STRATEGIES TO INCREASE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY AND REDUCE LAND DEGRADATION: EVIDENCE FROM UGANDA
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This paper estimates a structural econometric model of household decisions regarding income strategies, participation in programs and organisations, crop choices, land management, and labour use, and their implications for agricultural production and soil erosion: based upon a survey of over 450 households and their farm plots in Uganda. Many factors have context-specific impacts and involve trade-offs between increasing production and reducing land degradation. Government agricultural extension and training programs contribute to higher value of crop production in the lowlands, but to soil erosion in the highlands. By contrast, non-governmental organization (NGO) programs focusing on agriculture and environment help to reduce erosion, but have less favourable impacts on production in the lowlands. Education increases household incomes, but also reduces crop production in the lowlands. Poverty has mixed impacts on agricultural production, depending on the nature of poverty: smaller farms obtain higher crop production per hectare, while households with fewer livestock have lower crop production. Population pressure contributes to agricultural intensification, but also to erosion in the densely populated highlands. Several household income strategies contribute to increased value of crop production, without significant impacts on soil erosion. We find little evidence of impact of access to markets, roads and credit, land tenure or title on agricultural intensification and crop production and land degradation. In general, the results imply that the strategies to increase agricultural production and reduce land degradation must be location-specific, and that there are few 'win-win' opportunities to simultaneously increase production and reduce land degradation. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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