Property Rights, Collective Action
and Technologies for Natural
Degradation of natural resources has become a global problem that threatens the livelihood of millions of poor people. Many promising technologies for natural resource management are available to address these problems, but farmers and others often fail to adopt them. Why is this? Although many factors can be identified, lack of secure property rights and collective action deserve greater attention from policymakers and technology developers.
Unlike conventional agricultural technologies, many natural resource management (NRM) technologies take years to give results. If farmers do not have secure rights to the natural resources, there is no incentive for them to adopt these technologies.
CGIAR Systemwide Program
on Collective Action and
Property Rights (CAPRI) Policy
Brief Number 1, October 1999.
Some technologies need to be adopted over a wide area to be effective. Thus, farmers with small areas have to cooperate with their neighbors to increase the land area and adopt the technology. In analyzing how property rights and collective action affect technology adoption, one has to examine the time horizon and spatial scale of the technology.