Resource degradation and adoption of land conservation technologies in the Ethiopian Highlands: A case study in Andit Tid, North Shewa
This paper reports results from a study of resource degradation and conservation behavior of peasant households in a degraded part of the Ethiopian highlands. Peasant households' choice of conservation technologies is modeled as a two-stage process: recognition of the erosion problem, and adoption and level of use of control practices. An ordinal logit model is used to explain parcel-level perception of the threat of the erosion problem and the extent of use of conservation practices. Results show the importance of perception of the threat of soil erosion, household, land and farm characteristics; perception of technology-specific attributes, and land quality differentials in shaping conservation decisions of peasants. Furthermore, where poverty is widespread and appropriate support policies are lacking, results indicate that population pressure per se is unable to encourage sustainable land use. The challenge of breaking the poverty-environment trap and initiating sustainable intensification thus require policy incentives and technologies that confer short-term benefits to the poor while conserving the resource base. © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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