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Agriculture

2008-04-30

Can the restrictive harvest period policy conserve mopane worms in Southern Africa? A bio-economic modelling approach

Imbrasia Belina also known as the mopane worm, like other edible insects and caterpillars, is a vital source of protein to Southern African countries. The worms live and graze on mopane trees, which occupy agricultural land. With increasing commercialization of the worm, the management of the worm, which was hitherto organized as a common property resource, has degraded to a near open access.

2008-04-08

Market Imperfections and Farm Technology Adoption Decisions: A Case Study from the Highlands of Ethiopia

This examination of the impacts of market and institutional imperfections on technology adoption found that Ethiopian farmers’ decisions to adopt fertilizer significantly and negatively depended on whether they also adopted soil conservation, but not vice versa. Market imperfections were significant factors in explaining variations in decisions to adopt farm technology, such that relieving market imperfections could increase adoption of farm technologies.

2007-08-01

Are the Poor Benefiting from China's Land Conservation Program?

This paper studies the impact of the largest conservation set-aside program in the developing world, China’s Grain for Green program, on poverty alleviation in rural areas. Based on a large-scale survey, we find that although poor households in rural China were not disproportionately targeted, they have benefited.

2007-08-01

Land Conservation Policies and Income Distribution: Who Bears the Burden of our Environmental Efforts?

We analyze how land conservation policies affect income distribution looking at changes in wages and rents. Land conservation policies restrict the land for agricultural use. We study how these restrictions affect workers and landowners incomes. Aggregate rents rise when protected areas increase despite the reduction of land availability. Real wages decrease as a consequence of higher prices.

2007-03-01

Sharecropping Efficiency in Ethiopia: Threats of Eviction and Kinship

We tested a theoretical model with the Marshallian inefficiency (H1) and threat of eviction (H2) hypotheses having opposite effects on land productivity on sharecropped plots. The model also assumes that kinship contracts may eliminate or reduce the Marshallian inefficiency (H3) and threat of eviction (H4) effects on land productivity.

2005-01-01

Assessing linkages between agriculture and biodiversity in Central America: Historical overview and future perspectives

The objective of this report is to explore the impact of agriculture on biodiversity conservation in Central America, identify the factors which perpetuate or exacerbate agricultural systems or management practices that adversely impact biodiversity conservation, and examine different strategies and approaches that could be used to potentially mitigate some of the negative impacts of agriculture on biodiversity conservation, either by making the agricultural systems more compatible with biodiversity conservation, or by removing the stimuli for agricultural expansion into remaining natural areas or unsustainable agricultural practices.

2004-09-01

The HIPC initiative and free trade in tobacco – a comparison of effects on the Malawi economy using a CGE model

The Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative is intended to improve the situation of the poorest developing countries by reducing their debt burden and by permitting increased spending on education and health services. However, at the same time the developed countries funding the HIPC initiative retain agricultural policies that hinder exports form the developing countries in those sectors where they have comparative advantages.

2003-12-01

Implicit water pricing in Namibian farmland markets

Groundwater can augment total agricultural water supply in areas where rainfall is persistently low, but can also function as a buffer source of water in areas where rainfall is high but variable. In arid countries it is important to examine which of these functions dominates, as this has implications for water policy.

2017-04-28

Adaptation to Climate Change Can Improve Supply of Body Energy Needs and Reduce Malnutrition

Researchers at EfD-Kenya have found new evidence that nutritional poverty is linked with climate change and variability. ‘In Kenya and other African countries, a majority of farmers depend on rainfall that is increasingly unpredictable,’ said Dr Richard Mulwa, Senior Research Associate at EfD-Kenya and one of the lead investigators in the study. ‘Also, increasing temperature reduces food production. Therefore, it is critical for these farmers to change their farming practices in response to climate change’.  

2017-04-28

Nature helps farmers cope with climate change

Central America has more than 2.3 million families depending on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods, making them vulnerable to climate change risks such as rising temperatures, extreme events such as drought and flooding, and also crop diseases. Researchers associated with the Swedish-based Environment for Development (EfD) initiative are running an ecosystems-based adaptation project in Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica that supports smallholder farming communities in adapting to changing conditions. This project scales up the needs and opportunities of smallholders to promote changes in public policies at a regional level.

2017-04-28

Climate change is affecting food security

A recent study in Kenya shows that climate change and variability will increase food insecurity and that different food crops will respond differently to climate change variables. The study also highlights the different factors influencing food insecurity in a changing climate. This is important information for farmers as well as the government.

2017-04-28

Sustainable energy transitions to support the Climate-Resilient Green Economy Strategy

Ethiopia aims to build a green economy and to follow a growth path that fosters sustainable development. Through the development of its Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy, which is based on carbon-neutral growth, it envisions attaining middle-income status by 2025. Improving the productivity of the agricultural sector, protecting forests, expanding the coverage of electric power from renewable sources of energy and transitioning into modern and energy-efficient technologies are the main pillars of Ethiopia’s CRGE strategy. 

2015-04-10

Farmers are willing to pay for irrigation

How can charging money for something that was free be a good idea for poor farmers? It turns out that pricing irrigation water will help improve Ethiopian farmers’ efficiency in water use, increase agricultural and food production, and make the population less vulnerable to climate change. One unique contribution of environmental economists is that they collect data from the field and then calculate what natural resources are really worth.

2015-04-09

Mixed strategy farming is best in face of climate change

The South African node of the EfD network, the Environmental Economics Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town is working towards influencing South African policy in four key areas: climate change, biodiversity conservation, marine fisheries, and energy. One of the recent studies identified mixed farming as a crucial strategy to adapt to climate change, particularly for small farmers.

2010-01-29

Green accounting puts price on Ethiopian soil erosion and deforestation

Ethiopia loses large amounts of money due to deforestation and soil erosion. Recent research shows in monetary terms the value of the country’s natural resources and the costs of soil degradation. It also reveals that official government reports greatly underestimate the contribution of forests and soil resources to the national economy. A way for decision makers to address the problems is to adopt natural resource accounting.

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