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Strategies To Increase Agricultural Productivity And Reduce Land Degradation: Evidence From Uganda

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  • Pender, John L.
  • Nkonya, Ephraim M.
  • Jagger, Pamela
  • Sserunkuuma, Dick
  • Ssali, Henry

Abstract

This paper estimates a structural econometric model of household decisions regarding income strategies, participation in programs and organizations, crop choices, land management, and labor use, and their implications for agricultural production and land degradation; based upon a survey of over 450 households and their farm plots in Uganda. The results generally support the Boserupian model of population-induced agricultural intensification, but do not support the "more people-less erosion" hypothesis, with population pressure found to contribute to erosion in the densely populated highlands. Agricultural technical assistance programs have location-specific impacts on agricultural production and land degradation, contributing to higher value of crop production in the lowlands, but to soil erosion in the highlands. By contrast, NGO programs focusing on agriculture and environment are helping to reduce erosion, but have mixed impacts on production. We find little evidence of impact of access to markets, roads and credit, land tenure or title on agricultural intensification and crop production, though road access appears to contribute to land degradation in the highlands. Education increases household incomes, but also reduces crop production in the lowlands. We do not find evidence of a poverty-land degradation trap, while poverty has mixed impacts on agricultural production: smaller farms obtain higher crop production per hectare, while households with fewer livestock have crop production. These findings suggest that development of factor markets can improve agricultural efficiency. Several other factors that contribute to increased value of crop production, without significant impacts on land degradation, include specialized crop production, livestock and nonfarm income strategies, and irrigation. In general, the results imply that the strategies to increase agricultural production and reduce land degradation must be location-specific, and that there are few "win-win" opportunities to simultaneously increase production and reduce land degradation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa with number 25816.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae03:25816

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Keywords: Agricultural productivity; land degradation; agricultural development strategies; Uganda; farm size-productivity; Land Economics/Use; Productivity Analysis;

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