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Differential impacts of conservation agriculture technology options on household welfare in sub-Saharan Africa


  • Tambo, J.
  • Mockshell, J.


Conservation agriculture (CA), which consists of minimum soil disturbance, crop residue retention and crop rotation, is claimed to generate a number of agronomic, economic and environmental benefits. Recognising these potential benefits, CA is widely promoted in efforts towards sustainable agricultural intensification. However, there has been an intense debate about its suitability in smallholder farming environments, and this has stimulated a growing interest in the adoption and impacts of CA technologies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Using survey data from rural households in nine SSA countries, this paper seeks to add to the extant literature by examining the drivers and welfare impacts of individual and combined implementation of the three components of CA. We employ inverse-probability-weighting regression-adjustment and propensity score matching with multiple treatment estimators. Results show that adoption of a CA technology significantly increases household income and income per adult equivalent. Disaggregating the CA components, we find that adoption of the components in combination is associated with larger income gains than when the components are adopted in isolation, and the largest effect is achieved when households implement the three practices jointly. We identify key factors that might spur increased adoption, including education, secure land rights, and access to institutional support services. Acknowledgement : This research was financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the research projects Promoting Food Security in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Agricultural Intensification, Social Security and Results-Oriented Approaches and Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation (PARI) . This article draws on data from the Lund University led Afrint II project, which was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Swedish Research Foundation. The authors gratefully acknowledge the team of researchers from Sweden and the nine African countries who were involved in the Afrint II project.

Suggested Citation

  • Tambo, J. & Mockshell, J., 2018. "Differential impacts of conservation agriculture technology options on household welfare in sub-Saharan Africa," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277035, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae18:277035

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Lechner, 2002. "Program Heterogeneity And Propensity Score Matching: An Application To The Evaluation Of Active Labor Market Policies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 205-220, May.
    2. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, March.
    3. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    4. Mazvimavi, Kizito & Twomlow, Steve, 2009. "Socioeconomic and institutional factors influencing adoption of conservation farming by vulnerable households in Zimbabwe," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 101(1-2), pages 20-29, June.
    5. Knowler, Duncan & Bradshaw, Ben, 2007. "Farmers' adoption of conservation agriculture: A review and synthesis of recent research," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 25-48, February.
    6. Arslan, Aslihan & McCarthy, Nancy & Lipper, Leslie & Asfaw, Solomon & Cattaneo, Andrea, 2013. "Adoption and Intensity of Adoption of Conservation Farming Practices in Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 147461, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    7. repec:taf:ragrxx:v:56:y:2017:i:2:p:205-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ngoma, Hambulo & Mason, Nicole M. & Sitko, Nicholas, 2015. "Does Minimum Tillage with Planting Basins or Ripping Raise Maize Yields? Meso-panel Data Evidence from Zambia," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 198701, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    9. Abdul Nafeo Abdulai, 2016. "Impact of conservation agriculture technology on household welfare in Zambia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(6), pages 729-741, November.
    10. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9869-5 is not listed on IDEAS
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