Targeting Technology to Reduce Poverty and Conserve Resources: Experimental Delivery of Laser Land Leveling to Farmers in Uttar Pradesh, India

44 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2013

See all articles by Travis J. Lybbert

Travis J. Lybbert

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Nicholas Magnan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Anil K. Bhargava

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Kajal Gulati

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: July 2013

Abstract

Demand heterogeneity often makes it profitable for firms to price and promote goods and services differently in different market segments. When private consumption brings public benefits, this same heterogeneity can be used to target public subsidies. We explore the design of public–private targeting and segmentation strategies in the case of a resource-conserving agricultural technology in India. To understand farmers’ heterogeneous demand for laser land leveling (LLL), we conducted an experimental auction for LLL services with an integrated randomized controlled trial to estimate the private benefits of the technology. We use graphical and econometric approaches to characterize farmer demand for LLL. We then add detailed cost data from LLL providers to simulate and evaluate several potential targeted delivery strategies based on measures of (1) the cost-effectiveness of expanding LLL dissemination, (2) water savings, and (3) market surplus in a welfare framework. These simulations demonstrate inherent tradeoffs between increasing the amount of land that is leveled and expanding the number of farmers who adopt the technology, and between adoption and water savings. While segmenting and targeting are popular elements of many public–private partnerships to develop and disseminate agricultural technologies, formulating and implementing effective delivery strategies requires a rich understanding of costs, benefits, and demand. Our experimental approach generates such an understanding and may be relevant in other contexts.

Keywords: India, South Asia, Asia, conservation agriculture, resource management, demand heterogeneity, Market segmentation laser land leveling, technology targeting

Suggested Citation

Lybbert, Travis J. and Magnan, Nicholas and Spielman, David J. and Bhargava, Anil K. and Gulati, Kajal, Targeting Technology to Reduce Poverty and Conserve Resources: Experimental Delivery of Laser Land Leveling to Farmers in Uttar Pradesh, India (July 2013). IFPRI Discussion Paper No. 01274, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2309634 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2309634

Travis J. Lybbert (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Nicholas Magnan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Anil K. Bhargava

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

440 Church St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://akbhargava.weebly.com

Kajal Gulati

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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