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Estimating Agroforestry's Effect on Productivity in Kenya: An Application of a Treatment Effects Model


  • Tsunehiro Otsuki

    (Associate Professor, Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP))


This study investigates the effects of adopting agroforestry and other soil conservation technologies (SCTs) on agricultural productivity in Kenya, using plot-level data on agricultural production. Using a treatment effects model, it is found that adopting agroforestry methods, as well as manure, chemical fertilizer, and terracing/trenching, increases total factor productivity (TFP) and land productivity. The TFP gain is estimated to be 40.7 percent from agroforestry. The average treatment effect for the adopters, however, turns slightly negative due to the negative self-selection effect, possibly because the agroforestry adopters tend to perceive adverse conditions on their land, which motivates them to adopt SCTs. In this sense, agroforestry and the other SCTs are preventive actions predominantly taken by farmers facing adverse conditions. The analysis demonstrates that both the simple mean comparison and the least squares estimation, due to their failure to reflect those complexities, could obscure the real benefits of SCTs.

Suggested Citation

  • Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2010. "Estimating Agroforestry's Effect on Productivity in Kenya: An Application of a Treatment Effects Model," OSIPP Discussion Paper 10E001, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:osp:wpaper:10e001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhunusova, Eliza & Kyalo Willy, Daniel & Holm-Müller, Karin, 2013. "An Analysis of Returns to Integrated Soil Conservation Practices in the Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 160676, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).

    More about this item


    soil conservation technology; sustainability and agricultural productivity; self-selected participation; treatment effects model;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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