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The Determinants Of Cereal Crop Diversity On Farms In The Ethiopian Highlands

  • Benin, Samuel
  • Smale, Melinda
  • Gebremedhin, Berhanu
  • Pender, John L.
  • Ehui, Simeon K.

On farm conservation of crop diversity entails policy challenges, especially when the diversity of crops maintained on farms has both inter-specific (among crops) and infra-specific (within a crop) components. Survey data is used to compare the determinants of inter- and infra-specific diversity on household farms in the highlands of northern Ethiopia. Physical features of the farm, and household characteristics such as livestock assets and the proportion of adults that are men, have large and significant effects on both the diversity among and within cereal crops grown, varying among crops. Demographic aspects such as age of household head and adult education levels affect only infra-specific diversity of cereals. Though there are no apparent trade-offs between policies that would enhance one type of diversity (richness) versus another (evenness), those designed to encourage infra-specific diversity in one cereal crop might have the opposite effect on another crop. Trade-offs between development and diversity in this resource-poor system are not evident. Market-related variables and population density have ambiguous effects. Education positively influences cereal crop diversity. Growing modern varieties of maize or wheat does not detract from the richness or evenness of these cereals on household farms.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/25833
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Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa with number 25833.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae03:25833
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  1. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Pender, John & Tesfay, Girmay, 2003. "Community natural resource management: the case of woodlots in Northern Ethiopia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 129-148, February.
  2. Van Dusen, M. Eric, 2000. "In Situ Conservation Of Crop Genetic Resources In The Mexican Milpa System," Dissertations 11941, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  3. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-98, January.
  4. Bellon, Mauricio R. & Risopoulos, Jean, 2001. "Small-Scale Farmers Expand the Benefits of Improved Maize Germplasm: A Case Study from Chiapas, Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 799-811, May.
  5. Brush, Stephen B. & Taylor, J. Edward & Bellon, Mauricio R., 1992. "Technology adoption and biological diversity in Andean potato agriculture," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 365-387, October.
  6. Gomez, Jose Alfonso Aguirre & Bellon, Mauricio R. & Smale, Melinda, 1998. "A Regional Analysis of Maize Biological Diversity in Southeastern Guanajuato, Mexico," Economics Working Papers 7671, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  7. Smale, Melinda & Bellon, Mauricio R & Aguirre Gomez, Jose Alfonso, 2001. "Maize Diversity, Variety Attributes, and Farmers' Choices in Southeastern Guanajuato, Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 201-25, October.
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