The Disappointing Adoption Dynamics of a Yield-Increasing, Low External Input Technology: The Case of Sri in Madagascar

Agricultural Systems, Forthcoming

Posted: 26 May 2011

See all articles by Christine M. Moser

Christine M. Moser

Cornell University - Department of Economics and Management

Christopher B. Barrett

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management

Date Written: May 6, 2002

Abstract

Low external-input agricultural technologies are commonly developed for and promoted in poor rural areas of the developing world because they are presumably more appropriate for farmers who may not have the access or ability to adopt methods requiring significant purchased inputs. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a low external-input (LEI) technology, has received a fair amount of attention in recent years both in and outside of Madagascar, where remarkable yield increases have been achieved in a country where most farmers are unable to grow enough rice to feed their families. Despite its promise, we find that SRI is difficult for most farmers to practice because the method requires significant additional labor input at a time of the year when liquidity is low and labor effort is already high. While SRI may be unique for its dramatic yield increases and relative complexity, the highly seasonal, labor-intensive nature of SRI is common to many LEI technologies, calling into question the common assumption of the appropriateness of such technologies for smallholders.

Keywords: sustainable agriculture, low external input agriculture, technology adoption

Suggested Citation

Moser, Christine M. and Barrett, Christopher B., The Disappointing Adoption Dynamics of a Yield-Increasing, Low External Input Technology: The Case of Sri in Madagascar (May 6, 2002). Agricultural Systems, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1847694

Christine M. Moser

Cornell University - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

206 Warren Hall Campus
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
607-272-0496 (Phone)

Christopher B. Barrett (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management ( email )

315 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7801
United States
607-255-4489 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://aem.cornell.edu/faculty_sites/cbb2/

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