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An econometric investigation of impacts of sustainable land management practices on soil carbon and yield risk: A potential for climate change mitigation

Listed author(s):
  • Kato, Edward
  • Nkonya, Ephraim
  • Place, Frank
  • Mwanjalolo, Majaliwa

We investigate the impacts of sustainable land management practices on soil carbon stocks and also impacts of soil carbon on the mean and variance of crop production using econometric tools. Using a cross-sectional plot-level dataset collected from three agroecological zones of Uganda with soil carbon measured at a depth of 0 to 15 centimeters, our results have robustly shown that irrigation, fertilizers, improved fallow, crop residues, mulching, and trash lines are positively and significantly associated with higher soil carbon, corroborating results from agronomic experiments. However, we found crop rotation associated with lower soil carbon, which has also been observed in some agronomic experiments. Soil carbon has shown a significant nonlinear effect on crop production with the threshold occurring at 29.96 milligrams of carbon per hectare, above which farmers start to see significant positive effects on crop production. Furthermore, we found soil carbon to be associated with lower variance of crop production; hence, soil carbon is an indicator of crop yield loss risk (soil carbon has a risk-reducing effect). These empirical results have demonstrated strong evidence for developing countries of the potential of sustainable land management practices to enhance carbon sequestration and also the potential of soil carbon to reduce production risk. The results have implications for the role that soil carbon can play in adaptation to climate change and provision of ecosystem services.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1038.

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Date of creation: 2010
Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1038
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  1. Nkonya, Ephraim & Pender, John & Kaizzi, Kayuki C. & Kato, Edward & Mugarura, Samuel & Ssali, Henry & Muwonge, James, 2008. "Linkages between land management, land degradation, and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: The case of Uganda," Research reports 159, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
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  4. Nkonya, Ephraim M. & Pender, John L. & Jagger, Pamela & Sserunkuuma, Dick & Kaizzi, Crammer & Ssali, Henry, 2004. "Strategies for sustainable land management and poverty reduction in Uganda:," Research reports 133, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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  8. Pender, John & Ssewanyana, Sarah & Edward, Kato & Nkonya, Ephraim M., 2004. "Linkages between poverty and land management in rural Uganda: evidence from the Uganda National Household Survey, 1999/00," EPTD discussion papers 122, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Di Falco, Salvatore & Perrings, Charles, 2005. "Crop biodiversity, risk management and the implications of agricultural assistance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 459-466, December.
  10. Jansen, Hans G. P. & Pender, John L. & Damon, Amy & Schipper, Rob, 2006. "Rural development policies and sustainable land use in the hillside areas of Honduras: a quantitative livelihoods approach," Research reports 147, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Melinda Smale & Jason Hartell & Paul W. Heisey & Ben Senauer, 1998. "The Contribution of Genetic Resources and Diversity to Wheat Production in the Punjab of Pakistan," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(3), pages 482-493.
  12. John Freebairn & Bill Griffiths, 2006. "Introduction," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages 1-1, September.
  13. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
  14. John Pender & Berhanu Gebremedhin, 2008. "Determinants of Agricultural and Land Management Practices and Impacts on Crop Production and Household Income in the Highlands of Tigray, Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(3), pages 395-450, June.
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