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The sustainable land management program in the Ethiopian highlands: An evaluation of its impact on crop production:

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  • Schmidt, Emily
  • Tadesse, Fanaye

Abstract

Agricultural productivity in the highlands of Ethiopia is threatened by severe land degradation, resulting in significant reductions in agricultural GDP. In order to mitigate ongoing erosion and soil nutrient loss in the productive agricultural highlands of the country, the government of Ethiopia initiated a Sustainable Land Management Program (SLMP) targeting 209 woredas (districts) in six regions of the country. This study evaluates the impact of SLMP on the value of agricultural production in select woredas by using a panel survey from 2010 to 2014. Whereas previous studies have used cross-sectional data and short timeframe field trials to measure sustainable land management (SLM) effects on agricultural productivity, this analysis exploits data collected over four years to assess impact. The results of this analysis show that participation by farmers in SLMP, regardless of the number of years of participation in the program, is not associated with significant increases in value of production. This may be due to several reasons. First, similar to previous studies, it is possible that longer term maintenance is necessary in order to experience significant benefits. For example, Schmidt and Tadesse (2014) report that farmers must maintain SLM for a minimum of seven years to reap benefits in value of production. Second, this analysis finds that value of production, as well as SLM investments, increased significantly in both treatment and non-treatment areas over the study period. Previous research has found that non-treatment neighbors learn from nearby program areas, and adopt technologies similar to programmed areas, which would dilute the impact measurement of program effects (Bernard et al. 2007; Angelucci and DiMaro 2010). Finally, it is important to note that kebeles that were not selected in the SLMP, but are downstream relative to a targeted kebele may receive indirect benefits through reduced flooding, increased water tables, etc. Thus, the impact of the SLMP may be underestimated in this analysis if non-program kebeles are benefiting indirectly from the program.

Suggested Citation

  • Schmidt, Emily & Tadesse, Fanaye, 2017. "The sustainable land management program in the Ethiopian highlands: An evaluation of its impact on crop production:," ESSP working papers 103, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:esspwp:103
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shiferaw, Bekele & Holden, Stein T., 1998. "Resource degradation and adoption of land conservation technologies in the Ethiopian Highlands: A case study in Andit Tid, North Shewa," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 233-247, May.
    2. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    3. Kassie, Menale & Holden, Stein & Köhlin, Gunnar & Bluffstone, Randy, 2008. "Economics of Soil Conservation Adoption in High-Rainfall Areas of the Ethiopian Highlands," Discussion Papers dp-08-09-efd, Resources For the Future.
    4. Agnes Quisumbing & Bob Baulch & Neha Kumar, 2011. "Evaluating the long-term impact of anti-poverty interventions in Bangladesh: an overview," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 153-174.
    5. Kassie, Menale & Pender, John & Yesuf, Mahmud & Kohlin, Gunnar & Bluffstone, Randy & Mulugeta, Elias, 2007. "Impact of soil conservation on crop production in the Northern Ethiopian Highlands:," IFPRI discussion papers 733, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Manuela Angelucci & Vincenzo Di Maro, 2010. "Program Evaluation and Spillover Effects," SPD Working Papers 1003, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness (SPD).
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    Cited by:

    1. Ali, Daniel Ayalew & Deininger, Klaus & Monchuk, Daniel, 2020. "Using satellite imagery to assess impacts of soil and water conservation measures: Evidence from Ethiopia’s Tana-Beles watershed," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).

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    Keywords

    ETHIOPIA; EAST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; sustainability; land management; land degradation; productivity; agricultural development; water management;

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