Minor millets in Tamil Nadu, India: local market participation, on-farm diversity and farmer welfare

Takeshima, H. and Nagarajan, L. (2012) Minor millets in Tamil Nadu, India: local market participation, on-farm diversity and farmer welfare. Environment and Development Economics, 17 (spl5). pp. 603-632.

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Although farmer market participation raises income, it often also reduces on-farm varietal diversity. However, for under-utilized crops like minor millets, market participation may actually encourage growers to increase on-farm diversity through better access to new varieties exchanged at local markets and higher returns from varieties already grown. We test this hypothesis in two different agro-ecological niches, the Plains and the Hills in southern India. Empirical results based on propensity score matching indicate that, in the less fertile dryland plains, market participation improved on-farm varietal diversity of minor millets and increased net revenues – albeit with insignificant welfare effects on farm households. On the other hand, in the fertile hill ecosystems, market development had no effect on varietal diversity. Insights from such a comparison could help design suitable policy interventions for on-farm conservation of under-utilized crops in their own agro-ecosystems through active stakeholder participation.

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA, International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), 1331 H Street NW, Washington
Subjects: Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mr. SanatKumar Behera
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2012 04:50
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2012 04:50
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S1355770X12...
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/8517

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