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The Impact of Soil and Water Conservation Program on the Income and Productivity of Farm Households in Adama District, Ethiopia

Y Abebe, A Bekele

Abstract


Land degradation due to soil erosion and nutrient depletion is one of the main problems constraining the development of the agricultural sector in Ethiopia. As part of intervention activities a number of soil and water conservation (SWC) practices have been promoted to smallholder farmers living in highly degraded and drought prone areas of the country. This study was conducted to assess the impact of SWC intervention on the livelihood of smallholder farm households in terms household income and productivity. To meet this objective primary data was gathered in 2012 from 101 SWC program participants and 115 non-participants that were randomly selected from 3 intervention area and 3 counterfactual villages respectively. Descriptive and inferential statistics and propensity score matching (PSM) models were used to address the stated objectives. Results of the descriptive statistics showed that before matching there was statistically significant difference between program participants and their counterfactual households in terms of sex and age of household head, family size and farm size generally in favor of program participants. Results of the PSM model revealed that SWC intervention did not result in significant difference between program participant and nonparticipant households in terms of total crop and household income, and crop yield. However it was to be noted that there were positive trends which all together should guide SWC policy makers to identify important factors influencing the contribution of such a program and reconsider the design and implementation of the interventions

Keywords: Soil and water, Conservation practices, Impact, Oromia region




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