Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 461–472 | Cite as

Influence of socio-economic and cultural factors in rice varietal diversity management on-farm in Nepal

  • Ram Bahadur RanaEmail author
  • Chris Garforth
  • Bhuwon Sthapit
  • Devra Jarvis


A questionnaire survey of 408 households explored the role of socio-economic and cultural factors in rice (Oryza sativa L.) varietal diversity management on-farm in two contrasting eco-sites in Nepal. Multiple regression outputs suggest that number of parcels of land, livestock number, number of rice ecosystems, agro-ecology (altitude), and use of chemical fertilizer have a significant positive influence on landrace diversity on-farm, while membership in farmers’ groups linked to extension services has significant but negative influence on landrace diversity. Factors with significant positive influence on diversity of modern varieties on-farm were number of parcels of land and of rice ecosystems, access to irrigation, membership in farmers’ groups, and use of insecticide. Within communities, resource-endowed households maintain significantly higher varietal diversity on-farm than resource-poor households and play a significant role in conserving landraces that are vulnerable to genetic erosion and those with socio-cultural and market-preferred traits. Resource-poor households also contribute to local diversity conservation but at lower richness and area coverage levels than resource-endowed households. Households where a female had assumed the role of head of household due to death or migrant work of her husband had less diversity due to lower labor availability. Landraces with socio-cultural and market-preferred traits are few in number but have potential to be conserved on-farm.


Agricultural biodiversity Landraces Modern variety Nepal On-farm conservation Rice Varietal diversity 



Analysis of variance


Convention on biological diversity






Modern variety


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ram Bahadur Rana
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Chris Garforth
    • 2
  • Bhuwon Sthapit
    • 3
  • Devra Jarvis
    • 4
  1. 1.Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research, and Development (LI-BIRD)PokharaNepal
  2. 2.International and Rural Development DepartmentUniversity of ReadingReadingUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI)PokharaNepal
  4. 4.International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI)RomeItaly

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