CSISA-IFPRI, as part of their ongoing study to understand factors that cause delays in planting of rice and wheat in Bihar, conducted interviews with 86 extension workers in the state. The surveys were conducted in-person across the eight districts – Aurangabad, Bhojpur, Buxar, Jehanabad, Ladkisarai, Munger, Sarana and Siwan.
These are the same districts where a corresponding farmer survey was conducted in early 2022. The survey comprised major grassroots workers such as district & block agriculture extension officers, farmer friends (Krishi Salahakar), ATMA technical officers and KVK scientists. The experts were contacted with the help of existing CSISA staff, wherever possible. Along with capturing the basic details such as the respondent’s expertise, experience in agriculture, and viewpoints about the problem of delayed cropping decisions in the state, a best-worst-scaling experiment was conducted with each respondent, asking them to rank alternative strategies that can help with timely wheat sowing. The six factors were cheap irrigation, labor availability, tractors for land preparation, short-duration paddy seed variety, timely and reliable weather forecast, and zero tillage for wheat sowing.
The current data supplements the expert survey data collected through online surveys with 61 scientists during mid-August 2022. These surveys, together, now provide us with rich data capturing the differences in preferences of various interest groups- scientists (idea generators), local extension workers (idea implementers), and farmers (actual practitioners)- concerning cropping decisions and the knowledge gaps that exist between them.
The team is currently analyzing the data with a focus on multinomial logit models to understand preference heterogeneity.