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Social Capital and Soil Erosion Control in Agriculturally Marginal Areas of Kenya: The Case of Machakos and Taita-Taveta Districts

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  • Obare, Gideon A.
  • Mwakubo, Samuel M.
  • Ouma, Emily Awuor
  • Mohammed, Lutta
  • Omiti, John M.
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    Abstract

    This paper evaluates the farmers’ perception of the soil erosion problem, and identifies and analyses social capital elements that motivate households to actively participate in soil conservation in agricultural production process. The data used in the study was generated using a structured questionnaire in a survey that covered 321 households in Kenya’s semi arid districts of Machakos and Taita-Taveta Districts. Two modelling strategies were used: A Probit model was used to estimate the likelihoods of factors that may influence farmers’ perception of soil erosion problem, and a Tobit to estimate parameters of factors that influence terracing intensity. The results indicate that although perception of the soil erosion problem is relatively high in the study sites, its effect on soil conservation investments is not significant. In Machakos, the significant determinants of terracing intensity include land tenure, crop area, household size, and membership diversity whereas in Taita-Taveta they include age of household head and consumer-worker ratio. Results from the aggregated data show that lagged crop output, group membership density and diversity, cognitive social capital and location significantly influence the terracing intensity on farm household fields. The policy challenge is to establish and strengthen social capital elements that have a strong influence on communities undertaking soil erosion control measures for sustainable agriculture and rural development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) in its series 2004 Inaugural Symposium, December 6-8, 2004, Nairobi, Kenya with number 9532.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaaeke:9532

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    Related research

    Keywords: Social capital; Marginal areas; Soil erosion; Perception; Two-step estimation; Kenya; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; C24; D23; Q15; Z13;

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    1. Haddad, Lawrence James & Maluccio, John A., 2002. "Trust, membership in groups, and household welfare," FCND briefs 135, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    3. Eliana La Ferrara, 2002. "Self-Help Groups and Income Generation in the Informal Settlements of Nairobi," Development Working Papers 163, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
    4. Place, Frank & Kariuki, Gatarwa & Wangila, Justine & Kristjanson, Patti & Makauki, Adolf & Ndubi, Jessica, 2002. "Assessing the factors underlying differences in group performance: methodological issues and empirical findings from the highlands of Central Kenya," CAPRi working papers 25, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    6. Scherr, Sara J., 1999. "Soil degradation: a threat to developing-country food security by 2020?," 2020 vision discussion papers 27, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Scherr, Sara J., 1999. "Soil degradation: a threat to developing-country food security by 2020?," 2020 vision briefs 58, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Cramb, Rob A., 2004. "Social capital and soil conservation: evidence from the Philippines," 2004 Conference (48th), February 11-13, 2004, Melbourne, Australia 58398, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    9. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
    10. Obare, G. A. & Omamo, S. W. & Williams, J. C., 2003. "Smallholder production structure and rural roads in Africa: the case of Nakuru District, Kenya," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 245-254, May.
    11. Joseph Hayes & Michael Roth & Lydia Zepeda, 1997. "Tenure Security, Investment and Productivity in Gambian Agriculture: A Generalized Probit Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 369-382.
    12. Steven Were Omamo, 1998. "Transport Costs and Smallholder Cropping Choices: An Application to Siaya District, Kenya," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 116-123.
    13. Greene, William H, 1981. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 795-98, May.
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