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Farm and farmer capital foster adoption of improved quality agrochemical inputs in the cotton-wheat zone of the Punjab, Pakistan
Adoption of yield-enhancing agricultural inputs fosters agricultural intensification in low-income countries. In Pakistan, initial adoption of agrochemicals is already widespread; the low quality of much of the inputs contributes to severe health, environmental and enduring pest problems, however. While the positive influence of farm capital and farmer capital on initial adoption is well documented, the adoption of improved quality inputs is little researched. We reduce the knowledge gap investigating smallholder adoption of improved quality agrochemical inputs in the Punjab, Pakistan. Using multi-stage random sampling, a pre-tested and piloted farming household survey was administered to smallholder farming households from 18 villages across three districts of the cotton-wheat zone (N=275). Ordered probit models show that several farming and farm capital variables (cotton crop area, farm machinery, no-tillage farming, adoption in the neighbourhood) as well as several farmer capital variables (age, education, off-farm income, agricultural extension services, source of agricultural credit) influence adoption of improved quality agrochemical inputs. Of these variables, an intensification of agricultural extension service visits appears as the most promising policy option. From a fundamental science point of view, our results provide, for the first time, evidence that adoption of improved quality agrochemical inputs is influenced principally by the same variables as initial adoption.