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Socioeconomic determinants of organic cotton adoption in Benin, West Africa

Sodjinou, Epiphane; Glin, Laurent C.; Nicolay, Gian L.; Tovignan, Silvère and Hinvi, Jonas (2015) Socioeconomic determinants of organic cotton adoption in Benin, West Africa. Agricultural and Food Economics, 3 (12), pp. 1-22.

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Summary

Organic cotton relies on ecological processes and the use of natural resources to sustain the production system, unlike conventional cotton, mainly characterized by massive utilization of synthesis chemicals. In West Africa, where rural livelihoods are particularly vulnerable, organic cotton is expected to contribute not only to poverty reduction but also to strengthen households’ resilience.
The objective of this study was to assess institutional and socioeconomic factors determining farmers’ decisions to adopt organic cotton. For this purpose, we applied a probit model on empirical data collected from producers of the Centre and the Northern parts of Benin. Overall, we found that organic cotton adoption is mainly determined by farmers’ socioeconomic characteristics, the physical distance between farm and house, and contact with extension and advisory services. Organic farming is more attractive to women compared to conventional farming. This because such type of cotton farming enables women to hold a separate cotton farm and thus increase their economic independence, whereas with the conventional system they depend mainly on the farm of the (male) head of the household. Older, less educated and low-income farmers who express environmental concern are more likely to adopt organic cotton. Subsequently, organic cotton should be considered as a prospective policy option to reach the poor and strengthen their livelihoods conditions while contributing to preserve the environment and natural resources. Furthermore, farmers who have their farm near home are more likely to adopt organic farming than those who have the farm far from their home. It also came out that organic farmers have more contacts with advisory and extension services. Finally, the study noted that there is still a need to enhance the extension system by: (1) exploring, designing, and upgrading innovative pedagogic tools such as videos and mobile phone technology to foster learning; and (2) strengthening organic farmer’s organizations and the linkage with agricultural research organizations for technology development.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Organic farming adoption, Low-income farmer, Gender, Probit, Benin, organic cotton, Department for International Cooperation, Policy & Sector Development, SYPROBIO, 65082
Subjects: Food systems > Recycling, balancing and resource management
Crop husbandry
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Research affiliation:Other countries
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International Cooperation
Related Links:http://www.syprobio.net
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:28764
Deposited On:06 May 2015 13:21
Last Modified:06 May 2015 14:24
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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