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Land degradation, drought and food security in a less-favoured area in the Ethiopian highlands: a bio-economic model with market imperfections

  • Holden, Stein
  • Shiferaw, Bekele

This paper presents a bio-economic model of Andit Tid, a severely degraded crop-livestock farming system with high population density and good market access in the highlands of Ethiopia. Land degradation, population growth, stagnant technology, and drought threaten food security in the area. Drought or weather risk appears to have increased in recent years. The bio-economic model is used to analyse the combined effects of land degradation, population growth, market imperfections and increased risk of drought on household production, welfare and food security. We find that the indirect effects of drought on household welfare through the impact on crop and livestock prices are larger than the direct production effects of drought. Provision and adoption of credit for fertiliser, although risky in itself, may lead to increased grain production and improved household welfare and food security. Provision of credit may have a negative effect on conservation incentives but this effect may be mitigated by linking a conservation requirement to the provision of credit for fertiliser. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Article provided by Blackwell in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 31-49

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:30:y:2004:i:1:p:31-49
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  1. Shiferaw, Bekele & Holden, Stein T., 2001. "Farm-level benefits to investments for mitigating land degradation: empirical evidence from Ethiopia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 335-358, July.
  2. 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.
  3. Holden, Stein T., 1993. "Peasant household modelling: Farming systems evolution and sustainability in northern Zambia," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 241-267, September.
  4. Hans Binswanger, 1981. "Attitudes toward risk: Theoretical implications of an experiment in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00010, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. 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.
  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, vol. 18(3), pages 233-247, May.
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