Factors affecting the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices: Findings from panel data for Vietnam
Pham, H-G and Chuah, S-H and Feeny, S, Factors affecting the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices: Findings from panel data for Vietnam, Ecological Economics, 184 pp. 1-13. ISSN 0921-8009 (2021) [Refereed Article]
Conventional farming and climate change are placing considerable stress on agricultural systems around the
world, leading to increased hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity, particularly in developing countries.
Sustainable Agricultural Practices (SAPs) can help raise productivity and agricultural incomes while minimising
negative environmental impacts. While recognising that sustainability is a contested term, we identify agricultural practices that are generally viewed as sustainable as they minimise impacts on the environment. Despite the
benefits of SAPs, adoption rates are still low in developing countries. While previous studies have examined the
factors affecting SAP adoption, most have not accounted for issues of heterogeneity and endogeneity inherent in
such analysis. In this paper, we address this by employing a random-effects probit model with the Mundlak
approach and fixed-effects linear probability models to control for farmer- and plot-level heterogeneities and to
avoid the incidental parameters problem. We analyse panel data from Vietnam for approximately 14,000 plots
over the period 2008–2016 to identify the factors behind SAP adoption. Overall, we find that improved
knowledge transferred by extension agents and learning from peers significantly influence adoption. Farmers’
knowledge of their land and soil quality are also important factors. We recommend enhancing cooperation
between extension agents, farmer groups and peers in order to encourage SAP adoption.
sustainable agricultural practices, smallholder agriculture, probit model with the Mundlak approach, Vietnam