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Japan (JSPS) India (ICSSR) Joint Research Project

Title: Moving Towards Climate Resilient Agriculture: Understanding the Factors Influencing Adoption in India and Japan

  1. Research Proposal and Objective

The overall objective of this study is to understand the prioritization of farmers regarding adoption of Climate smart agriculture (CSA) options/practices and to assess the impact of such adoption on household’s economic wellbeing in India and Japan. It will also examine the Government’s role in promoting CSA adoption.
The specific objectives are: 1) to find out the determining factors that influence farmer household’s decision to adopt or dis-adopt CSA options in India and Japan, 2) to assess the socio-economic impacts of CSA options adopted by households, 3) to investigate the role of local, community level and other macro institutions in determining the feasibility of CSA adoption, 4) to explore the possibilities of mutual learning both institutional and socio-economic aspects of adoption of CSA, both at micro and macro level and, 5) to make comparative analysis of Indian and Japanese cases.
This study will be undertaken in the states of Karnataka and Odisha in India and in Saitama,
Gunma and Niigata prefectures in Japan. The necessary research material and data will be collected from various authorities, officials, informants and farmers at state/prefecture, district/taluk, town, village and household levels. Climate variable data; rainfall, temperature and other recorded information will be collected from respective record keeping institutions, archives and so on. Whereas primary data will be gathered by interviews of key informants, focus group discussions, household surveys, participatory rural appraisals and actual participations and observations. Clustered random sampling will be done for survey site selection while the household sampling will be done randomly (India) and or purposively (Japan) according to the suitability of the region. Cereals that are staple crops forming the main diet of the region will be focused in the study. Different kinds of CSA adopted
by the farmers to mitigate and or adapt to the climate change and extremes, the probable reasons for such adoptions, role of local and macro level institutions and policies in adopting such CSA, and their impact on yield of the crops, farm income and livelihood be will be studied in detail.

The analysis will be done using mix method of qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. In case of India, importance will be given to quantitative analysis and hence a good number, some 300 samples from two ecological zones; inland arid and coastal, will be randomly surveyed with detail questionnaire. Appropriate econometric models will be used for the purpose. In case of Japan it will be in-depth study of representative cases and the analysis will be more qualitative. Considering the difference of CSA, the comparative analysis of findings in India and Japan will be qualitative. The expected results will provide an in-depth analysis on the understanding of drivers of CSA technology adoption, barriers of adoption and the broader impacts. This study will also provide insights regarding the prioritization of technology adoption, farmers’ understanding about the technical aspects of the CSA options, initial investment required to adopt, farmers perception regarding short term and long term benefits and the institutional support. Such findings will help the policymakers to (re)design the programs to promote CSA options. Further, the impacts of specific technology adoption will serve as guidelines for which options to be promoted, both at local and regional levels. Financial feasibility of the options will help the local institutions that are involved in CSA promotion to prepare programs on those specific options, which in turn will also equip the
regional or national policymakers to build institutional support required for adoption of these specific options. Such exercise will increase the adaptability of CSA innovations and their out scaling at a larger context, towards sustainable agriculture and food security. The comparative analysis of findings of India and Japan cases will help to assess respective
strength and shortcomings of their adopted CSAs and hence learn from each other to further improve the CSAs that are being practiced location specifically in both the countries. The results will be disseminated by presenting them at major international conferences and
publishing in major international journals. In order to enhance the impact of the research, reports will be presented to the concerned institutions and governmental bodies. A special website will also be created to disseminate working papers and research reports. Research outputs will also be disseminated through media that target policy makers, social/economic groups and people at large.

2. Importance and expected results of the research proposal

Many researchers have been attempting to measure the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity and profitability and assess farmers’ adaptation strategies to climate change in agriculture. First research issue provides precise estimates of the extent of yield and income losses due to climate change induced weather events. The impact of climate change on agricultural yield and net revenue has been done by using two broad approaches; agronomic (or crop simulation) and economic modelling, particularly Ricardian approaches (World Bank Report, 2010). These types of research have been widely conducted in developing countries, as well.
The second issue provides insights on farmers’ behavior towards adaptation strategies. The
present study is focused on the second research issue. Although several studies have used qualitative and quantitative methods to measure the economic impacts of adoption of CSA practices, there is a paucity of rigorous evidence on India, especially Southern India and cross country comparative studies. The current research which proposes to collaborate between Japanese and Indian researchers, with in-depth studies aim to capture this. The econometric model proposed for India, i.e., the two fold analysis, first adoption decision of CSA using multinomial logit model and second, assessing the impact of adoption using instrumental variable regression model (IV), endogenous switching regression (ESR) model, propensity score matching (PSM) methods and regression discontinuity method, used in this research is still rare.
Hence, it can be said that this research is digging the issue deeper ahead of the others. In case of Japan, timeline information of CSAs and their use and transformation, such as less use of nitrogen fertilizers, promotion of organic manure, alternative wetting and drying in paddy cultivation, promotion of land races and development of climate resilient varieties, ecological/symbiotic farming of plants, insects, birds and animals known to contribute to save the birds (Japanese crested ibis), salamanders and so on from being extinct. The study of the Japanese institutions and extension services contributing to such practices also will be analyzed meticulously from the perspectives of FAO and evaluate their contemporary relevance. To our knowledge, not much research has been in this aspect so far. It will be also a unique characteristic of this research. Further, the evidence on feasibility of CSA adoption and their likely impacts have been myopic in the sense that they depend on data collected at one point in point. The current study aims to set up a monitoring mechanism (in India) in which continuous monitoring of the impacts can be done and results be evaluated. Japanese extension service and “one village one product” started in Oita Prefecture, now practiced worldwide will be explored for the purpose.

Young researchers are incorporated in this study as research assistants so that they can
experience and gain knowledge not only on the research issues of different countries/regions. The findings of this study will be used as lecture notes in universities and other teaching institutions. The published articles will be available for wider audience, academic and at large. CSA practice is a dynamic subject to study since most of the impacts especially the ecological impacts can be experienced only in the medium to long run. The collaboration between Japanese and Indian teams will be useful in learning the experiences from one country and implement in the other. This, along with the monitoring mechanism is expected to have mid/long term impact on this issue.
In Indian climate change and agriculture policy context, CSA practices are still in the beginning phase. Hence, credible evidence is very crucial to help governments prepare their work plan effectively. The proposed research aims to prepare that credible evidence on the feasibility and applicability of the CSA practices in certain agro-ecological contexts and possibilities of mutual learning for both the countries. This will definitely become the necessary inputs for policy formulation that would enhance the welfare of the farmers and the consumers. It will also contribute in securing the food for growing population and also preserve the earth better for future.

Note: World Bank. 2010. World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change. Washington, DC. © World Bank. License: CC BY3.0 IGO. (visited on August 16, 2018)


Nepal Research Project

1) Research Proposal and objective

Deterioration of Nepal’s economic condition has made life difficult for the Nepalese people. We propose that research is needed to try and grasp how agriculture and various economic activities at the regional level in rural areas are being performed in order to come up with policy recommendations that can help improve this present condition. The main objective of this research will be to focus upon ways to improve the livelihood of people in the local community through the development of community organizations to ensure food security. At the same time, methods will be sought to try and involve the local administration in ensuring eco-conservation and effective regional resource use. In doing so, the economy of rural areas can be improved which will in turn benefit the overall economy of Nepal.

2) The Importance of and Expected Achievements of the Research Proposal

 Nepal is one of the least developed countries in Asia and its level of economic development is one of the worst in the world. The principal reason for this stagnation lies in the conditions found in rural Nepal. Although the area of land under cultivation has increased and thus raised overall production to a certain level, this has not been accompanied with an increase in productivity. To add to this, there are very few other economic activities for rural people to engage in so as to maintain their livelihood. On the one hand, the population growth rate had remained above the 2% level and the increases in production may not be meeting the demand for foodstuffs. On the other hand, environmental degradation may be taking its toll on agriculture and the general rural economic situation. Due to such “push factors”, those living in rural areas can migrate to urban areas or other countries in order to maintain their livelihood. This migration destabilizes rural areas which in turn worsens the already desperate situation and makes it increasingly difficult to escape from their impoverished condition.

  One mid to long term solution to such a condition is to have the rural people find ways to ensure their food security with the rural region. For the purpose of this research proposal, we will place emphasis upon maximum utilization of regional resources. The tackling of agricultural and rural problems is of extreme importance to a country such as Nepal because 80% of the population live in poverty with over 60% living below the absolute poverty line.

3) Summary of Research Proposal

 From east to west, Nepal is divided into 5 development zones (Eastern, Central, Western, Mid-Western, and Far Western Zones) and from north to south into 3 ecological regions (Southern Terai, Central Hill, and Northern Mountain regions) and development policies are implemented according to these divisions. The local level administration is divided into 75 districts (between 10 to 20 for each development zone). Despite this highly decentralized administrative structure, local development policies do not necessarily succeed. The reasons for this are that agricultural stagnation, environmental degradation, the residents needs, and administrative services are mismatched with the development policies.

With this in mind, for this research proposal we plan to study the problems facing each of the development zones. When there is a need for more detailed information during our investigations, the administrative villages of each district will be used. In such a case, in order to make the problem clear, the terai region will be excluded due to its completely different environmental and ecological characteristics. For the first two years of the research, two development zones will be focussed upon each year while in the final year only one development zone will be examined. The main research items that will be studied in each development zone will be agriculture and forestry, food supply, sustainable regional resource and eco-conservation, development policy, government and NGO activities. After completing a comprehensive examination of each development zone, a comparison will be made between each of the zones and in this way be able to provide an overall picture of the situation facing Nepal.