The System of Rice Intensification and Its Impacts

The System of Rice Intensification and Its Impacts

The System of Rice Intensification and Its Impacts on Household Income and Child Schooling: Evidence from Rural Indonesia Kazushi Takahashi, Institute of Developing Economies (Japan) and Christopher B. Barrett, Cornell University (USA) Deakin University seminar May 1, 2013 Motivation SRI as pro-poor, environmentally friendly innovation: Nontraditional origins (developed by missionary priest in Madagascar, not in the labs/fields of a research institute) No purchased or new external inputs needed, less H20 use Intensive use of labor; the poor commonly have surplus Controversy within rice community Repeated observations of large yields gains (50-200%) on farmers fields in multiple countries across Africa and Asia, while some experimental trials show little impact on yield (McDonald et al., 2006, 2008). Weak theoretical foundation: Science behind SRIs yield

effects remains unknown; SRI not accepted by some crop scientists (Scientific Unconfirmed Field Observations). Motivation SRI has gained international media/donor attention: A big knowledge gap What are the welfare impacts of SRI? - Amid the scientific disputes about the biology of SRI, the impacts (if any) on farmer welfare and broader economic impacts have been largely ignored. - Widespread adoption but in some places also much disadoption too are users really better off? - On-station experimental trials may not reflect farmers realities, while simple with-without comparisons among farmers or over time ignore selection effects and spurious correlation with background trends. - Especially if it requires more labor, must look beyond just partial productivity of land (yield) impacts. Our contribution Our core (as-yet-unanswered) question: What impact does SRI have on household income, including offfarm income generation, and on childrens education? Use original primary data collected in rural Indonesia to:

Identify the factors associated with SRI use Use those results to match on observables using propensity score matching (PSM) (w/tests sensitivity to unobservables) Estimate the impacts of SRI adoption on: yield and rice income/HA at plot level Farm/off-farm/total incomes, child school enrollment at hh level Our contribution Core findings: - SRI indeed generates big (~64%) yield and plotlevel rice income (107%) gains but also demands more labor, consistent with prior findings. - SRI users have lower off-farm earnings, especially womens self-employed earnings and as a result have no significant total household income gains - SRI users children show no difference in school enrollment patterns What is SRI? SRI is a systems-based rice production approach/ technology characterized by a suite of agronomic practices and principles: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Early transplanting of young seedlings (8-12 days old) Shallow planting (1-2 cm) of one or two seedlings sparse planting density (more than 20 20 cm) intermittent irrigation (alternate wetting and drying) No new seed, agrochemicals, etc. and less water required It is commonly held that SRI is complex and careful/ timely water management and weed control are required. Thus both higher yields and higher yield risk (Barrett et al. AJAE 2004). What is SRI? SRI Seedling (10 days after Seeding) Non-SRI Seedlings (30 days after seeding) Photos by Nippon Koei

What is SRI? Wet Dry Photos by Nippon Koei What is SRI? SRI NonSRI Photo by Christine Moser (Madagascar) What is SRI? Photos by Nippon Koei Impact Evaluation We want to know avg treatment effect on the treated (ATT), but it is impossible to observe the outcome of SRIadopters had they not adopted SRI. So use PSM to match conditional on probability of SRI use, as estimable based on plot- and household-level observable characteristics.

But we know that SRI uptake is highly non-random, with > of yields gains due to farmer- or plot-specific observables/unobservables (Barrett et al. AJAE 2004). So (i) try to elicit/control for some unobservables, (ii) do sensitivity testing using Rosenbaum (2002) bounds and Ichino et al. (2008) methods. Data Jeneponto District, South Sulawesi, Indonesia Poor, agriculture-dependent region Annual rainfall is limited (1,000 mm-1,500 mm/year) Irrigation project funded by JICA SRI promoted under the scheme since 2002 Sample: 864 rice farmers (122 SRI adopters/742 nonadopters), with 1202 rice plots after 2009 wet season Descriptive Stats 1 Mean Household Characteristics # of Cultivated Plots Total Land Size Adopt SRI SRI Experience SRI Experience conditional on SRI uptake Plot Characteristics

Adopt SRI Young Seedling Shallow Planting Parse Planting Intermittent Irrigation Full Adoption of SRI sd (ha) (%) (years) (years) 1.43 0.64 14.12 0.71 4.31 0.8 0.6 34.8 1.9

2.8 (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) 13.98 13.64 13.14 13.56 11.15 9.98 34.69 34.34 33.80 34.25 31.49 29.99 Descriptive Stats 2

SRI NonSRI Diff Plot level outcomes ( n=168 SRI, 1,034 non-SRI) Yield (ton/ha) 5.50 Rice income per ha (Mn Rp) 6.67 Household level outcomes ( n=122 SRI, 742 non-SRI) 2.95 2.46 2.54*** 4.21*** 493.7*** Monthly Total Farm income

(000 RP) 732.50 238.80 Monthly Total off-farm labor income (000 RP) 543.90 503.90 (000 RP) 398.10 272.30 125.80 o/w Self-employed non-farm income (000 RP) 145.90

231.60 1276.50 742.70 533.7*** o/w Off-farm wage earnings Monthly Total labor income (000 RP) 40.06 -85.69 SRI yields +86%, rice income +171%, hh income +72% are these gains attributable to SRI? Probit SRI Use Estimates Table 4. Selected Probit Results of SRI Use at Plot Level VARIABLES Plot upstream Plot midstream

Plot receives water directly from canal Size of plot (ha) Number of plots a household operates Dummy equal to 1 if a household head is female Number of HH members age 6 and below Number of HH members age 15 and above Number of HH members age between 6-14 At least one technology advisor ever adopted SRI Risk averse Pseudo R2 Estimate 0.802*** 0.488** 0.947*** 0.243* -0.121** -0.823*** -0.330*** 0.071** 0.026 1.843*** -0.425* 0.379

(SE) (0.238) (0.199) (0.222) (0.141) (0.052) (0.294) (0.070) (0.032) (0.073) (0.133) (0.228) Sensible results, although the purpose of this step isnt causal inference, esp. given prospective endogeneity of some covariates. Common support check Distributions of SRI and non-SRI plots are each skewed, so use kernel matching, drop (12) offsupport

observations. Post-match, all covariates pass balancing test at 10% level PSM Impact Estimates Plot-Level ATT Estimates of SRI Use Per hectare Paddy production Seasonal rice income Family labor Per personday Paddy production Seasonal rice income SRI Rosenbaum Non-SRI Difference bounds critical level (ton) (Mill RP) (mandays)

5.54 6.75 62.75 3.37 3.27 46.72 2.17*** 3.49*** 16.03** 3.6 2.2 1.2 (kg) (000 RP) 131.29 185.29 104.80 104.42

26.49* 80.87** 1.1 1.1 Large yield and rice profit gains, even with added labor use (added cost only ~10% of profit gains at prevailing wage rates). Even allowing for the possibility of selection-on-unobservables, the impacts of SRI use on rice yields, rice income per hectare are clear. But gains in terms of labor use less convincing. PSM Impact Estimates Household-Level Impacts of SRI Use SRI Non-SRI Difference Rosenbaum bounds critical level

Monthly total farm income (000 RP) 661.60 263.10 398.49*** 2.0 Monthly total off-farm labor income of which Off-farm wage earnings Self-employed non-farm income by gender (000 RP) 571.62 976.82

-405.21** 1.9 (000 RP) (000 RP) 419.05 152.57 303.04 673.78 116.01 -521.21*** 5.4 (000 RP) (000 RP) 237.67 333.94

147.58 829.25 90.10 -495.30*** 2.8 1233.21 1239.93 -6.71 Male Female Monthly total labor income (000 RP) - Farm income gains from SRI use are completely offset by lower off-farm earnings, especially womens self-employed non-farm

income. No household income gains, on average, from SRI. PSM Impact Estimates Household-Level Impacts of SRI Use SRI The proportion of school-aged children actually go to school of which Male Female The proportion of school-aged children lagged behind of which Male Female Non-SRI Difference 0.92 0.92 0.01

0.99 0.88 0.12 0.95 0.89 0.11 0.04 -0.02 0.01 0.01 0.20 0.07 0.15 -0.05 0.05 Despite the increased labor demands of SRI use, children in SRI households are no less likely to attend school and no more likely to be delayed in school progress.

Offsetting income effects of productivity gains and substitution effects on labor demand? Conclusions We corroborate claims of SRIs tremendous plot level productivity gains, but also of increased labor demand. But we find that these productivity gains vanish at household level. SRI seems to induce reallocation of (womens) time from off-farm self-employment, wiping out income gains at the household level. Some of those are perhaps invested in keeping children in school in spite of higher returns to family labor on-farm. Puzzle: where do the productivity gains go? Why only modest (18%) disadoption? Adopters capture gains in non-monetary form (esp. locational preferences for work). Thank you! Thank you for your time, interest and insights

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