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  • 479KHON KAEN AGR. J. 44 (3) : 479-490 (2016). KHON KAEN AGR. J. 44 (3) : 479-490 (2016). 44 (3) : 479-490 (2559).

    Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Farmers Adoption of Stone Jatropha (Vernicia montana) Cultivation in Northern Lao PDR

    Khambai Phunthavongsa1, Thanaporn Athipanyakul2 and Naruemol Kaewjampa1*

    ABSTRACT: This paper reports the findings of socio-economic factors affecting farmers adoption of Stone Jatropha (Vernicia montana) in Xiengnguen district, Luangprabang province, north of Lao PDR. Data collection was gathered from 156 Stone Jatropha farmers, using stratified random sampling techniques. Descriptive statistics and percentage, means, standard deviation using chi-square test and t-test were employed for the analysis of data. The influencing factors and the impact of Stone Jatropha adoption using logit models were also examined. The findings revealed that adopters of socio-economic variables included level of education, ethnic group, main occupation, second occupation, religion, key decision makers, household income, trust in buyer and land holding. Socio-economic interaction influence certain factors which are key decision makers, trust in buyer and education level show to influence the decision of farmers adoption was significant at p

  • 480 44 (3) : 479-490 (2559).

    or tung oil tree in Lao, Thailand and China

    respectively for a production of biodiesel. This

    plant is a member of Euphorbiaceae family. It is

    a shrub that has milky, latex texture and very

    small. Typically, it has greenish flowers, which

    change to a brown bark with age (Chen et al.,

    2010). A significance of this crop in tropical and

    subtropical agriculture has been recognized for

    vegetative soil erosion protection, industrial use,

    sufficiency economy production using Vernicia

    montana oil for subsidy on household use,

    improving income of rural livelihoods and

    alleviating poverty problem. Stone Jatropha can

    be used as feedstock for biodiesel and is very

    popular around the world, especially in Africa and

    Southeast Asia. With no exception, cultivated

    areas in Lao PDR are more than 13,000 ha in

    2015. In Luangprabang province alone, the total

    area of 7,421 ha has already been cultivated (Lao

    Government, 2015).

    While parallel to development of renewable

    energy resources, energy efficiency and energy

    conservation issues have played a more and more

    important role in the energy sector in Lao PDR

    (Gaillard et al., 2010). The biodiesel project was

    completed by 2009. It is always a case linking to

    food security, and poverty issues, when growing

    plant for different purposes. Farmers, however,

    have their own choice to convert their food crops

    to fuel crops and naturally expect a high return

    from their farmland, despite, generating a

    scenario where food production falls (Escobar

    et al., 2009; Kumar et al., 2009). Economics of

    production of biodiesel is a determining factor in

    making biofuel programs successful. However,

    the benefits obtained from the farmer practices of

    upland agricultural farming, including this

    program, are relatively low and sometimes the

    total income was barely sufficient to cover the

    financial input (Lua et al., 2013). To date, there is

    no research on adoption of Stone Jatropha in Lao

    PDR. The challenge therefore is to study the

    adoption of this crop, and to investigate factors

    influencing its adoption in Lao PDR. Results of this

    study can be used as guidance for policy makers

    to better understanding the process of farmers

    adoption, for instance, how to quantify the change

    in the number of adopters over time to evaluate

    the impact of biodiesel program in Lao PDR.


    Population, sample size and data collection

    The survey was conducted in 2014 in

    Xiengnguen district, northern region of Luangpra-

    bang province (Zone 48Q, 204816.56mE,

    2187387.03mN), Lao PDR (Figure 1). The

    stratified random sampling technique was applied

    for select two farming villages (Samakeesay and

    Donmo) in this area. There were 156 farmers

    involved, which can be distinguished into two

    groups; 1) 67 farmers, who grew Stone Jatropha

    (adopter) and 2) 89 farmers, who did not grow

    this crop (non-adopter). These sample size was

    selected base on sample size equation (1)

    (Yamane, 1973). Selected farmers were

    randomly interviewed to achieve a reasonably

    significant level at p

  • 481KHON KAEN AGR. J. 44 (3) : 479-490 (2016).

    Figure 1 The study area in Xiengnguen district, Luangprabang province, Lao PDR

    Questionnaire survey and interview

    A household questionnaire was designed and

    administered for this study. It explored information

    on socio-economic characteristics of households,

    their farming systems, land holding, farm resource

    endowments, farmer perception on the Stone

    Jatropha systems and farm management data,

    etc. The interview of 156 famers focus group

    consist of 67 adopters and 89 non-adopters was

    used to conduct early after the household

    questionnaire administration was completed to

    ensure that individual farmer was significant

    proportion of the total number of households in

    each village an influencing an outcome of the

    farmers group argument on implementation. In

    addition, in-depth key interviews and focus group

    interviewees were held to determine the factors

    influencing adoption

    Conceptual framework

    The conceptual framework of this study is

    based on the theory of diffusion of innovations.

    According to the theory, the innovation decision

    process can lead to either adoption, a decision

    to make full use of an innovation as well as the

    best course of action variable, or rejection, a

    decision not to adopt innovation. Such a decision

    can be reversed at a later point (Roger, 2003).

    Wstenhagen et a l . (2007) opined that

    technology adoption is a dynamic process in

    which information is gathered. Learning and

    experience play a pivotal role, particularly in the

    early stage of adoption. The adoption pathway of

    Stone Jatropha (Vernicia montana) cultivation is

    hypothesised to be influenced by a host of

    variables, we categorize variables broadly under

    personal factors (gender, age, marital status,

    number of household, relative, education level,

    main occupation, ethnic group, religion and key

    decision maker), physical factors (land holding

    and land rent) and economic factors (income and

    trust in the buyer) on the literature review of

    farmers adoption behaviour (Gebrezgabher et al.,

    2015). Personal characteristics, age, gender,

  • 482 44 (3) : 479-490 (2559).

    education, main occupation, ethnic group, relative

    and religion are considered the important

    influential factors affecting adoption of Stone

    Jatropha cultivation in agricultural and social

    aspects that are also important to a determination

    of the adoption behaviour of the farmers. Under

    social characteristics, there are the influences of

    individuals perception about Stone Jatropha

    cultivation and his/her attitude about social

    acceptance are considered, while perception of

    an individual is related to locally perceived

    benefits (Mwangi, 2015). As an economic factor,

    household income is used to examine the

    influence of standard of living on the decision of

    practicing Jatropha cultivation. Moreover, the

    nature of primary occupation, present cultivated

    area and accessibility to land resources are

    also included under economic factors. The

    conceptual framework of the determinants of

    Stone Jatropha cultivation is present in Figure 2

    Figure 2 Conceptual framework of farmers adopting innovation

    Theoretical framework

    Independent variable

    Socio-economic status of farmers in the study

    included age, number of household members,

    education level, household income, land holding,

    land rent. Data editing and coding took place

    before statistical analysis using SPSS program

    was commenced. Summary and illustration of

    findings were carried out through descriptive

    statistics including frequencies, mean and

    standard deviation. Finally, establishment of

    significantly influencing selected socio-economic

    factors adoption and sustainability of the Stone

    Jatropha (Vernicia montana) cultivation was done

    through hypothesis testing by using Pearsons

    Chi-square (2). This test was suitable as the

    scale, nominal and ordinal with the categories of

    farmers who either adopted and farmers who were

    non-adopters of Stone Jatropha (Vernicia

    montana). The test were performed at a 5% level

    of significance (p

  • 483KHON KAEN AGR. J. 44 (3) : 479-490 (2016).

    The unknown model parameters 0, 1 .n are ordinarily estimated by maximum likelihood. The odds ratio in of favour of practising

    Stone Jatropha cultivation can be written in

    equation (3)

    Li=In .. (3)

    The dependent variable is the natural log of

    the probability of a household engaging in

    adoption of Stone Jatropha (Pi) divided by the

    probability of not engaging in non-adoption Stone



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