Behavioral and socio-economic factors controlling irrigation adoption in Maharashtra, India

Nathan R. Hatch, D. Daniel*, Saket Pande

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Psychological frameworks are rarely used to understand irrigation adoption behaviour in developing countries. A Bayesian belief network (BBN) model was developed that integrated socio-economic characteristics and psychological factors to understand farmer behaviours with respect to irrigation practices in four districts of Maharashtra, India. Strong norms, risk perceptions of water scarcity, and attitude play roles in the adoption of irrigation technology and practices. Critically, it was found that no one factor can explain adoption behaviour; rather, an ensemble of factors is needed to understand farmer behaviour. A farmer who is highly educated, middle-aged, and moderately wealthy with a significant level of family help and an open well as their main water source, while receiving low promotional information related to water scarcity and irrigation adoption, is most likely to adopt irrigation technology. The application of the BBN in this study enables stakeholders and policymakers to better understand the linkages between different factors and behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-857
Number of pages11
JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Bayesian belief networks
  • behaviour modelling
  • India
  • irrigation


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