Research Notes

Research Notes


Research Note 1: The Impact of Seed-Policy Reforms and Intellectual Property Rights on Crop Productivity in India

Studies show that the liberalization of seed market policies and stronger legal protection of intellectual property rights can stimulate private investment in agriculture, especially crop genetic improvement. The study explores, in the context of India, whether this translates into increased agricultural productivity.

Research Note 2: Social Networks and Indian Farmers’ Demand for Agricultural Custom Hire Services

The study uses a set of experimental auctions coupled to assess whether having first-generation adopters of a new resource-conserving technology – in this case, laser land leveling – in a farmer’s network increases his or her exposure to and demand for the technology.

Research Note 3: Structure, Competition and Policy in India’s Seed and Agricultural Biotechnology Industries

The study examines current constraints to increased private sector investment in the seed and agricultural biotechnology sectors in India, particularly in relation to rice, wheat and maize improvement.

Research Note 4: Public Subsidies, Technology Targeting and Private Investment: Evidence from Laser Land Leveling in Uttar Pradesh, India

The study examines how demand for laser land leveling (LLL) varies spatially and across different types of farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh and how this information can be used to design subsidy strategies that encourage LLL uptake, coverage and private provision of custom-hired LLL services.

Research Note 5: Farmer Preferences for Drought Tolerance in Inbred and Hybrid Rice: Evidence from Bihar, India

The study uses experimental choice modeling to examine farmers’ preferences for inbred and hybrid cultivars with a range of drought tolerance characteristics and to explore how these preferences differ among farmers, grouping farmers into ‘classes’ with similar underlying characteristics.

Research Note 6: India’s Rural Employment Guarantee Boosts Demand for Agricultural Technology

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has caused an increase in wages for unskilled workers in the farming sector by 3-5 percent. The study finds that this increase is also likely to influence farmers’ decisions on temporarily replacing workers with labor-saving agricultural technologies.

Research Note 7: Mind the Gender Gap in Farmers’ Preferences for Weather-Index Insurance

This study explores the ways in which gender influences the uptake of inclusive weather-index insurance schemes to de-risk crop production and encourage cropping intensification in the coastal south of Bangladesh.

Research Note 8: What Contribution Can Surface Water Irrigation Make to Crop Intensification in Bangladesh’s Feed the Future Zone?

This study uses remotely sensed and geospatial data to identify agricultural land, assess soil salinity, detect the availability of freshwater in canals and assess crop production intensity in 33,750 km2 of Bangladesh’s Feed the Future Zone.

Research Note 9: Overcoming Gender Gaps in Rural Mechanization: Lessons from Reaper-Harvester Service Provision in Bangladesh

Emerging markets for agricultural machinery services in South Asia present opportunities to start new businesses and mechanize agriculture. Yet at first glance, female participation appears extremely low. This research in Bangladesh offers insights for how to build upon women’s contributions to rural mechanization and expand the benefits of these markets.

Research Note 10: Who are the Entrepreneurs? A Case for Accelerated Service Economy for Agricultural Machinery in Odisha

This note discusses the traits of machine owners that are associated with entrepreneurial behavior and ways in which information about these traits could be used to improve the targeting of mechanization subsidies to better foster the emergence of custom-hire services for farm machinery in Odisha.

Research Note 11: Challenges in Implementing India’s Aadhar-Enabled Fertilizer Management System

A longer-term goal is to integrate land records and fertilizer recommendations through their Aadhaar (unique identification) numbers so that, at the time of purchase, farmers would only be allowed to purchase subsidized fertilizer according to the recommendations on their soil health cards. This note discusses the challenges in implementing Aadhar-enabled fertilizer management system.

Research Note 12: Evaluation of India’s Soil Health Card from Users’ Perspectives

Designing effective behavior-change communication products involves evaluating whether a particular design is effective at generating understanding among diverse end users. This study aimed to evaluate an existing soil health card design and identify any existing limitations or opportunities for improvement.

Research Note 13: What is the true value of fertilizer? An assessment of farmers willingness-to-pay for fertilizers across the hill and Terai regions of Nepal

This study determines the implicit value farmers place on fertilizers as well as other perennial costs associated with obtaining fertilizers, such as travel costs and certainty premia.

Research Note 14: Development of Balanced Nutrient Management Innovations in South Asia: Lessons from Bangladesh India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka

Interactive discussions, held at Kathmandu, were centered around three main themes: (a) cross-country learning and evidence sharing on policies and subsidies to promote balanced nutrient application, (b) market, policy, and product innovations in the fertilizer industry, and (c) learnings and insights on the development of innovative methods in research and extension targeted to farmers. This policy brief summarizes seven key lessons learned from the discussions in the workshop.

Research Note 15: Costs of diesel pump irrigation systems in the Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains: What options exist for efficiency gains?

To date, there has been little systematic research to quantify the magnitude and underlying causes of variability in groundwater access and pumping costs in the EIGP, or the resulting impacts on farmer irrigation practices and livelihoods. This note is a first step in addressing this knowledge gap and identifies potential opportunities to reduce groundwater access costs in existing diesel-pump irrigation systems in the EIGP.

Research Note 16: Regressing Forward: Agriculture Mechanization subsidy modalities in Bihar and Odisha

Farm mechanization is indispensable for enhancing agricultural productivity across the country. Over the years, the Indian government has instituted several schemes and programs to promote agricultural mechanization in the country. Until recently, state and central government schemes took the form of price subsidies, especially targeting critical farm equipment. More recently, the government has shifted to direct benefit transfers (DBT) for all agricultural inputs, including farm implements. This note describes and analyzes the current DBT process.

Research Note 17: Why Old Seeds Continue to Dominate the Rice-Wheat Agriculture in Eastern India?

Preliminary findings of a joint ICAR-IFPRI survey covering more than 2,000 farmers from 40 districts of Bihar, eastern UP, and Odisha show that the adoption of improved varieties of rice and wheat seeds is slow in the region. This survey shows that these programs have had a limited impact. Rice and wheat together cover more than two-thirds of the gross cropped area (GCA) in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh and rice alone accounts for 46% of GCA in Odisha. Why is the adoption of improved seeds so slow for the main crops in these states?

Research Note 18: Mental models and the potential for crop intensification in coastal Bangladesh: How do farmers’ perceptions reflect proposed agricultural development pathways?

The objectives of this study were to analyze farmers’ perceptions of their predominant farming systems and explore corresponding constraints and perceptions of the use of surface water as a means to intensify farm management. The Government of Bangladesh has placed emphasis on intensified winter season cropping in the coastal south of Bangladesh by using surface water irrigation to alleviate moisture constraints. Few policy documents or programs working to achieve this consider the importance of farmers’ perceptions and their potential interest in intensification. Where target groups of people can be identified that are most likely to spearhead intensification, development programs can be made more efficient, effective, and influential. We, therefore, accounted for farmers’ perceptions of different farming components and interest in intensified management and surface water irrigation using methods commonly applied in socioecological systems analysis, namely fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM). 

Research Note 19: Seeds, Water, and Markets to Increase Wheat Productivity in Bihar, India

This research note analyzes the four major factors that contribute to low wheat yields in Bihar. The note begins by discussing the impact of the high cost of diesel-powered irrigation and under-application of irrigation on delays in the sowing of wheat, persistent use of old varieties, and its correlation with lower yields. Also, the role of poor price realization of wheat in resulting in lower wheat yields in Bihar to argue for improving procurement prices in the region. It finalizes with the description of the data, methods, and additional statistics.

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