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Nudging Boserup? The impact of fertilizer subsidies on investment in soil and water conservation

The new fertilizer subsidies in Sub-Saharan Africa are intended to increase agricultural production and ensure fertilizer market development. Fertilizer adoption requires complementary inputs such as investment in soil and water conservation for efficient and optimal nutrient uptake, and many fertilizer subsidy programmes implicitly assume that fertilizer subsidies crowd in such investments. The present study, therefore, evaluates the impact of fertilizer subsidies on the provision of soil and water conservation efforts in Ghana.


What do respondents bring into contingent valuation? A comparison of monetary and labour payment vehicles

In the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), both the goods being valued and the payment vehicles used to value them are mostly hypothetical. However, although numerous studies have examined the impact of experience with the good on the willingness to pay, less attention has been given to experience with the payment vehicles. This paper examines how experience with payment vehicles influences responses to a CV scenario on the maintenance of irrigation canals. Specifically, the paper uses a split-sample survey to investigate the effects of experience with monetary and labour payment vehicles on the acceptance of a CV scenario and protest bids. Using convergent validity tests, we found that experience acquired from using both monetary and labour payment vehicles reduces the asymmetries in acceptance rates. These findings suggest that experience with payment vehicles reduces time/money response asymmetries in the CVM.


Agricultural Investment and Productivity - Building Sustainability in East Africa

Agricultural Investment and Productivity provides a deep and systematic look at the opportunities for and constraints to investments in sustainable agriculture in East Africa, offering important insights into what works and how to analyze agricultural investments in one of the poorest regions of the world. The book critically examines the reasons behind East Africa's stagnant agricultural productivity over the past forty-five years, using the primary lens of investments in fertilizers, seeds, and sustainable land management technologies, These investments have a tremendous impact on production volume, ultimately affecting the income of millions of families throughout the region.


Including Carbon Emissions from Deforestation in the Carbon Footprint of Beef

Effects of land use changes are starting to be included in estimates of life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, so-called carbon footprints (CFs), from food production. Their omission can lead to serious underestimates, particularly for meat. Here we estimate emissions from the conversion of forest to pasture in the Legal Amazon Region (LAR) of Brazil and present a model to distribute the emissions from deforestation over products and time subsequent to the land use change.


Impacts of the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia on livestock

We evaluated the impacts of the Ethiopian Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) on rural households' holdings of livestock and forest assets/trees. We found no indication that participation in PSNP induces households to disinvest in livestock or trees. In fact, households that participated in the program increased the number of trees planted, but there was no increase in their livestock holdings.


A choice experiment on coca cropping

From 1997 to 2005, an astonishing 5200 million USD was invested to reduce cocaine production in Colombia, the world's main cocaine producer. However, little is known about the effectiveness of policies targeting coca cultivation. This paper uses a survey-based experiment to evaluate the effects of the two main policies: eradication and alternative development programs.


Where Do Sustainable Land Management Practices Work: A Comparative Study

The Ethiopian economy has its foundation in the agricultural sector. This sector continues to be a fundamental instrument for poverty alleviation, food security, and fueling economic growth. However, the sector continues to be undermined by land degradation (LD) in the form of depletion of soil organic matter, soil erosion, and lack of adequate plant-nutrient supply (Pender et al., 2006).


Investments in Land Conservation in the Ethiopian Highlands: A Household Plot-Level Analysis of the Roles of Poverty, Tenure Security, and Market Incentives

Land degradation is a major problem undermining land productivity in the highlands of Ethiopia. This study explores the factors that affect farm households’ decisions at the plot level to invest in land conservation and how much to invest, focusing on the roles of poverty, land tenure security, and market access. Unlike most other studies, we used a double-hurdle model in the analysis with panel data collected in a household survey of 6,408 plots in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.


Farmers’ Choice between Public Goods and Agricultural Extension Packages in Ethiopia: A Stated Preference Analysis

Currently, there is a general dichotomy in rural development policies. This dichotomy between extension-driven adoption of modern inputs on the one hand, and community-driven local public goods on the other hand, is particularly evident in the highlands of Ethiopia. Despite the obvious trade-offs between these two approaches, the target populations seldom get the chance to express their preferences for them.


The Bioeconomics of Conservation Agriculture and Soil Carbon Sequestration in Developing Countries

Improving soil carbon through conservation agriculture in developing countries may generate some private benefits to farmers, as well as sequester carbon emissions, which is a positive externality to society. Leaving crop residue on the farm has become an important option in conservation agriculture practice. However, in developing countries, using crop residue for conservation agriculture has the opportunity cost of feed for livestock.


Sustainable Development Innovation Brief #7

"The contribution of sustainable agriculture and land management to sustainable development" - This brief discusses the potential for sustainable agriculture to contribute towards sustainable development with a particular focus on developing countries. It briefly describes different sustainable agricultural practices and the extent of their adoption, identifies constraints to their further adoption, and presents some actions and policy options that could accelerate the widespread adoption of sustainable agricultural practices.


The Effect of Risk, Ambiguity, and Coordination on Farmers´Adaptation to Climate Change: A Framed Field Experiment

The authors used a framed field experiment with coffee farmers in Costa Rica after tropical storm Alma to explore how farmers react to different levels of risk to income and productive means from extreme weather under measurable and unmeasurable uncertainty. They also examined whether investment costs to reduce vulnerability exhibit economies of scope.


Structure and Functioning of Chickpea Markets in Ethiopia: Evidence Based on Analyses of Value Chains Linking Smallholders and Markets

Ethiopia is one of the sub-Saharan countries of Africa which liberalized their economies and developed poverty reduction strategies that underpin market-led strategies for broad-based agricultural development and economic growth. The country has successively adopted economic reform programs that aimed to open up the agricultural marketing system for active participation of the private sector. The liberalization of the Ethiopian grain economy has undergone successive adjustments such as lifting of restriction on private trade, rejection of government trading monopolies, removing of official price setting (Dadi et al. 1992; Gabre-Madhin 2001). The centralized grain marketing activities of the 1980s where pan-territorial input and output prices were determined by the central government have given way to liberalized agricultural markets. Market liberalization means input and output prices are determined by market forces. It has substantially increased participation of the private sector in grain marketing. The current policy environment attempts to promote production and marketing of high value agricultural products with a view to increase competitiveness in domestic, regional and international markets. This is because markets for agricultural products are changing rapidly with different market participants expanding rapidly in controlling the emerging market opportunities. In addition markets are changing in response to changing consumption behaviour towards high value agricultural products induced by rising per capita income, migration, urbanization and globalization.