Analysing policy attributes for promoting solar powered irrigation systems in Karnataka, India
Aditya Korekallu Srinivasa, Dagmar Mithöfer
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Thaer-Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sci., Germany
Solar Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS) is an important component of India’s effort towards sustainable energy transition in agriculture. SPIS can positively contribute in improving both access to water and in reducing the dependence on centralised electricity supply which is primarily coal based. SPIS is also promoted at the policy level with substantial funding support envisaged under PM -KUSUM program. In spite of the promise and the policy push, the adoption of SPIS under PM – KUSUM is low. Farmers' preference for policy attributes related SPIS is not well understood, which could help realigning the policy. In this paper, we use Choice Experiment (CE) for evaluating the policy attributes in promotion of SPIS as it can provide rich policy information in terms of welfare implication of the policy (in terms of willingness to pay) and disaggregate it by attributes. The attributes and levels were selected based on extensive review of literature, and interview with farmers and experts. Upfront cost, terms of loan, service provision, multiple uses and grid connections were the five attributes with different levels. A ‘D-efficient’ experimental design was used to generate 32 choice cards with 3 alternatives in each card (including opt-out), which were then randomly distributed into four blocks with eight cards each to reduce the cognitive load on the respondents. A pilot survey of 12 farmers were used to obtain the priors (coefficients for each attribute) to eliminate choice sets with dominant alternatives. The data was collected from 500 farmers randomly chosen from 31 villages across Mysore district, Karnataka, India. The data was analysed using the random parameter logit model allowing for heterogeneity in estimation of farmers' preferences for SPIS. The results indicate that farmers' preference as indicated by highest part worth is for guaranteed service provision for 10 years and loan with repayment holiday of three years. Given that SPIS is a new technology with a high initial investment, assuring farmers with guaranteed repair service act as a strong incentive to adopt. For increasing the adoption of SPIS, these attributes can be incorporated into the existing policies so that they align well with farmers' preferences.
Keywords: Discrete choice experiment, random parameter logit, solar powered irrigation systems, sustainable energy transition
Contact Address: Aditya Korekallu Srinivasa, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Agrifood Chain Management, Berlin, Germany, e-mail: aditya.korekallu.srinivasastudent.hu-berlin.de