An economic impact of conservation agriculture on small and marginal farms in West Bengal, India: An assessment with DID method
Prototype agriculture is facing several socio-economic and environmental challenges regarding sustainable livelihood and food security, particularly for marginal and small households in India. Soil erosion, nutrient mining, dwindling water tables and declining biodiversity are currently the most serious problems in the long run agricultural sustainability in the country. However, the motive of this research is to determine the financial impact of conservation agriculture in West Bengal temporally as an alternative solution to those issues. The study compares the overall economic change of system productivity and returns cost ratio under conservation agricultural farms with respect to conventional farming situations over two years using the Differences in Difference (DID) method of estimation. The results depicted that the changes in the SREY of conservation agriculture over conventional farms have increased from 4944.88 kg ha-1 in 2019-20 to 8479.95 kg ha-1 in 2020-21 with an overall gain of 3535.07 kg ha-1 over two years. Over the two-year study period, the overall change in system net return and system B: C ratio for conservation agriculture compared to conventional farms was increased to Rs.1,09,105/-and Rs. 0.38 per hectare. Barring organic manure use, conservation agriculture has utilized less tillage, less inputs, less mechanization and less manpower. Finally, the estimated change in system productivity over two years was recorded 69.13% gain in conservation farms with respect to conventional cultivation practices featuring a successful implementation of conservation agriculture in the state.