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The spillover effects of seed producer groups on non-member farmers in mid-hill communities of Nepal
Alwang, Jeffrey R.
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Rice farmers in the mid-hills region of Nepal are vulnerable to drought, which can drastically reduce yields. Stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs) can mitigate this vulnerability, as can having a high seed replacement rate (SRR) and using best management practices (BMPs) in rice cultivation. In 2013, IFAD established and trained 12 seed producer groups (SPGs) across three districts in Nepal to improve local access to STRV seed. This paper presents propensity-score weighted regressions used to estimate the spillover effects of SPGs on the adoption of STRVs and BMPs and the SRR of non-member households in villages with an SPG, or that are next to a village that had an SPG, compared to randomly selected villages in the region. Non-member households in SPG villages are 18 percentage points more likely to have grown an STRV for at least one season, 15 percentage points more likely to have grown an STRV in 2018 and 23 percentage points more likely to have grown an STRV in 2017, compared to non-member households in randomly selected villages. Non-member households in adjacent villages are 19 percentage points more likely to have grown an STRV in 2017 compared to those in randomly selected villages. Non-members in SPG villages also have a higher SRR and are more likely to follow some BMPs compared to non-members in randomly selected villages. Results show that SPGs have the potential to improve the resilience of their local communities in the face of climate change.