Gender differentiated small-scale farm mechanization in Nepal hills: An application of exogenous switching treatment regression. uri icon

abstract

  • Farm mechanization among smallholder farming systems in developing countries is emerging as a viable option to off-set the effects of labor out-migration and shortages that undermine agricultural productivity. However, there is limited empirical literature on gender and farm mechanization. This study assesses the impacts of the gender of household heads on mini-tiller adoption in the hills of Nepal, using an exogenous switching treatment regression model. Our findings reveal that there is a significant gender gap in mini-tiller adoption between male-headed households (MH-HHs) and female-headed households (FH-HHs). Compared to MH-HHs, the mini-tiller adoption rate is significantly lower among the FH-HHs, and a large amount of unobserved heterogeneity is deriving this difference. Moreover, when MH-HHs and FH-HHs have similar observed attributes, the mini-tiller adoption rate among the food insecure FH-HHs is higher than in the food secure group. The gender-differentiated mini-tiller adoption rate can be minimized primarily by enhancing market access. Findings suggest that farm mechanization policies and programs targeted to the FH-HHs can reduce the gender-differentiated adoption gap in Nepal and similar hill production agro-ecologies in South Asia, which will enhance the farm yield and profitability.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020