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Abstract

Abiotic stresses such as droughts and floods significantly constrain rice production in India. New stress tolerant technologies have the potential to reduce yield variability and help insulate farmers from the risks posed by these hazards. Using discrete choice experiments conducted in rural Odisha, we estimate farmers’ valuation for drought-tolerant (DT) and submergence-tolerant (SubT) traits embodied in rice cultivars. Our results demonstrate that farmers in both drought-prone as well as submergence prone regions value reduction in yield variability offered by new, stress-tolerant cultivars, and would generally be willing to pay a significant premium for these traits. While virtually all farmers perceive the threat of drought and are willing to pay for protection against drought risk, only farmers in flood-prone areas would be willing to pay for rice that can withstand being submerged for prolonged periods, suggesting the potential for market segmentation along geographical or ecological lines.

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