The Goal of this DFID-funded project was to improve rural livelihoods
through accelerated adoption of resource conserving technologies (RCTs).
This is the report of the study conducted by Narendra Deva University of
Agriculture and Technology (NDUA&T).
Farmers in two villages, Vishunpurva (an adopted village) and Dammar Jot
(a non-adopted village) were assigned to one of the four socio-economic
groups, i.e. landless, marginal, subsistence or large (= food
surplus/cash cropping farmers), depending on their ability to take risks
involved in adopting new technologies.
Data collected under Output 1 indicated that all socio-economic groups
have benefited from using the zero tillage (ZT) machine. However, in
terms of adoption, at the outset of the project the larger (food surplus
and subsistence) farmers were using the machine more than the poorer
groups. The main benefit is income generated from the sales of increased
production. There does appear to be an issue of labour displacement; the
extent to which this is a problem remains unclear and it is recommended
that the project team continues to monitor the situation.
On investigating the ways in which farmers access information, for
Output 2, it was found that larger (food surplus and subsistence)
farmers have many more channels available to them whereas the marginal
and landless have the fewest. Women farmers are dependent on their
families for new knowledge and information.
The channels of information range from government departments and the
private sector to farmers’ fairs and local meetings known as
'chaupal'. On further scrutiny, the channels of support available do
not tailor their information to meet the specific needs of all
socio-economic groups of farmers. It was revealed that ‘one message
does not fit all’.
Researchers identified that marginal farmers much preferred on-farm
activities such as demonstrations and explanations on site, and exposure
visits to local farms whereas the larger food surplus and subsistence
farmers preferred to engage in dialogue with manufacturers and
scientists. The project team recommended a community based workshop for
disseminating information so that women can also participate.
The project team has demonstrated that through improved knowledge, the
adoption of the ZT machine increased among the marginal groups but
decreased among food surplus farmers. This was because the food surplus
farmers were hiring their machines out rather than using them themselves
in order to raise a cash income. During this research it became apparent
that many of the machines in use in the satellite and sub-satellite
villages were there as a result of the KVK demonstration model which had
been introduced prior to this CABI project. The real test of long term
adoption will only become apparent when support for these models are
removed from the project satellite and sub-satellite villages.
Data collected from the researchers did show that in the satellite and
sub-satellite villages, the area of wheat sown using the ZT machine
ranged from 8-16% of the area of traditionally sown wheat. This does
indicate that some change is taking place but the real success will be
when this figure reaches more than 70%. This will only be achieved
through using appropriate knowledge dissemination practices.
This report is associated with this work:
Assessing the Impact of Resource Conserving Technologies in the Indo-Gangetic Plain: Identifying Agricultural Knowledge Systems and Overcoming Blockages to Enhance Uptake of Agricultural Technologies to Optimise Pro-Poor Development
CABI-Europe, UK, 41 pp.