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Policy instruments for sustainable land management: the case of highland smallholders in Ethiopia

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  • Shiferaw, Bekele
  • Holden, Stein T.

Abstract

Degradation of land continues to pose a threat to future food production potential in many developing economies. Various approaches, mainly based on command-and-control policies, have been tried (with limited success) in the past to encourage adoption of erosion-control practices by farm households. High transactions costs and negative distributional impacts on the welfare of the poor limit the usefulness of standards and taxes for soil and water conservation. One innovative approach is the use of interlinked contracts which create positive incentives for land conservation. This study analyses the social efficiency of such policies for erosion-control in the Ethiopian highlands using a non-separable farm household model. Incentive contracts linked with conservation seem to be promising approaches for sustainable resource use in poor rural economies. This may suggest that conservation programs should give greater consideration to better fine-tuning and mix of policies that help achieve both economic and environmental objectives.© 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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  • Shiferaw, Bekele & Holden, Stein T., 2000. "Policy instruments for sustainable land management: the case of highland smallholders in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 217-232, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:22:y:2000:i:3:p:217-232
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    1. LaFrance, Jeffrey T., 1992. "Do Increased Commodity Prices Lead To More Or Less Soil Degradation?," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 36(01), April.
    2. Lutz, Ernst & Pagiola, Stefano & Reiche, Carlos, 1994. "The Costs and Benefits of Soil Conservation: The Farmers' Viewpoint," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(2), pages 273-295, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Bose, Gautam, 1993. "Interlinked contracts and moral hazard in investment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 247-273.
    5. Stefano Pagiola, 1996. "Price policy and returns to soil conservation in semi-arid Kenya," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 225-271.
    6. Shiferaw, Bekele & Holden, Stein T., 1998. "Resource degradation and adoption of land conservation technologies in the Ethiopian Highlands: A case study in Andit Tid, North Shewa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, pages 233-247.
    7. Shiferaw, Bekele & Holden, Stein, 1999. "Soil Erosion and Smallholders' Conservation Decisions in the Highlands of Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 739-752, April.
    8. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ekbom, Anders & Brown, Gardner M. & Sterner, Thomas, 2009. "Muddy Waters: Soil Erosion and Downstream Externalities," Working Papers in Economics 341, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Jaleta, Moti & Kassie, Menale & Erenstein, Olaf, 2015. "Determinants of maize stover utilization as feed, fuel and soil amendment in mixed crop-livestock systems, Ethiopia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, pages 17-23.
    3. World Bank, 2007. "Determinants of the Adoption of Sustainable Land Management Practices and Their Impacts in the Ethiopian Highlands," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7938, The World Bank.
    4. Bekele Shiferaw & Julius Okello & Ratna Reddy, 2009. "Adoption and adaptation of natural resource management innovations in smallholder agriculture: reflections on key lessons and best practices," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 601-619, June.
    5. World Bank, 2007. "Ethiopia - Accelerating Equitable Growth : Country Economic Memorandum, Part 2. Thematic Chapters," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7866, The World Bank.
    6. Shiferaw, Bekele & Reddy, V. Ratna & Wani, Suhas P., 2008. "Watershed externalities, shifting cropping patterns and groundwater depletion in Indian semi-arid villages: The effect of alternative water pricing policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 327-340, September.
    7. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Swinton, Scott M., 2001. "Sustainable Management Of Private And Communal Lands In Northern Ethiopia," Staff Papers 11680, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    8. Zenebe Adimassu & Simon Langan & Robyn Johnston, 2016. "Understanding determinants of farmers’ investments in sustainable land management practices in Ethiopia: review and synthesis," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 1005-1023, August.
    9. Wollni, Meike & Lee, David R. & Thies, Janice E., 2009. "Effects of Participation in Organic Markets and Farmer-based Organizations on the Adoption of Soil Conservation Practices among Small-scale Farmers in Honduras," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51669, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. Holden, Stein & Shiferaw, Bekele, 2004. "Land degradation, drought and food security in a less-favoured area in the Ethiopian highlands: a bio-economic model with market imperfections," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, pages 31-49.
    11. Meike Wollni & David R. Lee & Janice E. Thies, 2010. "Conservation agriculture, organic marketing, and collective action in the Honduran hillsides," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(3-4), pages 373-384, May.

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