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2019-07-17 | EfD Discussion Paper

Open Access Post-Harvest Grazing and Farmers’ Preference for Forage Production Incentives

Hailemariam Teklewold, Alemu Mekonnen, Tagel Gebrehiwot & Mintewab Bezabih. Open Access Post-Harvest Grazing and Farmers’ Preferences for Forage Production Incentives: A Choice Experiment Study of Ethiopia. EfD Discussion Paper Series DP 19-16.
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Open access post-harvest grazing is widespread in mixed crop-livestock systems. This discourages conservation agriculture, which depends on keeping the soil surface covered with crop residues. One way to reduce open access grazing is through restricting communal grazing access to allow rights of exclusion, while simultaneously improving the production of livestock feeds. This paper analyzes farmers’ perceptions about postharvest free grazing on agricultural lands and identifies incentives that motivate forage production, to help inform forage development and policy. We collected data from randomly selected farm households in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia and used a choice experiment method. We found that a majority of farmers would prefer post-harvest grazing restrictions to the existing reciprocal post-harvest grazing. Farmers also had strong preferences for forage production policy incentives, but the results reveal considerable preference heterogeneity. The study provides policy makers with needed information for formulating multiple policy incentives for smallholder forage production systems, with possible implications for other areas with mixed farming systems.