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Does Fertilizer Use Respond to Rainfall Variability? Panel Data Evidence from Ethiopia

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Author Info

  • Alem, Yonas

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Bezabih, Mintewab

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth, UK)

  • Kassie, Menale

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Zikhali, Precious

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

In this paper we use farmers' actual experiences with changes in rainfall levels and their responses to these changes to assess if patterns of fertilizer use are responsive to changes in rainfall patterns. Using plot and farm level panel data from the central Highlands of Ethiopia matched with corresponding village level rainfall data; results show that both the current year’s decision to adopt and the intensity of fertilizer adoption is positively associated with higher rainfall levels experienced in the previous year. Furthermore, we find a concave relationship between previous season rainfall levels and fertilizer adoption, indicating that too much rainfall discourages adoption. Abundant rainfall in the previous year could depict relaxed liquidity constraints and increased affordability of fertilizer, which makes rainfall availability critical in severely credit constrained environments. In light of similar existing literature, the major contribution of the study is its use of plot level panel data, which permits us to investigate the importance of plot characteristics in fertilizer adoption decisions.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/18935
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 337.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 05 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0337

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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Keywords: Fertiliser adoption; Rainfall; Highlands of Ethiopia; Panel data;

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References

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  1. Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1727, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Stefan Dercon, 2002. "Income Risk, Coping Strategies, and Safety Nets," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 141-166, September.
  3. Clay, Daniel & Reardon, Thomas & Kangasniemi, Jaakko, 1998. "Sustainable Intensification in the Highland Tropics: Rwandan Farmers' Investments in Land Conservation and Soil Fertility," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 351-77, January.
  4. Seo, S. Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2008. "An analysis of crop choice: Adapting to climate change in South American farms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 109-116, August.
  5. Stefan Dercon, 2003. "Growth and Shocks: evidence from rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2003-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
  7. John Hoddinott, 2006. "Shocks and their consequences across and within households in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 301-321.
  8. Fufa, B. & Hassan, Rashid M., 2006. "Determinants of fertilizer use on maize in Eastern Ethiopia: A weighted endogenous sampling analysis of the extent and intensity of adoption," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 45(1), March.
  9. Russell L. Lamb, 2003. "Fertilizer Use, Risk, and Off-Farm Labor Markets in the Semi-Arid Tropics of India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 359-371.
  10. Shively, Gerald E., 1997. "Consumption risk, farm characteristics, and soil conservation adoption among low-income farmers in the Philippines," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 17(2-3), pages 165-177, December.
  11. Demeke, Mulat & Kelly, Valerie A. & Jayne, Thomas S. & Said, Ali & Le Vallee, Jean-Charles & Chen, H., 1998. "Agricultural Market Performance and Determinants of Fertilizer Use in Ethiopia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 55599, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Temesgen Tadesse Deressa, 2011. "Effects of climatic conditions and agro-ecological settings on the productive efficiencies of small-holder farmers in Ethopia," Working Papers 223, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  2. Alem, Yonas & Broussard, Nzinga H., 2013. "Do Safety Nets Promote Technology Adoption? Panel data evidence from rural Ethiopia," Working Papers in Economics 556, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Bumb, Balu L. & Johnson, Michael E. & Fuentes, Porfirio A., 2011. "Policy options for improving regional fertilizer markets in West Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1084, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Larson, Donald F. & Gurara, Daniel Zerfu, 2013. "A conceptual model of incomplete markets and the consequences for technology adoption policies in Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6681, The World Bank.

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