Socio-economic and sharecropping influence on the adoption of practices beneficial to soil quality and nitrogen retention in Nepal

T Begho*, Rajendra Joshi, Bigyapti Nepal, Rakesh Shrestha, Subodh Sharma, Vera Eory

*Corresponding author for this work

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Soil degradation is a pressing issue in Nepal. The interrelation between soil degradation and nitrogen deficiency often creates feedback loops that exacerbate both problems. Further, there are debates as to whether sharecropping poses challenges to sustainable soil management. This study examines the comparative likelihood of sharecroppers and non-sharecroppers to adopt minimum or no-till, use of crop residues, incorporate fertiliser in the soil or deep placement of fertiliser, use compost and organic fertiliser, and adopt good water management practices. This study also investigates whether there are differences between adoption drivers/barriers of sharecropper and non-sharecroppers Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) models are estimated. The results show that being a sharecropper is associated with a decrease in the likelihood of adopting no-tillage/minimum tillage and incorporating fertiliser rather than broadcasting. However, being a sharecropper is associated with a greater likelihood of adopting organic fertiliser, compost and crop residues. The main differences between the determinants of adoption among sharecroppers and non-sharecroppers are that older farmers were more likely to adopt certain practices for sharecroppers but not for non-sharecroppers. There are also differences in the adoption of no-tillage/minimum tillage and incorporation of fertiliser for non-sharecroppers between male and female farmers. However, for sharecroppers, male-headed farms were less likely to adopt most practices. Labour size, subsidy for synthetic fertiliser, and awareness of the soil/environment linkages also influenced adoption differently across sharecroppers and non-sharecroppers. Contrary to assertions that sharecropping acts as a barrier universally, the findings suggest that Nepalese sharecroppers' adoption of soil management practices is more context-dependent than uniformly hindered.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100108
Number of pages21
JournalFarming System
Issue number2
Early online date13 Jun 2024
Publication statusFirst published - 13 Jun 2024


  • Uptake
  • low impact practices
  • nutrient loss
  • soil degradation
  • Sustainable soil management


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