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

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. Results show that soil and water conservation technologies have significant impacts on reducing production risk in Ethiopia and could be part of the country's climate-proofing strategy. However, results also show that one-size-fits-all recommendations are not appropriate given the differences in agro-ecology and other confounding factors." from authors' abstract

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 871.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:871

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Keywords: Just and Pope; Risk increasing; Risk reducing; Stone bunds; Soil bunds; Waterways; Grass strips; Contours; Soil and water conservation; Low-rainfall areas; High-rainfall areas; Climate change;

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  1. Salvatore Di Falco & Charles Perrings, 2004. "Crop Biodiversity, Risk Management and the Implications of Agricultural Assistance," Working Papers 0084, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 2004.
  2. Deressa, Temesgen & Hassan, R. M. & Alemu, Tekie & Yesuf, Mahmud & Ringler, Claudia, 2008. "Analyzing the determinants of farmers' choice of adaptation methods and perceptions of climate change in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia:," IFPRI discussion papers 798, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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  5. Jansen, Hans G. P. & Pender, John L. & Damon, Amy & Schipper, Rob, 2006. "Rural development policies and sustainable land use in the hillside areas of Honduras: a quantitative livelihoods approach," Research reports 147, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Pender, John & Ssewanyana, Sarah & Edward, Kato & Nkonya, Ephraim M., 2004. "Linkages between poverty and land management in rural Uganda: evidence from the Uganda National Household Survey, 1999/00," EPTD discussion papers 122, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Yesuf, Mahmud & Bluffstone, Randy, 2007. "Risk aversion in low income countries: Experimental evidence from Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 715, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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  9. Kim, Kwansoo & Chavas, Jean-Paul, 2003. "Technological change and risk management: an application to the economics of corn production," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 125-142, October.
  10. Yesuf, Mahmud & Bluffstone, Randy, 2008. "Risk aversion in low-income countries: Experimental evidence from Ethiopia," Research briefs 15(16), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Stefan Dercon, 2004. "Growth and Shocks: evidence from rural Ethiopia," Development and Comp Systems 0409036, EconWPA.
  12. John Freebairn & Bill Griffiths, 2006. "Introduction," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages S1-S1, 09.
  13. Menale Kassie & John Pender & Mahmud Yesuf & Gunnar Kohlin & Randy Bluffstone & Elias Mulugeta, 2008. "Estimating returns to soil conservation adoption in the northern Ethiopian highlands," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(2), pages 213-232, 03.
  14. Griffin, Ronald C. & Montgomery, John M. & Rister, M. Edward, 1987. "Selecting Functional Form In Production Function Analysis," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 12(02), December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gren, Ing-Marie & Carlsson, Mattias & Elofsson, Katarina & Munnich, Miriam, 2012. "Stochastic carbon sinks for combating carbon dioxide emissions in the EU," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1523-1531.
  2. 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 17, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  3. Zhou, Li & Turvey, Calum G., 2014. "Climate change, adaptation and China's grain production," China Economic Review, 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, vol. 118(2), pages 151-165, May.
  5. 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 126251, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  6. 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 115, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  7. 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 114628, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 1089, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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