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Sustainable agriculture in the Blue Nile Basin: land and watershed management practices in Ethiopia

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  • Schmidt, Emily
  • Tadesse, Fanaye

Abstract

The trade-off between short-term welfare and long-term agricultural development in the highlands of Ethiopia represents a challenge to successful economic development in a predominantly agriculture-based economy. We employ nearest neighbor and kernel-based matching techniques to measure the impact of sustainable land and watershed management (SLWM) on the value of production at the plot level. Analysis suggests that plots that received SLWM investments (terraces, bunds, check dams) within the first study period (1992–2002) had a 24 per cent higher value of production in 2010. In addition, continuous treatment effects analysis provides a robustness check and suggests that plots with existing SLWM infrastructure have a positive and increasing value of production seven years after construction. Although value of production increases over time, net benefits may not outweigh costs, and mechanisms to incentivize maintenance may be needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmidt, Emily & Tadesse, Fanaye, 2014. "Sustainable agriculture in the Blue Nile Basin: land and watershed management practices in Ethiopia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(5), pages 648-667, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:19:y:2014:i:05:p:648-667_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Schmidt, Emily & Chinowsky, Paul & Robinson, Sherman & Strzepek, Kenneth M., 2014. "Determinants and impact of sustainable land and watershed management investments: A systems evaluation in the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 62, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Schmidt, Emily & Zemadim, Birhanu, 2015. "Expanding sustainable land management in Ethiopia: Scenarios for improved agricultural water management in the Blue Nile," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 166-178.
    3. Kosec, Katrina & Ghebru, Hosaena & Holtemeyer, Brian & Mueller, Valerie & Schmidt, Emily, 2016. "The effect of land inheritance on youth employment and migration decisions: Evidence from rural Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1594, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Schmidt, Emily & Chinowsky, Paul & Robinson, Sherman & Strzepek, Kenneth M., 2014. "Summary of Determinants and impact of sustainable land and watershed management investments," ESSP research notes 30, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Katrina Kosec & Hosaena Ghebru & Brian Holtemeyer & Valerie Mueller & Emily Schmidt, 2018. "The Effect of Land Access on Youth Employment and Migration Decisions: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 100(3), pages 931-954.
    6. Yang, Meijian & Wang, Guiling & Lazin, Rehenuma & Shen, Xinyi & Anagnostou, Emmanouil, 2021. "Impact of planting time soil moisture on cereal crop yield in the Upper Blue Nile Basin: A novel insight towards agricultural water management," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 243(C).

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