Leaving land fallow: The case of subsistence farming in the Western Balkans
The key question of this paper is why farmers in Kosovo leave land fallow when the total land of their farms is rather small and households are rather large. In order to elicit some barriers to land utilisation in Kosovo, the paper is based on a comprehensive survey investigating agricultural households’ perceptions of production and market conditions, and employs several households and farm characteristics to empirically approximate the significance of different factors for leaving land fallow and not using it for production purposes. Three different models have been estimated. All estimated model specifications show a statistical significance at a satisfactory level and no severe signs of misspecification. One of the main factors farmers stated for their decision to leave land fallow was the low profitability of farming. The increase in incentives to farmers by improving market institutions up- and downstream is one measure which could alleviate the barriers to land use. Larger arable areas decrease the probability for fallow land. This emphasises the need for land consolidation.
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