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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The Developing Economies
Title Farmers' Preference for Farming: Evidence From a Nationally Representative Farm Survey in India
Volume 53
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 122-134
URL http://econpapers.repec.org/RePEc:bla:deveco:v:53:y:2015:i:2:p:122-134
Using data from a nationally representative farm survey in India, we have analyzed
Indian farmers’ stated preference for farming as a profession. Findings show that more
than 40% of farmers dislike farming as a profession because of low profits, high risk,
and lack of social status, yet they continue with it owing to a lack of opportunities
outside agriculture. Farmers who express a preference for moving out of agriculture are
mostly those with small landholdings, poor irrigation facilities, fewer productive assets
including livestock, and follow a cereal-centric cropping pattern. They also have relatively
lower access to credit, insurance, and information, and are weakly integrated with
social networks such as self-help groups and farmers’ organizations. Importantly, the
disinclination for farming, conditional on other covariates, is not significantly differentiated
by caste, an important indicator of social status in rural India. Yet, within a caste
group, the dislike for farming moderates with larger landholdings.

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