Watershed management and farmer conservation investments in the semi-arid tropics of India: analysis of determinants of resource use decisions and land productivity benefits uri icon


  • This paper examines the economic incentives to small farmers to undertake private soil and water conservation (SWC) investments in the context of watershed development and the determinants of land productivity benefits. Some of the important issues in this regard include: (a) on-site land productivity gains from private conservation activities and community watershed development, and (b) factors influencing farmers' decisions, productivity benefits and the level of SWC investments either independently or as complementary activities to community-based public watershed development programmes. These investments could be in the form of adoption of SWC measures, technologies, and productivity-enhancing inputs. These relationships are analysed and tracked using plot-level data collected over two seasons by ICRISAT from 120 smallholder farmers in six villages in the Indian SAT. The paper first reviews conceptual issues and the role of markets and institutions in determining farmer investment strategies. Building on these important concepts, it develops a theoretical framework for the empirical model, followed by a discussion of the results and findings and their policy implications

publication date

  • 2006