Using analytic hierarchy process to understand smallholder perceptions of conservation agriculture adoption in Nepal and India
Tamang, Bishal B.
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Decision-making is a fundamental part of everyday life. Many decisions can simply be made with heuristics or with minimal cognitive effort or analysis on the part of the decision maker. However, decisions that involve multiple objectives or options, or complex causative relationships may require the use of decision-making analysis tools. The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) is one such method that, in recent years, has gained popularity in agricultural-related applications. In the sphere of international development, complex, multi-stakeholder decisions that could affect the livelihoods and food security of many people must be made on a regular basis. For the reason that AHP provides a mathematically based, objective analysis of multiple and conflicting viewpoints using highly subjective, qualitative data, it is an excellent candidate for the modeling of smallholder decision-making and preferences. This paper uses a case study from India and a case study from Nepal to illustrate the ways in which AHP may be used to quantify qualitative farmer preferences regarding the objectives of conservation agriculture adoption and the CA options available to them.