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Adoption of Organic Farming Techniques: Evidence from a Semi-Arid Region of Ethiopia

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  • Kassie, Menale
  • Zikhali, Precious
  • Manjur, Kebede
  • Edwards, Sue

Abstract

In the wake of the resource constraints for external farm inputs faced by farmers in developing countries, sustainable agriculture that relies on renewable local or farm resources presents desirable options for enhancing agricultural productivity. In this study, we used plot-level data from the semi-arid Tigray region of Ethiopia to investigate the factors influencing farmers’ decisions to adopt sustainable agricultural production practices, with a particular focus on conservation tillage and compost. While there is heterogeneity with regard to the factors that influence the choice to use either tillage or compost, results from a multinomial logit analysis underscored the importance of both plot and household characteristics on adoption decisions. In particular, we found that poverty and access to information, among other factors, impact the choice of farming practices significantly. We also found evidence that the impact of gender on technology adoption is technology-specific, while the significance of plot characteristics indicated that the decision to adopt particular technologies is location-specific. Furthermore, the use of stochastic dominance analysis supported the contention that sustainable farming practices enhance productivity. They even proved to be superior to use of chemical fertilizers—justifying the need to investigate factors that influence adoption of these practices and to use this knowledge to formulate policies that encourage adoption.

Suggested Citation

  • Kassie, Menale & Zikhali, Precious & Manjur, Kebede & Edwards, Sue, 2009. "Adoption of Organic Farming Techniques: Evidence from a Semi-Arid Region of Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-09-01-efd, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-09-01-efd
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/EfD-DP-09-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David R. Lee, 2005. "Agricultural Sustainability and Technology Adoption: Issues and Policies for Developing Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1325-1334.
    2. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 159-173.
    3. Menale Kassie & John Pender & Mahmud Yesuf & Gunnar Kohlin & Randy Bluffstone & Elias Mulugeta, 2008. "Estimating returns to soil conservation adoption in the northern Ethiopian highlands," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(2), pages 213-232, March.
    4. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    5. 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, pages 233-247.
    6. Grepperud, Sverre, 1996. "Population Pressure and Land Degradation: The Case of Ethiopia," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 18-33, January.
    7. Byerlee, Derek & Spielman, David J. & Alemu, Dawit & Gautam, Madhur, 2007. "Policies to promote cereal intensification in Ethiopia: A review of evidence and experience," IFPRI discussion papers 707, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Negatu, W. & Parikh, A., 1999. "The impact of perception and other factors on the adoption of agricultural technology in the Moret and Jiru Woreda (district) of Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 205-216, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simtowe, Franklin & Kassie, Menale & Diagne, Aliou & Asfaw, Solomon & Shiferaw, Bekele & Silim, Said & Muange, Elijah, 0. "Determinants of Agricultural Technology Adoption: The Case of Improved Pigeonpea Varieties in Tanzania," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 50.
    2. Gebrehaweria Gebregziabher & Lisa-Maria Rebelo & Simon Langan, 2016. "Interdependence in rainwater management technologies: an analysis of rainwater management adoption in the Blue Nile Basin," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 449-466, April.
    3. Goswami, Kishor & Choudhury, Hari Kanta & Saikia, Jitu, 2012. "Factors influencing farmers' adoption of slash and burn agriculture in North East India," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 146-151.
    4. Carolyn Afolami & Abiodun Obayelu & Ignatius Vaughan, 2015. "Welfare impact of adoption of improved cassava varieties by rural households in South Western Nigeria," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, December.
    5. Choudhury, Hari K. & Goswami, Kishor, 2013. "Determinants of expansion of area under jatropha plantation in North East India: A Tobit analysis," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 46-52.
    6. Kassie, Menale & Jaleta, Moti & Shiferaw, Bekele & Mmbando, Frank & Mekuria, Mulugetta, 2013. "Adoption of interrelated sustainable agricultural practices in smallholder systems: Evidence from rural Tanzania," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 525-540.
    7. Obedy Eric, Gido, 2012. "Factors Affecting Adoption and Intensity of Use of Organic Soil Management Practices in Maize Production in Bungoma County, Kenya," Research Theses 243445, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    8. Gebregziabher, Gebrehaweria & Rebelo, Lisa-Maria & Notenbaert, A. & Ergano, K. & Abebe, Yenenesh, 2013. "Determinants of adoption of rainwater management technologies among farm households in the Nile River Basin," IWMI Reports 201008, International Water Management Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainable agriculture; adoption; productivity; compost; conservation tillage; Ethiopia;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land

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