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Social Capital and Soil Erosion Control in Agriculturally Marginal Areas of Kenya: The Case of Machakos and Taita-Taveta Districts

Author

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  • Obare, Gideon A.
  • Mwakubo, Samuel M.
  • Ouma, Emily Awuor
  • Mohammed, Lutta
  • Omiti, John M.

Abstract

This paper evaluates the farmers perception of the soil erosion problem, and identifies and analyses social capital elements that motivate households to actively participate in soil conservation in agricultural production process. The data used in the study was generated using a structured questionnaire in a survey that covered 321 households in Kenyas semi arid districts of Machakos and Taita-Taveta Districts. Two modelling strategies were used: A Probit model was used to estimate the likelihoods of factors that may influence farmers perception of soil erosion problem, and a Tobit to estimate parameters of factors that influence terracing intensity. The results indicate that although perception of the soil erosion problem is relatively high in the study sites, its effect on soil conservation investments is not significant. In Machakos, the significant determinants of terracing intensity include land tenure, crop area, household size, and membership diversity whereas in Taita-Taveta they include age of household head and consumer-worker ratio. Results from the aggregated data show that lagged crop output, group membership density and diversity, cognitive social capital and location significantly influence the terracing intensity on farm household fields. The policy challenge is to establish and strengthen social capital elements that have a strong influence on communities undertaking soil erosion control measures for sustainable agriculture and rural development.

Suggested Citation

  • Obare, Gideon A. & Mwakubo, Samuel M. & Ouma, Emily Awuor & Mohammed, Lutta & Omiti, John M., 2004. "Social Capital and Soil Erosion Control in Agriculturally Marginal Areas of Kenya: The Case of Machakos and Taita-Taveta Districts," 2004 Inaugural Symposium, December 6-8, 2004, Nairobi, Kenya 9532, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaaeke:9532
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; Marginal areas; Soil erosion; Perception; Two-step estimation; Kenya; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; C24; D23; Q15; Z13;

    JEL classification:

    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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