Highlighting mental perception gaps between professional and farm of three conservation agricultural treatments:A focus on tribal villages of Kendjuhar, India and the Himalayan foothills of Nepal

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Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management

The dissemination of information from professional to farmer regarding new and innovative agricultural practices has never been so important. With increasing global pressures of population, limited natural resources and climate change, marginal land conditions are having an increasing impact on agricultural productivity. As professionals are working on developing innovative solutions via Conservation Agricultural Production Systems (CAPS), capacity building and information dissemination have become a more significant topic in research and practice today. In the Northern tribal villages of India and the mid-hills of Nepal, smallholder, subsistence farmers, are struggling to produce crops on their minimal 2-hectare on average plots. Due to their isolation, reliance on traditional knowledge and practices, and increasing environmental and external pressures, farmers are limited in new knowledge and approaches to enhance agricultural productivity. This paper reviews 2 specific case studies (Lai et al., 2011, unpublished results; Reed et al., 2012, unpublished results) on the utilization of the Analytical Hierarchy Process to quantify and prioritize farmers’ and then professionals’ mental perceptions. Specifically, of their preference of introduced CAPS programs as they relate to specific criteria (Profit, Labor Saving, Yield and Soil Environmental Benefits) and the goal of improved income. Discussion and enhancement via literature reveals the tradeoffs of what farmers consider to be important for technology adoption next to the professionals’ who developed them. This paper highlights the mental perception gaps between professionals and farmers and the limitations to farmer adoption to better understand why farmers do not adopt in order to provide recommendations to extension professionals, NGOs, scientists and government looking to explore within this field.

Participatory processes, Conservation agriculture, Small-scale farming, Sustainable agriculture, Adoption of innovations, Agriculture, Honolulu, Hawaii, pokhara, Thumka, Hyrakrang, Khola Gaun, Nepal, Odisha, India, Analytic hierarchy process, Field Scale
Presented at the International Conference on Frontiers in Conservation Agriculture in South Asia and Beyond (F-CASA), Kathmandu, Nepal, 26 March 2013