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Farm productivity in Rwanda: effects of farm size, erosion, and soil conservation investments

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  • Byiringiro, Fidele
  • Reardon, Thomas

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of farm size, soil erosion, and sml conservation investments on land and labor productivity and allocative efficiency in Rwanda. There were several key results. First, there is a strong inverse relationship between farm size and land productivity, and the opposite for labor productivity. For smaller farms, there 1s ev1dence of allocative inefficiency in use of land and labor, probably due to factor market access constraints. Second, farms with greater mvestment in soil conservation have much better land productivity than average. Those with very eroded soils do much worse than average. Smaller farms are not more eroded than larger farms, but have twice the soil conservation investments. Third, land productivity benefits substantially from perenmal cash crops, and the gains to shifting to cash crops are highest for those with low erosion and high use of fertilizer and organic matter. Program and policy effort to encourage and enable farmers to make soil conservation investments, to use fertilizer and organic matter, and to participate in cash cropping of perennials will have big payoffs in productivity. Land markets that allow smaller farmers to buy land could also increase aggregate productivity.
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  • Byiringiro, Fidele & Reardon, Thomas, 1996. "Farm productivity in Rwanda: effects of farm size, erosion, and soil conservation investments," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 127-136, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:15:y:1996:i:2:p:127-136
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    1. Byiringiro, Fidele Usabuwera, 1995. "Determinants Of Farm Productivity And The Size-Productivity Relationship Under Land Constraints: The Case Of Rawanda," Graduate Research Masters Degree Plan B Papers 11215, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. von Braun, Joachim & Haen, Hartwig de & Blanken, Juergen, 1991. "Commercialization of agriculture under population pressure: effects on production, and nutrition in Rwanda," Research reports 85, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Bhalla, Surjit S., 1988. "Does land quality matter? : Theory and measurement," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 45-62, July.
    4. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1973. "Size, Productivity, and Returns to Scale: An Analysis of Farm-Level Data in Indian Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(6), pages 1370-1386, Nov.-Dec..
    5. Bhalla, Surjit S & Roy, Prannoy L, 1988. "Mis-specification in Farm Productivity Analysis: The Role of Land Quality," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 55-73, March.
    6. Eicher, Carl K. & Baker, Doyle Curtis, 1982. "Research on Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Survey," Food Security International Development Papers 54071, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    7. van Zyl, Johan & Binswanger, Hans & Thirtle, Colin, 1995. "The relationship between farm size and efficiency in South African agriculture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1548, The World Bank.
    8. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
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