Misuse of domestic resources increases import dependency: Case of dung cake fuel and demand for chemical fertilizers in Nepal, Dr. Krishna Pant
Purpose: Over 10 percent of rural poor in Nepal are still using animal dung cake as the major cooking fuel, reducing the availability of plant nutrients or increasing the need for chemical fertilizers. The purpose of this paper is to assess the effects of dung fuel use on demand for chemical fertilizers and explore factors affecting the household decisions to use dung fuel.
Design/methodology/approach: The data are generated from survey of 331 households using either dung fuel or biogas, randomly selected from Kapilvastu district in Nepal. Test of mean differences and ordinary least square are used for finding the effect of dung fuel use on demand for chemical fertilizers. Probit regression is used to explore the factors affecting use of dung cake fuel by rural people.
Findings: The study quantified that burning animal dung for fuel increases the demand for chemical fertilizers by 32.35 kg per household for just maintaining the crop yield at the level of non‐burning households. At the national level, this accounts to 26,551 tons of chemical fertilizers costing NPR 687 million per year. The amount, however, does not include the health costs and drudgery of the households and pollution and green house gas emission costs to the society. The study finds income, education and ethnicity as the major factors affecting the dung cake use and recommends some policy measures to reduce it.
Research limitations/implications: The research was conducted in a district with survey of a sample of households as a case study, and most probably cannot be generalized at the national or international levels. The sample includes the households using dung cake fuel and biogas exclusively. Other households using both the fuels and some other fuels are excluded in the study.
Practical implications: The findings are useful for policy makers working in agriculture and household energy for designing appropriate policy necessary for increasing agriculture policies and household energy technology (such a biogas) adoption.
Social implications: The recommendations help in understanding the costs of dung burning at the household and national level. The understanding helps in increasing farm productivity and saving health of the residents.
Originality/value: The study is original in its design, data and findings. It will help the policy makers and the rural poor.
Keywords: Nepal; Agriculture; Fuel consumption; Energy sources; Crops; Crop yield; Dung cake fuel; Chemical fertilizer demand; Household choice; Nepal; Probit.
Citation: Prasad Pant, K. (2013), "Misuse of domestic resources increases import dependency: Case of dung cake fuel and demand for chemical fertilizers in Nepal", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 42-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/20425941311313092