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Asfaw S.,FAO of the United Nations | Shiferaw B.,International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center | Simtowe F.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT | Lipper L.,FAO of the United Nations
Food Policy | Year: 2012

This paper evaluates the potential impact of adoption of improved legume technologies on rural household welfare measured by consumption expenditure in rural Ethiopia and Tanzania. The study utilizes cross-sectional farm household level data collected in 2008 from a randomly selected sample of 1313 households (700 in Ethiopia and 613 in Tanzania). The causal impact of technology adoption is estimated by utilizing endogenous switching regression. This helps us estimate the true welfare effect of technology adoption by controlling for the role of selection problem on production and adoption decisions. Our analysis reveals that adoption of improved agricultural technologies has a significant positive impact consumption expenditure (in per adult equivalent terms) in rural Ethiopia and Tanzania. This confirms the potential role of technology adoption in improving rural household welfare as higher consumption expenditure from improved technologies translate into lower poverty, higher food security and greater ability to withstand risk. An analysis of the determinants of adoption highlighted inadequate local supply of seed, access to information and perception about the new cultivars as key constraints for technology adoption. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Giller K.E.,Wageningen University | Corbeels M.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Nyamangara J.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT | Triomphe B.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | And 3 more authors.
Field Crops Research | Year: 2011

Controversy surrounds the promotion of conservation agriculture (CA) in smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa. The introduction of CA is a profound change in farm management. Benefits in reduced erosion and stabilized crop production may be obtained, but technical performance at field level is but one of the determinants of adoption. For various reasons, all of the CA principles are not always fully implemented by farmers and results not as favourable as expected. As with other approaches to increasing agricultural productivity, the production constraints, farmers' objectives, and the expected benefits and costs of implementing CA are important aspects that influence adoption. At farm and village levels, trade-offs in the allocation of resources become important in determining how CA may fit into a given farming system. At a regional level, factors such as the market conditions, interactions among stakeholders and other institutional and political dimensions become important. At each level, opportunities or difficulties emerge that enhance or impede development, adaptation and adoption of CA. The ex-ante identification of situations for where CA (and which form of CA) is appropriate demands research from a multi-stakeholder, multi-level, and interdisciplinary perspective. Recommendations are made where research is required to address key knowledge gaps. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Schipmann C.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT | Qaim M.,Rural University
Food Policy | Year: 2011

There is an emerging body of literature analyzing how smallholder farmers in developing countries can be linked to modern supply chains. However, most of the available studies concentrate on farm and farmer characteristics, failing to capture details of institutional arrangements between farmers and traders. Moreover, farmers' preferences have rarely been considered. Here, we address these gaps by analyzing different market channels for sweet pepper in Thailand. Using data from a survey and choice experiment with farmers, we find that there is a general preference for marketing options that do not involve a contract. Additional provision of inputs and credit can increase the attractiveness of contracts. Yet, the most important factor for farmers is to personally know the buyer they deal with, which may be related to issues of trust. Some policy implications are discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Veldkamp A.,University of Twente | Schoorl J.M.,Wageningen University | Wijbrans J.R.,VU University Amsterdam | Claessens L.,Wageningen University | Claessens L.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT
Geomorphology | Year: 2012

Volcanic-fluvial landscape interaction of the late Cenozoic Mt Kenya region in the upper Tana catchment has been reconstructed. The oldest newly dated phonolite flow is 5.78Ma ( 40Ar/ 39Ar), placing the initiation of Mt Kenya volcanic activity within the Late Miocene, much earlier than reported before, 3-3.5Ma (K/Ar). The main body of the stratovolcano was already in existence around 4.22-5.27Ma ( 40Ar/ 39Ar) supplying lahars to its lower footslopes. The final recorded volcanic main vent phase in the study area produced multiple phonolitic flows and lahars around 2.8Ma ( 40Ar/ 39Ar). There is evidence of at least two major Pliocene drainage blocking events between 3.89 and 2.81Ma ( 40Ar/ 39Ar) causing lava dammed lakes in which volcanic tuff deposits accumulated. Around this time the river Tana did not incise much and shaped an extensive fluvial plain, whose remnants can now be found around 1150m altitude. This fluvial plain has been incising during the last 2.8Ma, whereby the incision rate changed in time due to changing uplift rate and volcanic events. A flood basalt eruption covering 1150km 2, estimated to be 5km 3, on the south flank of Mt Kenya of the Thiba basalts at 0.80Ma ( 40Ar/ 39Ar) plugged the Upper Tana basin and caused significant drainage reorganisation. The Tana was diverted southwards abandoning its former valley. The terrace record in the Tana valley downstream the Thiba basalts appears to register this event as a post 0.8Ma accelerated incision. Current Thiba valley morphology is relatively young and appears to register uplift controlled terraces with interbedded lahars for the last 300ka only, indicating a delayed fluvial response of approximately 0.5Ma. The landscape reconstruction demonstrates that the Tana was well able to compensate for many volcanic events such as lahars and lava flows. Only the build-up of a stratovolcano body and a large flood basalt caused prolonged impact on fluvial landscape development. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Asfaw S.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics ICRISAT | Mithofer D.,World Agro Forestry Center Avenue | Mithofer D.,Formerly Icipe International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology | Waibel H.,Leibniz University of Hanover
Agricultural Economics | Year: 2010

This article evaluates the impact of adoption of European Union (EU) private-sector standards on farmers' health in rural Kenya. The study utilizes cross-sectional farm household-level data collected in 2006 from a randomly selected sample of 439 small-scale export farmers. We estimate the casual impact by utilizing a two-stage Poisson regression model, two-stage standard treatment effect model, as well as by regression based on propensity score, to assess the robustness of the results. Using these techniques, we demonstrate that the pesticide-ascribed incidence of acute illness symptoms and the associated cost of illness significantly decrease with the adoption of standards. Ceteris paribus, farmers who adopt standards experience 70% lesser incidence of acute illness and spent about 50-60% less on restoring their health than nonadopters. Although standards can potentially prevent resource-poor smallholders from maintaining their position in lucrative export markets, they can also result in positive changes in the health of those farmers who do adopt them, as shown by these results. This implies that, if adopted on a large scale, standards may reduce production externalities, corroborating the view that they may serve as a catalyst to transform production systems in developing countries. © 2010 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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