Author(s): Seyi Olalekan Olawuyi
The inevitable desire for productive and remunerative agriculture with zero negative impact both on the environment and the natural resource base (natural systems) in the quest to mitigate the impact of climate extremes on the agri-food ecosystem, farming households’ welfare, and food security status in Nigeria, necessitates farmers’ adoption of eco-friendly agricultural practices (conservation agricultural practices) which are adjudged to be climate-smart. These practices are confluence in nature, interrelated and mutually enabling, with specific trade-offs. Households’ survey data from the randomly selected 350 smallholder farmers were analyzed with heterogeneous treatment effect econometrics model to investigate farmers’ adoption status of eco-friendly agricultural practices, and to find out if farmers’ adoption decision have impact on their welfare gains. Bearing in mind that, many of the previous related studies on adoption of improved agricultural practices in South-west Nigeria seemed not to have accounted for the possible selection and hidden bias usually associated with non-experimental research of this nature. The findings indicated that adoption is still largely partial. Similarly, the results revealed that adoption had a welfare-increasing impact for every change in the rank of the propensity score. However, years of formal education, trust index of social capital, active involvement in collective action, and frequent extension delivery system were found to significantly predict adoption of these practices. These important dynamics also differentiated the adopters and non-adopters of these practices by welfare-gains. Importantly, rosenbaum sensitivity test used for robustness checks revealed that the negative effect of adoption on farmers’ welfare-gains was insensitive to selection bias. Hence, the ATT estimate from HTE model was a pure impact effect of the adoption. The study concluded that a large proportion of the farmers with a high propensity to adopt these practices were perhaps the ones with high comparative advantage as regards access to productive resources, which included: farmland holdings, labour, capital, social networks, and institutional supports. This also permits to infer that there is a possibility for the farmers to perform better to experience positive effects, if efficient enough to stay within the production possibility frontier.