Roy. STUDY AIM. To investigate: Popular varieties of pearl millet currently cultivated, Farmers’ demand for various production, consumption and marketing traits,

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investigating farmers choice of pearl millet varieties in india

Investigating Farmers’ Choice of Pearl Millet Varieties in India:

Dorene Asare-Marfo, Ekin Birol and Devesh Roy

study aim
STUDY AIM

To investigate:

  • Popular varieties of pearl millet currently cultivated,
  • Farmers’ demand for various production, consumption and marketing traits,
  • Farmers’ sources of pearl millet seeds and
  • Farmers’ sources of information about new varieties.

… to inform the design of targeted interventions that ensure maximum adoption of biofortified varieties.

slide3
DATA
  • Detailed farm household level data collected from
    • 2069 farm households in Maharashtra, Oct – Dec 2009
    • 2144 farm households in Rajasthan, Dec 2009 – March 2010
  • Sampling design
    • Sampling frame – all blocks in the agro-ecological zones conducive to pearl millet production
    • Used the most recent block level data on area under pearl millet production in the chosen zones
    • Oversampled from blocks with higher total areas under pearl millet production
    • Stratification of villages (4 – 6 villages)Random selection of households in each village (10 – 20 households)
maharashtra blocks sampled for farm household survey
MAHARASHTRA: Blocks sampled for farm household survey

Share of agricultural land area dedicated to pearl millet production

Sampled Blocks

rajasthan blocks sampled for farm household survey
RAJASTHAN: Blocks sampled for farm household survey

Share of agricultural land area dedicated to pearl millet production

Sampled Blocks

pearl millet cultivation
PEARL MILLET CULTIVATION
  •  In Maharashtra
    • 66% of households cultivated pearl millet in last Kharif
    • 13% of households cultivated pearl millet in last Rabi
    • 5% of Kharif producers saw multiple varieties
    • Pearl millet producers have lower incomes than nonproducers
  •  In Rajasthan
    • 68% of households cultivated pearl millet in last Kharif
    • 1% of households cultivated pearl millet in last Rabi
    • 5% of Kharif producers saw multiple varieties
    • Pearl millet producers have lower incomes than nonproducers
main uses of pearl millet
MAIN USES OF PEARL MILLET
  • In Maharashtra a significantly larger proportion of output is sold compared to Rajasthan
  • In both states 20-30% of output is used for household consumption and similar proportion is used as feed
  • In general greater proportions of desi (local) and OPVs are consumed as food compared to hybrids
preferred traits
PREFERRED TRAITS
  • In Maharashtra most important production traits are
    • Resistance to smut and rust
    • Low labour and fertiliser input requirement
  • In Rajasthan most important production traits are
    • Earliness in maturity
    • Grain yield and mass
  • In both states the most important consumption traits are roticolour and taste
  • In both states the most important processing and marketing trait is reliability of buyers and demand
  • In Maharashtra cost of processing is also an important determinant of variety choice
seed sources
SEED SOURCES
  • In Maharashtra
    • farmers’ sources of seed are agri-input supplier (60%) agri-service centres (23%) and other farmers (11%)
    • farmers have been growing their varieties for an average of 2 years
  • In Rajasthan
    • farmers’ sources of seed are agri-input supplier (46%), own seed (35%), other farmers (18%) and agri-service center (2%)
    • farmers have been growing their varieties for an average of 17 years for desi and 5 years for hybrid varieties
  • Agri-input shops and other sources of new varieties penetrated the seed market in Maharashtra more significantly
information sources
INFORMATION SOURCES
  • In Maharashtra farmers’ main sources of information are
    • Other farmers – 71%
    • Public extension – 20%
    • Private extension – 7%
  • In Rajasthan farmers’ main sources of information are
    • Other farmers – 97%
    • Public extension – 2%
  • Social networks are important in both states
  • In Rajasthan very few farmers get information from outside the farmer “circle” and hence variety turnover is much less dynamic
conclusions
CONCLUSIONS
  • Agro-ecological conditions and production traits
    • Landraces suited to marginal environmental conditions in west Rajasthan
    • OPV suited to scarcity zone in Maharashtra
  • Consumption and marketing traits
    • Roticolour is very important consumption trait- benefits for invisible traits – future study
    • Reliability of demand is very important – need to “market” high iron varieties well to ensure market demand
  • Detailed consumption data not yet analysed – future study
  • Since small proportion of pearl millet produce is consumed at home and we may need to provide other high iron staples to combat iron deficiency
conclusions1
CONCLUSIONS
  • Seed delivery
    • In Maharashtra
      • Seed markets are more developed than in Rajasthan
      • Hybrid farmers are located closer to the markets
    • In Rajasthan
      • Majority of seeds obtained from farmers
      • Landrace farmers are located further away from markets
  • Information about seed:
      • In Maharashtra a third of farmers get information from public and private extension
      • In Rajasthan only 2% of farmers get information about seed from non-farmers
  • Overall, more intensive efforts required in Rajasthan than in Maharashtra for adoption of biofortified varieties