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Integrating Soil Sciences into Agricultural Production Frontiers

Author

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  • Ekbom, Anders

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Alem, Yonas

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Sterner, Thomas

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

This paper integrates soil science variables into an economic analysis of agricultural output among small-scale farmers in Kenya’s highlands. The integration is valuable because farmers’ choice of inputs depends on both the status of the soil and socio-economic conditions. The study uses a stochastic production frontier in which the individual farm’s distance to the frontier depends systematically on individual factors. We show the importance of including key soil properties and find that phosphorus has a negative output elasticity, suggesting that farms may be using the wrong fertilizer mix. Hence, the central policy implication is that while fertilizers are generally beneficial, their application needs to be based on better soil information. This highlights the importance of strengthening agricultural extension, increased access to markets, and more diversified supply of production inputs.

Suggested Citation

  • Ekbom, Anders & Alem, Yonas & Sterner, Thomas, 2012. "Integrating Soil Sciences into Agricultural Production Frontiers," Working Papers in Economics 550, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0550
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/31781
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 28-45.
    2. Florent Kinkingninhoun-Mêdagbé & Aliou Diagne & Franklin Simtowe & Afiavi Agboh-Noameshie & Patrice Adégbola, 2010. "Gender discrimination and its impact on income, productivity, and technical efficiency: evidence from Benin," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), pages 57-69.
    3. Sherlund, Shane M. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Adesina, Akinwumi A., 2002. "Smallholder technical efficiency controlling for environmental production conditions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 85-101.
    4. Catalina Carrasco-Tauber & L. Joe Moffitt, 1992. "Damage Control Econometrics: Functional Specification and Pesticide Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(1), pages 158-162.
    5. Hanan G. Jacoby, 1993. "Shadow Wages and Peasant Family Labour Supply: An Econometric Application to the Peruvian Sierra," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 903-921.
    6. Udry, Christopher & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Gender differentials in farm productivity: implications for household efficiency and agricultural policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 407-423, October.
    7. Deolalikar, Anil B & Vijverberg, Wim P M, 1987. "A Test of Heterogeneity of Family and Hired Labour in Asian Agriculture," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(3), pages 291-305, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Willy, Daniel Kyalo & Muyanga, Milu & Jayne, Thomas, 2016. "Can Economic and Environmental Benefits Associated with Agricultural Intensification be Sustained at High Population Densities? A Farm Level Empirical Analysis," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 246433, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    2. Chapoto, Antony & Sabasi, Darlington & Asante-Addo, Collins, "undated". "Fertilizer Intensification and Soil Fertility Impact on Maize Yield Response in Northern Ghana," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205694, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. Sheahan, Megan & Black, Roy & Jayne, T.S., 2013. "Are Kenyan farmers under-utilizing fertilizer? Implications for input intensification strategies and research," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 39-52.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Soil analysis; stochastic production frontier; agricultural productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • Q02 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Commodity Market
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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