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Soil and water conservation technologies: a buffer against production risk in the face of climate change? Insights from the Nile basin in Ethiopia

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  • Edward Kato
  • Claudia Ringler
  • Mahmud Yesuf
  • Elizabeth Bryan

Abstract

"This study investigates the impact of different soil and water conservation technologies on the variance of crop production in Ethiopia to determine the risk implications of the different technologies in different regions and rainfall zones. Given the production risks posed by climate change, such information can be used by decision makers to identify appropriate agricultural practices that act as a buffer against climate change. Using a household- and plot-level data set, we apply the Just and Pope framework using a Cobb-Douglas production function to investigate the impact of various soil and water conservation technologies on average crop yields and the variance of crop yields, while controlling for several household- and plot-level factors. Results show that soil and water conservation investments perform differently in different rainfall areas and regions of Ethiopia, which underscores the importance of careful geographical targeting when promoting and scaling up soil and water conservation technologies. We find that although soil bunds, stone bunds, grass strips, waterways, and contours all have very significant positive impacts on average crop yields in low-rainfall areas, only soil bunds have significant risk-reducing effects in these areas with low agricultural potential. We also find that irrigation and use of improved seeds have insignificant risk-reducing effects in low-rainfall areas, suggesting that—as currently implemented—these interventions may not be appropriate adaptation strategies for these environments. Regionally, in the low-rainfall areas we find significant spatial heterogeneity, with soil bunds being risk reducing in Oromiya and Amhara, and stone bunds, grass strips, and waterways being risk reducing in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region. Irrigation was only risk reducing in the high-rainfall areas of Benishangul-Gumuz. These results remain robust even after controlling for the major crops grown on the plot.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (09)
Pages: 593-604

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Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:42:y:2011:i:5:p:593-604

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nastis, Stefanos A. & Michailidis, Anastasios & Mattas, Konstadinos, 2011. "Crop biodiversity repercussions of subsidized organic farming in Greece," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland, European Association of Agricultural Economists 114628, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Mintewab Bezabih & Abe Damte Beyene & Zenebe Gebreegziabher & Livousew Borga, 2013. "Social Capital, climate change and soil conservation investment: panel data evidence from the Highlands of Ethiopia," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment 115, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  3. Zhou, Li & Turvey, Calum G., 2014. "Climate change, adaptation and China's grain production," China Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 72-89.
  4. Elizabeth Bryan & Claudia Ringler & Barrack Okoba & Jawoo Koo & Mario Herrero & Silvia Silvestri, 2013. "Can agriculture support climate change adaptation, greenhouse gas mitigation and rural livelihoods? insights from Kenya," Climatic Change, Springer, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 151-165, May.
  5. Kato, Edward & Nkonya, Ephraim & Place, Frank M., 2011. "Heterogeneous treatment effects of integrated soil fertility management on crop productivity: Evidence from Nigeria," IFPRI discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 1089, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Jolejole-Foreman, Maria Christina & Baylis, Katherine R. & Lipper, Leslie, 2012. "Land Degradation’s Implications on Agricultural Value of Production in Ethiopia: A look inside the bowl," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, International Association of Agricultural Economists 126251, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  7. Aizhen Li & Boris E. Bravo-Ureta & David K. Okello & Carl M. Deom & Naveen Puppala, 2013. "Groundnut Production and Climatic Variability: Evidence from Uganda," Working Papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy 17, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  8. Gren, Ing-Marie & Carlsson, Mattias & Elofsson, Katarina & Munnich, Miriam, 2012. "Stochastic carbon sinks for combating carbon dioxide emissions in the EU," Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1523-1531.
  9. Mulatu Debalke, Negash, 2011. "Determinants of farmers’ preference for adaptation strategies to climate change: evidence from north shoa zone of Amhara region Ethiopia," MPRA Paper 48753, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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