Soil degradation, Poverty and farmers willingness to invest in soil conservation

Course ID
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Worku Tessema

This paper assesses farm households’ perceptions of land degradation and presents empirical results of the determinants of farmers’ willingness to invest in (or pay for) soil conservation practices in Gununo highland, Southern Ethiopia. Based on data collected from 140 farm households operating 556 plots, descriptive results indicate that majority of the farm households in Gununo perceive the severity of land degradation in their villages and especially on private farms, in terms of soil erosion and nutrient depletion. Contingent valuation (CV) results indicate that about 96 percent of the respondents are willing to contribute labour to conserve soil on their farms. When the payment is in cash, about 84 percent are willing to pay. Household random effects regression model is used to empirically investigate the determinants of the farm households’ willingness to pay or contribute for soil conservation. The empirical results show that the willingness to pay (WTP) is affected by various factors such as perception of erosion, poverty in terms of resource endowment and cash, and plot characteristics. The results suggest that any soil conservation intervention in the area needs to consider plot characteristics, type of technology, family workforce, and farm income for successful conservation investment activities. It is also noted that the farm households are able to contribute more in terms of labour than money due to severe cash poverty. Using labour days as a payment vehicle for WTP studies in similar areas would provide a more sensible outcomes than using monetary payments.

Corporate Author: Getnet Alemu & []. & Ethiopian Economic Association/Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute
Publisher: Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: Soil Degradation

Secondary Descriptor: poverty

Geographic Descriptors: Ethiopia
Cataloge Date: 02/27/2013
Broad Subject heading: conservation – Soil
Call Number: 330.963 PRO 2006
Serial Key Title: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy
Publication catagory: International Conference
Content type: EEA Publication
Volume: II
Publication date: 2013-05-27 23:06:00
Forum or Discussion date: 2013-02-27 15:02:03
Place of publication: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: Book
Current frequency: Annualy
Author: Worku Tessema and Stein Holden

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