«A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy Approved November 2014 by the Graduate ...»
Decision making on Agricultural Transition. In this dissertation, first two chapters of the analyses cover the effect of household capitals and migration on agricultural transition; this transition includes the changes in agricultural activities and in the modes of production. In the first chapter of the analysis, I focus on the former: the changes in agricultural activities. Agricultural activities include farming land, renting land out, usage of chemical fertilizer and raising poultry. These activities are appropriate indicators to assess whether or not a household is intensifying or de-intensifying agriculture. In general, the increase in the size of farming land, in the amount of chemical fertilizer used, and in the number of poultry raised indicate agricultural intensification.
On the other hand, the decrease in the size of farming land, in the amount of chemical fertilizer used, and in the number of poultry indicate agricultural de-intensification. The increase in the size of land for rent also indicates agricultural de-intensification. It should be noted that increasing the size of farming land is seen as extensification rather than intensification in most livelihood studies, but to simplify the term in my dissertation, I
Besides, increasing the size of land could be seen as intensification as well since it would require more agricultural resources for farming including chemical fertilizer and more use of land.
The following chapter looks at another aspect of agricultural de-intensification:
the changes in the modes of production. These changes include the transition from farming to non-farming at the household level as well as the transition to the first salary employment and first business out of home at the individual level.
As discussed theoretically, migration, as a livelihood strategy diversifying income sources could be the key factor for households to intensifying farming. The qualitative study of Moran-Taylor and Taylor (2010) in the setting of Guatemala found that migration and remittances made the remaining household members invest more in agricultural technology and new house building. Further, the households with migrants tend to purchase more land or change the main crops they grow from cereal, such as rice, wheat, millet or maize, to vegetable. In general, growing vegetables instead of cereal is considered to be a market-driven farming, so this transition indicates the direction of the transition in this region is towards agricultural intensification. Another study by BohraMishra (2013) using the Chitwan Valley Family Study data also supports most of the results. In this study, expectations to receive remittances is used instead of the actual amount of remittance due to the data limitation, and the results show that remittances have a positive association with more investment in farming assets.
In the context of China, domestic migration is negatively associated with farm productivity (Li and Tonts 2014). They found that the more the number of migrants in a
their agricultural activities. And the results show no effect of the duration of migration on farm productivity. They argue that migration is associated with less investment of rural farming households in agriculture mainly due to the loss in labor in a household. And to compensate for the loss of labor, those households tend not to invest in labor-intensive agricultural activities.
This pattern, however, could be differentiated by the degree of economic capability of a household to afford international migration. The study of Mendola (2008) in the context of Bangladesh around 1995 found that the households that have the financial ability to send a household member internationally are more likely to invest in agricultural technology while the households without enough financial ability are more likely to migrate internally and remain in poverty. This result implies that the changes in agricultural activities might be less likely to be the result of migration, but more likely to be the result of the current socioeconomic status of a household. Subsequently, the result also tells us that using the framework of the livelihood perspective which dissects household wealth into five capitals, which are human, natural, physical, financial, and social capitals, is relevant for this study focusing on the effects of household capital and migration on agricultural transition.
In terms of the effects on environment, the study of von Westarp et al. (2004) points out frequent cropping rotation and improper use of chemical fertilizer as two main means of agricultural intensification affecting soil fertility in the context of the mountain region of Nepal. More detailed analysis on the same topic was conducted by McCarthy, Carletto, Kilic, and Davis (2009). They examine the effect of migration on the
household level in the context of Albania around 2002. Agricultural activities are defined with the considerations of: forest and natural pastures, which are not labor and capital intensive: staple production (wheat, maize, potatoes, and beans), which is labor intensive but not capital intensive; forage production, which is labor and capital intensive; fruit and livestock production, which are capital intensive. Based on the fact that migration causes the loss of labor in a household, but most likely increases the financial status of a household, they hypothesized a positive effect of migration on livestock production and fruit production, and a negative effect on staple crop production. As expected, they found that more international migrants decrease the likelihood of the investment in staple crop production, but it has a positive effect on livestock production and this is due to its capital intensive nature. However, they also found the positive effect of migration on the investment in forest and pasture and negative impact on fruit production. Interestingly, the experience of international migration to Greece increases the investment in fruit production. They speculate that this pattern is due to the agriculture-related occupations, mostly at fruit farms, they served in Greece. This result emphasizes that different migration experience accompanied by different ideas and information could bring different impacts on diverse transitions back in the origin communities.
On the other hand, migration and remittances might not cause any changes in agricultural activities. In the context of migration between Ecuador and the U.S. around 1995, the qualitative study of Jokisch (2002) found that households did not either abandon or invest more in farming despite the fact that the households with at least one migrant received substantial amounts of financial remittances. He points out that this is
have to repay it before other necessities, which is hard to be achieved due to poor job opportunities and the illegal nature of migration in many cases; second, among all the options, agricultural improvement is not a good investment option to improve their standard of living in a given economic and environmental conditions; third, people still consider agriculture as the business they have to continue no matter what. The study by Davis and Lopez-Carr (2014) in the settings of Central American countries also could not find a positive or negative relationship between migration experience and investment in agricultural activities.
While focusing on the relationship between migration and agricultural activities, it is important to note that migration would not only affect agricultural activities, but also extend a livelihood of a rural household beyond agriculture to the non-farm sector.
According to the categorization by Ellis (2000), household income can be grouped into three types: farm income, off-farm income, and non-farm income. Farm income includes all the income generated by farming activities on their own or shared land. Off-farm income includes the income generated by working for other farms through wage or labor exchange. This type of income is prevalent in the context of developing countries especially. Off-farm income can also include the income generated from local environmental resources, such as fuel wood and medical herbs. Last, non-farm income includes the income source not based on agriculture: salary or wage employment, selfemployment, and remittances from internal and international migration. In sum, first two income sources are based on agriculture, and the last one is based on non-agricultural
pharmacy, and so on.
Migration experience and remittance might drive some household members to pursue their career in the non-farm sector. The study by Miluka Carletto, Davis, and Zezza (2010) shows this pattern; migration could work as a pathway to change the modes of production away from farming in the context of Albania. They examined permanent international migration and found that migration significantly decreases the hours of labor in agriculture. The main causes are narrowed down to two factors, reduced labor and better financial status achieved by financial remittance.
Another study at the individual level based on a survey that followed some immigrants to Germany around 1984 shows that migrants tend to be economically active after they returned to their home countries and most of them worked in the non-farm sector, especially as entrepreneurs or salaried workers (Dustmann and Kirchkamp 2002).
The study also shows that the level of education is also positively associated with nonfarm activities after they return. The study of Yuqi (2010) in the context of China supports this result by showing that labor opportunity costs, larger area of land and higher household income is negatively associated with labor intensity on grain production. In other words, the study argues that a farming household is more likely to invest its extra household labor in non-farm activities, not in agricultural activities.
In case that the non-farm sector is not well developed, however, farming households would diversify their income sources by extending to the off-farm sector. The study of Beyene (2008) in the setting of Ethiopia points out individual health and training on non-farm activities, the availability of credit and transfer income, and small land size
level of education at the individual level shows no significant effect on the participation in off-farm activities. In the setting of Chitwan, Nepal, on the contrary, education measured with school attainment and school enrollment show different results (Yabiku and Schlabach 2009). The accumulated years in school accelerates employment while staying in school delays it.
Moderating Factors – Household Capitals. Migration is not only an independent factor influencing agricultural transition, but also considered as one of the important factors that moderates the relationship between household capitals and livelihood strategies in the perspective of the livelihood approach. To rephrase it, the dynamic nature of migration combined with various factors at the individual, household, and contextual levels makes it more than a single factor: migration can play an important role in affecting household livelihoods through household capitals. Migration would
affect the ways of utilizing household capitals, which are composed of five capitals:
human, natural, physical, financial, and social capitals. In general, households with migrants are more likely to be affluent than non-migrant households because of financial remittance, and more acceptable of new ideas and thoughts mainly because of the experience in more developed socioeconomic conditions during migration, which can be narrowed down to the concept of “culture of migration” (Heering, van Der Erf, and van Wissen 2004). These characteristics would interact with household capitals, and consequently, migration and household capitals combined together would affect how a rural household react to rapidly changing socioeconomic conditions. In other words, how
kinds of capitals they have and how much of each at a given time.
First, human capital would moderate the relationship between migration and agricultural transition. Agricultural transition includes the changes in agricultural activities and in the modes of production. In this dissertation, human capital involves household size by age groups and educational attainment. In general, being rich in human capital would encourage a household to stay away from farming rather than stay in farming. However, there could be some variations. Many household members of working age, between 15 and 60, would encourage a household to exit farming, but not to completely stay out of it because the household could invest some labor in farming and the rest in non-farm activities at the same time. This pattern would be strengthened with migration experience which brings social and financial remittances. On the other hand, many old household members, being poor in human capital, would likely cause a household to retire from farming and rely on savings or remittances. Migration would not play a different role on agricultural activities in this case due to the lack of labor in a household. Therefore, when it comes to household size, being rich in human capital would be associated with higher chances for a household to invest less in agricultural activities.
Education as a human capital would play a significant role for a household to stay away from farming. Highly educated household members tend to find non-farming occupations more attractive than farming-related occupations (Willmore et al. 2011). This is so since educated people would want to get the best out of their investment in education. Further, non-farming occupations require a certain level of education and also