This is a chapter in a book entitled "Agricultural Investment and Productivity: Building Sustainability in East Africa" edited by Gunnar Köhlin and Randall Bluffstone, 2011.
This chapter aims to contribute to the literature on soil and water conservation (SWC) by decomposing productivity into technology and technical efficiency (TE) effects. A firm is said to be technically inefficient if it produces less output from a given input bundle than the maximum output that can be attained from the input bundle at the current level of technology.
An in-depth look at the characteristics of best-practice plots shows that SWC is a key part of plot technologies, but plot characteristics also weigh in; plots may therefore not be appropriately matched. One way to match plots appropriately is to identify best practice farms using the stochastic metafrontier approach and then combine SWC, climate, soil, topography, and market characteristics that offer highest levels of efficiency. Through these steps, it is found that SWC is likely to help disadvantaged plots remain productive.
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