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Challenges for efficient land use in rice production of northern Iran: The use of modern cultivars among small-scale farmers

Ashoori, Daryoush, Allahyari, Mohammad Sadegh, Damalas, Christos A., Bagheri, Asghar
Land use policy 2018 v.76 pp. 29-35
crop production, cultivars, developing countries, extension agents, farmers, information exchange, land use, livestock, paddies, profitability, questionnaires, regression analysis, rice, socioeconomics, surveys, Iran
In recent decades, precision technologies and agronomic innovations have spread widely in rice production, but a lag in adoption, particularly in developing countries, is often noted. A survey of 400 rice farmers was conducted on the basis of a structured questionnaire to collect data on the nature and reasoning behind the use of improved rice cultivars by paddy farmers in Guilan Province, Iran. Improved cultivars were used by 42.8% of the farmers. Almost half of the farmers perceived high profitability (55.2%) and high importance (49.8%) of this technology. Nevertheless, a noticeable fraction of the farmers perceived no profitability (14.8%) or no importance (12.5%) of this technology, while 9.8% and 16.2% of the farmers were not aware about these features of the technology. A close cooperation with other farmers about common production problems was observed for most farmers (60.5%). However, most farmers had low cooperation with extension agents (58.5%) and low participation in activities recommended by the local agricultural offices (59.8%). Logistic regression analysis revealed that the adoption of improved cultivars was determined by the perceived profitability of the technology, the perceived importance (necessity) of the technology, the experience in rice growing, and the number of livestock, with a positive relationship. Findings provide opportunities for more efficient land use in rice production by promoting the use of modern rice cultivars among small-scale farmers. Low adoption of improved cultivars is not related to the inappropriateness of the technology, but rather with the inconsistency of the technology with farming socio-economic conditions. Any attempt to promote adoption should consider the role of farmers in the information transfer to other farmers. Providing subsidized long-term facilities to low-income farmers’ groups would also promote adoption.