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Impact of Land Institutional Factors on Farm Management and Soil Quality


  • Shuhao, Tan


Soil quality has important implications for sustainable agricultural development and food self-sufficiency in many developing countries. A decrease in soil nutrient stocks, one of the components of soil quality, necessitates more inputs and greater management skills in order to compensate for the reduction in nutrients availability. This is why the interaction of agricultural development and soil quality management attracts widespread attention from researchers. Applying plot level data on input/output, and a selected number of soil quality indicators and farm household level information, from the three villages, this paper examines the impact of land fragmentation and land tenure on soil management, the dynamic component of soil quality, crop husbandry and rice yield at plot level. A 2SLS econometric approach is applied to simultaneously estimate the interlinked relationships between these variables. From these results we conclude that land fragmentation does play a role in farm management practices and decisions. The land tenure status of a plot does not affect crop husbandry decisions on labor and herbicide use. Farmers on rented-in plots do, however, use more chemical fertilizers (phosphorus and potassium). This implies that farmers care more about short-term yields than about the built-up of long-term soil productivity. In order to sustain long-term soil productivity, measures should be taken to ensure that the prices for renting land reflect such soil investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Shuhao, Tan, 2009. "Impact of Land Institutional Factors on Farm Management and Soil Quality," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51662, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae09:51662

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nguyen, Tin & Cheng, Enjiang & Findlay, Christopher, 1996. "Land fragmentation and farm productivity in China in the 1990s," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 169-180.
    2. Blarel, Benoit, et al, 1992. "The Economics of Farm Fragmentation: Evidence from Ghana and Rwanda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 233-254, May.
    3. Cassman, K. G. & Harwood, R. R., 1995. "The nature of agricultural systems: food security and environmental balance," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 439-454, October.
    4. Thampapillai, Dodo J. & Anderson, Jock R., 1994. "A Review of the Socio-Economic Analysis of Soil Degradation Problems for Developed and Developing Countries," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 62(03), December.
    5. Li, Guo & Rozelle, Scott & Brandt, Loren, 1998. "Tenure, land rights, and farmer investment incentives in China," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 63-71, September.
    6. Niek Koning & Nico Heerink & Sjef Kauffman, 2001. "Food Insecurity, Soil Degradation and Agricultural Markets in West Africa: Why Current Policy Approaches Fail," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 189-207.
    7. Abalu, George & Hassan, Rashid, 1998. "Agricultural productivity and natural resource use in southern Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 477-490, December.
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