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Resource degradation and adoption of land conservation technologies in the Ethiopian Highlands: A case study in Andit Tid, North Shewa

  • Shiferaw, Bekele
  • Holden, Stein T.

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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Article provided by Blackwell in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (1998)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 233-247

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:18:y:1998:i:3:p:233-247
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  1. Grepperud, Sverre, 1996. "Population Pressure and Land Degradation: The Case of Ethiopia," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 18-33, January.
  2. Holden, Stein T. & Shiferaw, Bekele & Wik, Mette, 1998. "Poverty, market imperfections and time preferences: of relevance for environmental policy?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 105-130, February.
  3. Bellon, Mauricio R & Taylor, J Edward, 1993. ""Folk" Soil Taxonomy and the Partial Adoption of New Seed Varieties," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(4), pages 763-86, July.
  4. Christine A. Ervin & David E. Ervin, 1982. "Factors Affecting the Use of Soil Conservation Practices: Hypotheses, Evidence, and Policy Implications," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 58(3), pages 277-292.
  5. Kebede, Yohannes & Gunjal, Kisan & Coffin, Garth, 1990. "Adoption of New Technologies in Ethiopian Agriculture: The Case of Tegulet-Bulga District, Shoa Province," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(1), April.
  6. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-98, January.
  7. Adesina, Akinwumi A. & Baidu-Forson, Jojo, 1995. "Farmers' perceptions and adoption of new agricultural technology: evidence from analysis in Burkina Paso and Guinea, West Mrica," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 13(1), October.
  8. Heath, John & Binswanger, Hans, 1996. "Natural resource degradation effects of poverty and population growth are largely policy-induced: the case of Colombia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 65-84, February.
  9. Adesina, Akinwumi A. & Zinnah, Moses M., 1993. "Technology characteristics, farmers' perceptions and adoption decisions: A Tobit model application in Sierra Leone," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 9(4), December.
  10. Brian W. Gould & William E. Saupe & Richard M. Klemme, 1989. "Conservation Tillage: The Role of Farm and Operator Characteristics and the Perception of Soil Erosion," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(2), pages 167-185.
  11. Reardon, Thomas & Vosti, Stephen A., 1995. "Links between rural poverty and the environment in developing countries: Asset categories and investment poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1495-1506, September.
  12. Kebede, Yohannes & Gunjal, Kisan & Coffin, Garth, 1990. "Adoption of new technologies in Ethiopian agriculture: The case of Tegulet-Bulga district Shoa province," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 27-43, April.
  13. Fujisaka, Sam, 1994. "Learning from six reasons why farmers do not adopt innovations intended to improve sustainability of upland agriculture," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 409-425.
  14. Adesina, Akinwumi A. & Baidu-Forson, Jojo, 1995. "Farmers' perceptions and adoption of new agricultural technology: evidence from analysis in Burkina Faso and Guinea, West Africa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 1-9, October.
  15. Adesina, Akinwumi A. & Zinnah, Moses M., 1993. "Technology characteristics, farmers' perceptions and adoption decisions: A Tobit model application in Sierra Leone," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 297-311, December.
  16. Norris, Patricia E. & Batie, Sandra S., 1987. "Virginia Farmers' Soil Conservation Decisions: An Application Of Tobit Analysis," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 19(01), July.
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