Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Sustainable Cotton Production through Skill Development among Farmers: Evidence from Khairpur District of Sindh, Pakistan

Khan, M. Azeem and Iqbal, Muhammad (2005): Sustainable Cotton Production through Skill Development among Farmers: Evidence from Khairpur District of Sindh, Pakistan. Published in: The Pakistan Development Review , Vol. 44, No. 4 (2005): pp. 695-716.

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This study on farmers’ training in environment friendly production practices for cotton crop was conducted in the Khairpur district of Sindh province. Data used in this study comprises baseline and post IPM Farmer Field School (FFS) impact surveys conducted during 2001 and 2003 respectively. The programme impacts were estimated on gross margins and changes in farmers’ attitude towards environment and biodiversity. The effect of training on social recognition of farmers, their experimentations abilities, and decision making skills were also examined. Beside single difference comparisons of change in production practices between trained and non-trained farmers, the difference in difference (DD) method was also used for comparisons among FFS farmers, exposed farmers and un-exposed farmers from control villages. The stochastic production frontier model incorporating inefficiency effects is also estimated to analyze the impact of farmers’ training (through FFS) on productivity and efficiency at cotton farms in the study area. Results show better cotton yield and reduction in cost of pesticides and fertilizer inputs enabled FFS farmers to fetch significantly higher gross margins (US$ 391/ha) than non-FFS (US$ 151/ha) and Control farms (US$ 25/ha). The total application of pesticide chemicals was largely reduced (44%) on FFS farms. The cost of inefficiency at FFS farms was lower (23.71%) as compared to those on non-FFS farms (30.50%) which implies that FFS farmers were able to maintain higher level of technical efficiency. It is concluded that the FFS approach is not only cost efficient but also improves farm level technical efficiency. Information generated through Agro-ecosystem analysis on pest and predator dynamics helps farmers to understand pest-predator interaction to allow nature to work with lesser or most appropriate interventions. A well-planned technical backup support mechanism is recommended to be evolved through integrating research system into farmer-led experimentation. The Programme achievements show that FFS approach in Pakistan has furthered from only crop management to systems management and community development approach and should be supported further to enter into mass scale expansion state.

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