Farm typology analysis and technology assessment: An application in an arid region of South Asia

Kumar, S and Craufurd, P and Haileslassie, A and Ramilan, T and Rathore, A and Whitbread, A M (2019) Farm typology analysis and technology assessment: An application in an arid region of South Asia. Land Use Policy (TSI), 88. pp. 1-14. ISSN 02648377

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to ICRISAT users only

Download (2MB) | Request a copy


The design and diffusion of context-specific technologies is centrally important in the multi-dimensional, complex farming systems in arid and semi-arid regions. This paper uses a mixed-method framework to characterize the complexity and heterogeneity of smallholder farming systems and identifies constraints to and opportunities for sustainable intensification. Specifically, the study: (i) characterized farm household typologies based on the diversity of livelihood assets; (ii) co-designed context- specific interventions through an iterative participatory process; and (iii) ex-ante evaluated such interventions to inform multiple stakeholders. We explored farming system diversity using data from 224 farm households in western Rajasthan, India. Employing multivariate statistical techniques and participatory validation, we identified 7 distinct farm household types. Participatory appraisal with multiple stakeholders revealed heterogeneity across farm household types. For instance, the interest of farmers in integrating perennial fruit trees even among the rainfed farm household types markedly varied: household type 1 preferred the multipurpose forestry tree, khejri which requires low labor inputs; household type 2 preferred market-oriented horticulture production; household type 3 did not opt for perennials but for small ruminants; and household type 4 (dominated by women) opted for small horticulture kitchen gardens. The study demonstrated the utility of a mixed-methods approach that addresses multi-dimensional heterogeneity to generate insights and assist in co-designing locally appropriate technologies across different farm types and agro-ecological regions to achieve sustainable intensification.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Innovation Systems for the Drylands (ISD)
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems
CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arid landscapes, semi arid landscapes, farm typology, Ex-ante assessment, livelihood assets, resilience, intensification, farming systems, interventions, farm household survey, Rajasthan, village studies, dryland farming systems, India, sustainable intensification
Subjects: Others > Semi-Arid Tropics
Others > South Asia
Others > Farming Systems
Others > Drylands Agriculture
Others > Indian Agriculture
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 08:32
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 08:32
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: This study was undertaken as part of, and funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems (CRP-DS) and CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (CRP-GLDC) and supported by CGIAR Fund Donors ( The authors thank Sravya Mamidanna for her inputs to the paper and Bao Quang Le for his useful comments on a previous draft of this paper. Help from A Gopikrishna in data analysis and GRAVIS in data collection is gratefully acknowledged. Authors sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on an earlier version of the paper.
    View Statistics

    Actions (login required)

    View Item View Item