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On-site economic evaluation of soil conservation practices in Honduras


  • Carcamo, Julio A.
  • Alwang, Jeffrey
  • Norton, George W.


Factors affecting the cost to the farmer of employing soil erosion reduction strategies are examined for the steep hillsides near Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Linear programming and MOT AD are used to examine these factors. Results indicate that some modest reductions in erosion can be achieved at little cost to the farmer by reorganizing production, switching .rotations, and using contour plowing. These modest reductions still lead to extremely high rates of erosion. Sharper reductions may be achieved at progressively higher costs as erosion control structures are constructed and acreage is left fallow. There is a high cost to the farmer of reducing erosion to 'sustainable' levels. A consistent tradeoff emerges between levels of soil conservation, income, and risk; erosion reduction efforts lead to lower incomes and higher risk. The analysis of likely benefits to farmers for erosion reduction shows that even under assumptions of very high yield losses from soil erosion, optimal farm plans still lead to high rates of soil loss, implying a need for policies that internalize externalities if off-farm damages are to be minimized.
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  • Carcamo, Julio A. & Alwang, Jeffrey & Norton, George W., 1994. "On-site economic evaluation of soil conservation practices in Honduras," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 11(2-3), pages 257-269, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:11:y:1994:i:2-3:p:257-269

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hans P. Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes Toward Risk: Experimental Measurement in Rural India," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 62(3), pages 395-407.
    2. David J. Walker & Douglas L. You, 1986. "The Effect of Technical Progress on Erosion Damage and Economic Incentives for Soil Conservation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(1), pages 83-93.
    3. Wesley D. Seitz & C. Robert Taylor & Robert G. F. Spitze & Craig Osteen & Mack C. Nelson, 1979. "Economic Impacts of Soil Erosion Contro," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-42.
    4. Alberto Veloz & Douglas Southgate & Fred Hitzhusen & Robert Macgregor, 1985. "The Economics of Erosion Control in a Subtropical Watershed: A Dominican Case," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(2), pages 145-155.
    5. Edward B. Barbier, 1990. "The Farm-Level Economics of Soil Conservation: The Uplands of Java," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(2), pages 199-211.
    6. Blase, Melvin George, 1960. "Soil erosion control in western Iowa: problems and progress," ISU General Staff Papers 196001010800003634, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernard Elyakime & Jean-François Bruno, 2000. "Gestion de la lutte contre une érosion de versant avec dégâts sur site public," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 257(1), pages 67-77.
    2. Shiferaw, Bekele & Holden, Stein, 1998. "A Farm Household Analysis of Land Use and Soil Conservation Decisions of Smallholder Farmers in the Ethiopian Highlands," 1998 Fourth AFMA Congress, January 26-30, 1998, Stellenbosch, South Africa 187624, African Farm Management Association (AFMA).

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