Labour outmigration, agricultural productivity and food security: Women's time use survey, Waves 1-5

Ghimire, Dirgha (2019). Labour outmigration, agricultural productivity and food security: Women's time use survey, Waves 1-5. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-852978

We propose to investigate the consequences of labor outmigration on agricultural productivity in a poor agricultural country persistently facing food security problems. We aim to answer three high-priority scientific and policy questions: To what extent (a) Does labor outmigration influence (i) agricultural productivity, (ii) women's participation in farming, and (iii) exit from farming? (b) Do remittances influence (i) farm technology use, (ii) women's participation in farming, and (iii) exit from farming? (c) Do farm technology use and exit from farming influence subsequent outmigration? With an estimated 214 million people l--mostly from poor agricultural regions to more industrialized countries-international migration is a key concern in scholarly and policy arenas. This unprecedented phenomenon has wide-ranging consequences both for migrant-sending and receiving locations. This study focuses on one specific, but crucial consequence - the impact of labor outmigration on agricultural productivity in migrant-sending areas. As the agriculture productivity in poor subsistence economies is closely connected with one of the world's epidemic problems: food security. FAO estimated about 870 million people were undernourished in the period 2010-12. The vast majority of these - 852 million live in developing countries. Thus, increased agricultural productivity in poor countries is a key tool for alleviating this problem. This proposed project aims to better understand the relationship between labor outmigration and agriculture, providing crucial information for scientific and policy development of food security concerns. Understanding the link between outmigration and agriculture is complicated by the fact that migration does not happen randomly. Additionally, changes in agricultural practices and migration are likely to influence each other. Thus, the empirical demands for adjudicating potential reciprocal relationships are high, limiting the ability of previous research to speak to these questions. To address this complication, we will leverage the Chitwan Valley Family Study (CVFS), a case control comparison design at the community level with a 15-year panel study of a stratified systematic sample of communities, households, and individuals in Nepal. This unusual panel study enables us to address the non-random selection of individuals into migration. Furthermore, the case control design is particularly powerful for controlling macro-level effects (e.g. climate, prices, and policies) to detect the effect of change and variation in the phenomena of interest: farm labor loss, remittances, farm technology use, agricultural productivity, and women's participation in farming. Despite the wealth of panel data, answering our specific questions requires a modest level of new data collection. Our proposed panel measurement will involve multi-mode mixed methods data collection with appropriate temporal order and timing precision necessary to assess the relationships31. This study will generate high quality scientific outcomes that will be widely disseminated around the world. These outcomes are (i) comprehensive panel data with potential to address perplexing methodological problems; and (ii) empirical evidence of the consequences of labor outmigration, agricultural productivity, and its interplay with gender. First the data will be made available through ICPSR and UK Data Service and publications through websites will be provided to broader audiences. Second, the findings will be disseminated among the scientific communities through presentations at national and international conferences and publication of scientific articles, research briefs, and policy briefs. Finally, our capacity building training will also enhance scientific and analytical capacity of faculty and scientists of host country institutions (AFU, NARC and others).

Data description (abstract)

A 16 minute Women’s Participation in Farming Survey was designed and administered to women from farm households to collect information on changes in their time and involvement in agriculture and other activities. We used survey instruments from the International Food Policy Research Institute’s modules for the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index and Nepal Living Standard Survey (NLSS) as a basis for our Women’s Participation in Farming Survey. Our instrument was intensively pre-tested to 50 women before finalizing survey content. This instrument was designed in calendar format to assess the number of hours worked in various household (farming and non-farming) activities in the past 24 hours and the number of days worked in each activity in the past month. Data collection is complete. The first wave of the survey was administered to 2,421 women beginning in August 2015 with a response rate of 98.5%. The second wave of the survey was administered to 2,279 women beginning in January 2016 with a response rate of 95.3%. The third wave of the survey was administered to 2,223 women beginning in May 2016 with a response rate of 94.7%. The fourth wave of the survey was administered to 2,215 women beginning in September 2016 with a response rate of 95.3%. The fifth and final wave of the survey was administered to 2,212 women beginning in March 2017 with a response rate of 95.1%. These data are part of the Labour Outmigration, Agricultural Productivity and Food Security project data collection, which also includes the Household Agriculture and Migration Survey data and the Agriculture and Remittance Calendar data (see Related Resources). Women that participated are from the households surveyed in the related data collection.

Data creators:
Creator Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Ghimire Dirgha University of Michigan
Sponsors: Economic and Social Research Council
Grant reference: ES/L012065/1
Topic classification: Natural environment
Labour and employment
Keywords: agriculture, time use
Project title: Labor Outmigration, Agricultural Productivity and Food Security
Grant holders: Dirgha Ghimire, William Axinn, Humnath Bhandari, Prem Bhandari, Rebecca Thornton
Project dates:
1 October 201430 September 2017
Date published: 13 Dec 2017 12:20
Last modified: 25 Feb 2019 14:40

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