Methodology for Assessing Adoption, Efficiency, and Impacts of Mechanized Raised-Bed Technology
Le, Quang Bao
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Mechanized raised-bed technology (MRBT) has been recognized as an important Component of integrated water management to achieve higher productivity in intensive irrigated systems, such as those found in the Nile Delta. Effective management and policies for spreading the Technology at scale toward achieving system-level outcomes require Adequate understanding of the drivers of farmers’ adoption of MRBT, based on insightful assessment of the technology’s efficiency, system performance and impacts. Related research efforts on these issues have been challenged by both the complex nature of the task and the diversity of socio-ecological contexts that shape farming systems’ performance. This paper concisely reviews and reintroduces a system-based option-by-context approach for guiding concrete analytical steps and operational methods for addressing the research issues in coping with the challenges of system complexity and contextual diversity. The paper elaborates methodologies, ranging from concepts to operational methods, that will be needed to achieve the following objectives: (1) identify and characterize the main livelihood types of smallholders in terms of their farms’ biophysical and socioeconomic characteristics; (2) identify the determinants, both common and livelihood type-specific, of farmers’ adoption of MRBT; (3) delineate the ceiling line of water-use efficiency that the MRBT can bring about (i.e. the efficiency frontier) and use this as a reference for assessing the crop-production efficiency of MRBT farms with respect to water and other resource uses; (4) evaluate the multi-scale impacts of MRBT on whole-farm productivity and profit, household livelihoods, and irrigated community landscapes.