Understanding the geographic pattern of diffusion of modern crop varieties in India: a multilevel modeling approach uri icon


  • The diffusion of agricultural technologies is influenced by a number of factors, including the farm-, household- and location-specific characteristics, institutions, infrastructures, and agri-food policies. The empirical literature, however, focuses largely on the household-level factors, ignoring the higher-level factors that simultaneously may influence the technology diffusion process. Employing a multilevel modeling approach this paper analyzes the mutually reinforcing and reciprocal relationships between people (compositional effects) and places (contextual effects) to know the relative importance of different geographical or administrative levels in the diffusion of modern crop varieties in India. The findings show strong contextual effects of states (i.e., policies) and also equally strong compositional effects of the between household differences. These findings suggest the need for a greater policy emphasis on agricultural research and dissemination of its outputs, and redressal of the constraints that farmers face in switching over to new technologies and innovations. Further, the findings also suggest that relaxing credit and information constraints will accelerate the spread of technology diffusion. The contextual effects of the intermediate geographical levels are small, and point towards strengthening coordination between different geographical levels for faster dissemination of technologies and subsequent realization of their economic and social outcomes.

publication date

  • 2021
  • 2020