What determines the time to gypsum adoption to remediate irrigated salt-affected agricultural lands? Evidence from Punjab, Pakistan

Asjad Tariq Sheikh, Amin Mugera, Ram Pandit, Michael Burton, Stephen Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Soil salinization is a serious environmental problem in arid and semi-arid regions, affecting crop yields and jeopardizing the food security of affected households. A common prescription to ameliorate salt-affected soils is the application of gypsum. However, little is known about the factors that motivate land managers to adopt gypsum and its likely effect on crop yields in different agro-ecological and socio-economic contexts. This study investigates the gypsum adoption process to rehabilitate irrigated salt-affected farmland, using survey data from 252 farm households in three agro-ecological zones of Punjab, Pakistan. An accelerated failure time model is used to investigate factors that affect the speed of adoption and the propensity score matching method to evaluate the impact of gypsum adoption on crop yields. About 56% of farm households adopted gypsum, and the average time to adoption was 4.3 years. Key factors reducing the time to gypsum adoption include secure and legal land entitlements, exposure to demonstration trials and field days, access to extension services, and access to credit facilities. In contrast, the distance to soil and water testing laboratories and input markets increases the time to adoption. On average, gypsum adoption increased wheat and rice yields by 17% and 23%, respectively. Our findings suggest that gypsum adoption will increase with the implementation of policies that increase land managers' exposure to the technology and formal information about the technology, reduce barriers to credit access, and provide secure and legal land entitlements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105266
JournalSoil and Tillage Research
Volume217
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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