The System of Rice Intensification in Practice: Explaining Low Farmer Adoption and High Disadoption in Madagascar

Cornell Dept. of Applied Economics & Management Working Paper

28 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2002

See all articles by Christopher B. Barrett

Christopher B. Barrett

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

Christine M. Moser

Cornell University - Department of Economics and Management

Date Written: March 2002

Abstract

The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) has received a fair amount of attention in recent years both in and outside of Madagascar, where incredible yield increases have been achieved using few external inputs and less water and seed. SRI initially seemed well suited to Madagascar due to the unavailability or cost of fertilizer and the inability of most farmers to grow enough rice to feed their families. Despite its promise, farmer adoption of SRI in the areas where it was promoted has been low, "disadoption" (abandonment) of the method has been high, and those who continue to practice the method rarely do so on more than half of their land.

To help explain this phenomenon from an economic perspective, a study was conducted in five communities in Madagascar in 2000, using both participatory research methods and a household survey of over 300 farmers. Based on the study, we find that SRI is difficult for most farmers to practice because it requires significant additional labor inputs at a time of the year when liquidity is low and labor effort is already high. Thus, the poorer the farmer and the more his income depends on rainy season crops, the less able he is to take advantage of the technology.

Suggested Citation

Barrett, Christopher B. and Moser, Christine M., The System of Rice Intensification in Practice: Explaining Low Farmer Adoption and High Disadoption in Madagascar (March 2002). Cornell Dept. of Applied Economics & Management Working Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=328641 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.328641

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/

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)

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