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Use of Contingent Valuation to Assess Farmer Preference for On-farm Conservation of Minor Millets: Case from South India

Raghu, P.T. and Das, S. and Ravi, S.B. and King, E.D.I.O (2012): Use of Contingent Valuation to Assess Farmer Preference for On-farm Conservation of Minor Millets: Case from South India. Published in: Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics , Vol. 3, No. 67 (2012): pp. 294-307.

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Smallholder farmers all over the world, particularly in regions of rich agro-biodiversity contribute to on-farm conservation. Past and present agricultural progress could not have happened neither without these genetic resources nor the associated farmer knowledge. Six species of minor millets are grown in India on more than 2 million hectares. The Kolli Hills in Tamil Nadu has been a region where five of these millet species have been under cultivation over the last several hundred years. These minor millets are currently under threat due to high competition from tapioca (cassava) as well as easy access to PDS rice at low cost. Over last three decades there has been decline in the millet area and number of farmers cultivating these species. It is in this context that this study attempts to examine the role of farmer incentive mechanisms to conserve minor millets in Kolli Hills. The millet varieties existing in the study area were classified either as most preferred varieties (MPVs) or least preferred varieties (LPVs) by the farmer respondents based on their yield and consumption preferences. The farmer willingness to accept compensation to participate in the conservation programme is estimated using a contingent valuation method (CVM). Seemingly unrelated bivariate probit regression was used to estimate the determinants of willing to participate in on-farm conservation of minor millets. The result shows that the impact of bid value is significant and positive to participate in the on-farm millet conservation of MPVs. The farmers participating is millet related organization are willing to accept lower compensation for MPVs and higher for LPVs compared to farmers who are not participating in such organization.

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