Agricultural technology and poverty reduction: a micro-level analysis of causal effects
Agricultural technology opens great opportunities of increasing food grain production in land scarce countries. But questions are raised about the potential adverse or favourable impact of new technology on economic conditions of the poor. This study is aimed at contributing to the debate about the relative importance of "direct effects" of agricultural technology adoption in poverty alleviation strategies. It does so through an empirical investigation of the relationship between technological change, of the Green Revolution type, and wellbeing of smallholder farm households in two rural Bangladeshi regions. The paper tackles a methodological issue in assessing the "causal effect" of technological change on farm-household wellbeing through the non-parametric p-score matching analysis. It pursues a targeted evaluation of whether adopting a modern seed technology causes resource-poor farmers to improve their income and decrease the propensity to fall below the poverty line. It finds a robust and positive effect of agricultural technology adoption on farm household wellbeing suggesting that there is a large scope for enhancing the role of agricultural technology in "directly" contributing to poverty alleviation.
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