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Land 2017, 6(3), 58; doi:10.3390/land6030058

Efficiency of Conservation Agriculture Production Systems for Smallholders in Rain-Fed Uplands of India: A Transformative Approach to Food Security

1
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
2
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai 600113, India
3
Farming Systems Ecology Group, Wageningen University and Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
4
Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar 751003, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [912 KB, uploaded 24 August 2017]   |  

Abstract

With challenges from global climate change, it is imperative to enhance food production using climate-smart technologies and maximize farm efficiency. Fifty-six households in Rudhiapada and Badamahulidiha, Odisha, India were selected to evaluate farmers’ efficiency using conservation agriculture (CA) cropping system practices. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) and regression analysis were used to estimate farmer efficiency and the determinants of yield. Conventional tillage with the local maize cultivar was compared to reduced tillage with improved maize cultivar and maize intercropped with cowpea. Badamahulidiha outperformed Rudhiapada in yields for all cropping systems. This could be attributed to lower input use and exposure to NGO training. The current efficiency level of farmers’ productivity was between 0.4 and 0.7. Inputs such as labor, seed, and fertilizers were found to be significant in increasing yield except for female labor and phosphate. This finding suggests conservation agriculture cropping system is female friendly. The conservation agriculture cropping systems improved maize yields by 60% to 70% when compared to conventional farming system. Combining conservation agriculture practices with improving efficiency of farmers in optimal use of the inputs can contribute substantially to productivity, thus enhancing food security and nutrition in the face of climate change in India and other tropical areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: conservation agriculture cropping system; maize-based system; technical efficiency; transdisciplinary approach; tribal villages; intercrop conservation agriculture cropping system; maize-based system; technical efficiency; transdisciplinary approach; tribal villages; intercrop
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chan, C.; Sipes, B.; Ayman, A.; Zhang, X.; LaPorte, P.; Fernandes, F.; Pradhan, A.; Chan-Dentoni, J.; Roul, P. Efficiency of Conservation Agriculture Production Systems for Smallholders in Rain-Fed Uplands of India: A Transformative Approach to Food Security. Land 2017, 6, 58.

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