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Price policy and returns to soil conservation in semi-arid Kenya

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  • Stefano Pagiola

Abstract

This paper develops an approach that uses relatively easily-available data to examine empirically how policy-induced price changes affect the incentives of farmers in developing countries to adopt soil conservation measures. The model shows that there is no simple relationship between price distortions created by government policies and farmers' incentives to adopt conservation measures. Policy-induced price changes could lead to either more or less conservation, depending on site-specific conditions. Data from a semi-arid region in Kenya are used to illustrate the magnitude and direction of changes in price policy on returns to terracing and to show how results are affected by the nature of the conservation technology. In the study area, higher commodity prices increase incentives to adopt conservation measures on steep slopes, but lower them on shallower slopes. If terraces were to require more land to be taken out of production than assumed in the calculations, higher commodity prices would tend to discourage farmers from adopting them. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Suggested Citation

  • 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, vol. 8(3), pages 225-271, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:8:y:1996:i:3:p:225-271
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00339077
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Knight, J B & Sabot, R H & Hovey, D C, 1992. "Is the Rate of Return on Primary Schooling Really 26 Per Cent?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 1(2), pages 192-205, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Argwings-Kodhek, Gem & Mukumbu, Mulinge & Monke, Eric A., 1993. "The Impacts of Maize Market Liberalization in Kenya," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 03.
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    Cited by:

    1. FOUDI Sebastien, 2006. "Agriculture and Resource Exploitation: A Dynamic Bioeconomic Model of Agricultural Effort and Land Use Determination," LERNA Working Papers 06.25.218, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    2. De Jager, A. & Onduru, D. & van Wijk, M. S. & Vlaming, J. & Gachini, G. N., 2001. "Assessing sustainability of low-external-input farm management systems with the nutrient monitoring approach: a case study in Kenya," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 69(1-2), pages 99-118.
    3. 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.
    4. Pender, John L. & Jagger, Pamela & Nkonya, Ephraim M. & Sserunkuuma, Dick, 2001. "Development pathways and land management in Uganda: causes and implications," EPTD discussion papers 85, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Kirui, Oliver & Mrzabaev, Alisher, 2015. "Costs of landj degradation in Eastern Africa," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212007, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Nkonya, Ephraim & Gicheru, Patrick & Woelcke, Johannes & Okoba, Barrack & Kilambya, Daniel & Gachimbi, Louis N., 2008. "On-site and off-Site long-term economic impacts of soil fertility management practices: The case of maize-based cropping systems in Kenya," IFPRI discussion papers 778, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Oostendorp, Remco H. & Zaal, Fred, 2012. "Land Acquisition and the Adoption of Soil and Water Conservation Techniques: A Duration Analysis for Kenya and The Philippines," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1240-1254.
    8. Pender, John L., 1999. "Rural population growth, agricultural change and natural resource management in developing countries: a review of hypotheses and some evidence from Honduras," EPTD discussion papers 48, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Gary R. Vieth & Herath Gunatilake & Linda J. Cox, 2001. "Economics of Soil Conservation: The Upper Mahaweli Watershed of Sir Lanka," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 139-152.
    10. Nkonya, Ephraim M. & Gicheru, Patrick & Woelcke, Johannes & Okoba, Barrack & Kilambya, Daniel & Gachimbi, Louis, 2006. "Out of Site out of Mind: Quantifying the Long-term Off-site economic Impacts of Land Degradation in Kenya," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21344, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    11. Shively, Gerald E., 2001. "Poverty, consumption risk, and soil conservation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 267-290, August.
    12. Pender, John & Jagger, Pamela & Nkonya, Ephraim & Sserunkuuma, Dick, 2004. "Development Pathways and Land Management in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 767-792, May.
    13. Wiebe, Keith D., 2003. "Linking Land Quality, Agricultural Productivity, And Food Security," Agricultural Economics Reports 34073, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    14. Yigezu, Yigezu A. & Tizale, Chilot Y. & Aw-Hassan, Aden, 2015. "Modeling Farmers’ Adoption Decisions of Multiple Crop Technologies: The Case of Barley and Potatoes in Ethiopia," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211867, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Nkonya, Ephraim & Kaizzi, Crammer & Pender, John, 2005. "Determinants of nutrient balances in a maize farming system in eastern Uganda," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 155-182, August.
    16. Pender, John, 2004. "Development pathways for hillsides and highlands: some lessons from Central America and East Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 339-367, August.
    17. Pender, John L. & Scherr, Sara J. & Durón, Guadalupe, 1999. "Pathways of development in the hillsides of Honduras: causes and implications for agricultural production, poverty, and sustainable resource use," EPTD discussion papers 45, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    18. Nkonya, Ephraim M. & Pender, John L. & Kaizzi, Crammer, 2004. "Determinants Of Soil Nutrient Balances And Implications For Addressing Land Degradation And Poverty In Uganda," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20279, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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