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Adoption of organic farming in Ethiopia

A recently published paper, “Adoption of Organic Farming Techniques: Evidence from a Semi-Arid Region of Ethiopia”, analyzes socio-economic and biophysical characteristics as determinants of adoption of two particular practices of sustainable agriculture – compost and conservation tillage - in the semi-arid region of Tigray, Ethiopia, from the environmental economics perspective.

It concludes that socio-economic characteristics of plots and households were important determinants of adoption decisions. Moreover, it suggests that the impact of gender on technology adoption varies depending on a given technology.

Significantly, stochastic dominance analysis supported the contention that sustainable agriculture enhances productivity; using compost resulted in better crop yields than agro-chemical fertilizers.
 
The full paper is available at
http://www.rff.org/Publications/Pages/PublicationDetails.aspx?PublicationID=20725

With best wishes,

Lim Li Ching
Third World Network

131 Jalan Macalister,

10400 Penang,

Malaysia

Email: twnet@po.jaring.my

Websites: www.twnside.org.sg, www.biosafety-info.net

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

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

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.

 

Key Words: Sustainable agriculture, adoption, productivity, compost, conservation tillage, Ethiopia 

 


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