Farmers? Willingness to Adopt BMPs to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution in the Lower Bhavani River Basin, India
National Institute of Public Finance and Policy
The role of stakeholders and their voluntary participation in agri-environmental management in general, and water resources conservation in particular, is a new area of research, at least for a developing country like India. This study attempts to understand the factors influencing farmers? willingness to adopt agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect groundwater from nonpoint sources of pollution. Based on long-term groundwater nitrate concentration and source(s) of irrigation, six villages selected in the Lower Bhavani River Basin, Tamilnadu and detailed questionnaire survey (face-to-face interviews) has been carried out among 395 farm households. The results of binary choice Probit models show that socio-economic characteristics, perceptions about environmental impacts of agricultural practices, prior knowledge of BMPs, sources of agricultural information, memberships in social participatory institutions, prior experience of participation in agricultural training/workshops significantly influence farmers? decision to adopt BMPs. Government provision of agricultural training and education programs (extension services) are effective to induce farmers to adopt BMPs. Farmers from villages having better access to irrigation are willing to adopt BMPs as compared to relatively water-scarce villages. Workforce participation rate plays a crucial role in the adoption of BMPs and availability of family-based labor encourages adoption of BMPs.