Soil Properties and Soil Conservation Investments in Agricultural Production - a Case study of Kenya’s Central Highlands
AbstractThis paper integrates traditional economic variables, soil properties and variables on soil conservation technologies in order to estimate agricultural output among small-scale farmers in Kenya’s central highlands. The study has methodological, empirical as well as policy results. The key methodological result is that integrating traditional economics and soil science is highly worthwhile in this area of research. Omitting measures of soil capital can cause omitted variables bias since farmers’ choice of inputs depend both on the quality and status of the soil capital and on other economic conditions such as availability and cost of labour, fertilizers, manure and other inputs. The study shows that: (i) models which include soil capital and soil conservation technologies yield a considerably lower output elasticity of farm-yard manure; (ii) mean output elasticities of key soil nutrients like nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) are positive and relatively large; (iii) counter to our expectations, the mean output elasticity of phosphorus (P) is negative; (iv) soil conservation technologies like green manure and terraces are positively associated with output and yield relatively large output elasticities. The central policy conclusion is that while fertilizers are generally beneficial, their application is a complex art and more is not necessarily better. The limited local market supply of fertilizers, combined with the different output effects of N, P and K, point at the importance of improving the performance of input markets and strengthening agricultural extension. Further, given the policy debate on the impact and usefulness of government subsidies to soil conservation, our results suggest that soil conservation investments contribute to increase farmers’ output. Consequently, government support to appropriate soil conservation investments arrests soil erosion, prevents downstream externalities and assists farmers’ efforts to increase food production and food security.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 340.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 27 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
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/
More information through EDIRC
micro analysis of farm firms; resource management;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
- Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2009-02-14 (Africa)
- NEP-AGR-2009-02-14 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2009-02-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2009-02-14 (Environmental Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sherlund, Shane M. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Adesina, Akinwumi A., 2002. "Smallholder technical efficiency controlling for environmental production conditions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 85-101, October.
- 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.
- Berndt, Ernst R & Christensen, Laurits R, 1974. "Testing for the Existence of a Consistent Aggregate Index of Labor Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 391-404, June.
- Berck, Peter & Geoghegan, Jacqueline & Stohs, Stephen, 1998. "A strong test of the von Liebig hypothesis," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt0b81x36x, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
- Jacoby, H.G., 1990.
"Shadow Wages And Peasant Family Labor Supply; An Econometric Application To The Peruvian Sierra,"
73, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
- Jacoby, Hanan G, 1993. "Shadow Wages and Peasant Family Labour Supply: An Econometric Application to the Peruvian Sierra," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 903-21, October.
- Fulginiti, Lilyan E. & Perrin, Richard K., 1998. "Agricultural productivity in developing countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 45-51, September.
- Simmons, Peter & Weiserbs, Daniel, 1979. "Translog Flexible Functional Forms and Associated Demand Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 892-901, December.
- Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
- Peter Berck & Jacqueline Geoghegan & Stephen Stohs, 2000. "A Strong Test of the von Liebig Hypothesis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 948-955.
- Widawsky, David & Rozelle, Scott & Jin, Songqing & Huang, Jikun, 1998. "Pesticide productivity, host-plant resistance and productivity in China," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 203-217, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eva-Lena Neth).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.