Socioeconomic and Agroecological Determinants of Conserving Diversity On-farm: The Case of Rice Genetic Resources in Nepal
Keywords:Diversity indices, dominance, evenness, on-farm conservation, rice diversity, richness
AbstractConservation of crop genetic resources presents a challenge of identifying specific determinants
driving maintenance of diversity at farm and agroecosystems. The objectives of this study were to
identify socioeconomic, market and agroecological determinants of farmers’ maintenance of rice
diversity at the household level and derive implications for policies in designing on-farm
conservation programs. We assess spatial rice diversity at farm level using household survey
data. A household decision making model is conceptualised using microeconomic theory to assess
and identify factors influencing on-farm rice diversity. The model is then tested econometrically by
using various factors affecting farmers’ variety choice and diversity decisions. The findings show
that household-specific socioeconomic, agroecological and market factors are important in
determining on-farm rice diversity. The significant variables in explaining richness and evenness of
rice diversity include distance to the nearest market, subsistence ratio, modern variety sold, land
types and adult labour working in agriculture. The statistical signs of the factors determining rice
diversity are consistent in explaining the richness, dominance and evenness among rice varieties.
Finally, the study implies that the cost-effective means of promoting and sustaining on-farm
conservation programmes is to target them in market isolated geographic locations of high crop
diversity where farm households have more heterogeneity of agroecological conditions and more
active family adult labour working on-farm.
Key words: Diversity indices; dominance; evenness; on-farm conservation; rice diversity; richness
Nepal Agriculture Research Journal Vol.6 2005 pp.49-5
How to Cite
This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.