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Determinants of Crop Choices by Bangladeshi Farmers: A Bivariate Probit Analysis

Using a bivariate probit model, the study jointly determines the factors underlying the probability of Bangladeshi farmers adopting a diversified cropping system and/or modern rice technology. Results reveal that the availability of irrigation is the single most important determinant of the decision to adopt modern rice technology, and adoption is higher among the tenant farmers. The exact opposite is true for the likelihood of adopting a diversified cropping system, which is significantly higher in areas with no irrigation as well as among the owner-operators. Furthermore, the diversified cropping system has a significantly higher rate of adoption in regions with developed infrastructure. Farmers' education, farming experience, farm asset ownership, and non-agricultural income all positively influence crop diversification. Also, small farmers are more likely to adopt a diversified cropping system. Significant regional variation exists in the level of crop diversification as well. The decision to adopt a diversified cropping system and/or modern rice technology is significantly correlated, implying that a univariate analysis of such decision is biased. Crop diversification can be promoted by investing in farmers' education as well as rural infrastructure development. Also, land reform policies focusing on delegating land ownership to landless and marginal farmers, and tenurial reforms are noteworthy.

Vol. 5 No. 1, June 2008

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