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Journal ArticleDOI

The role of trees for sustainable management of less-favored lands: the case of eucalyptus in Ethiopia

01 Jan 2003-Forest Policy and Economics (Elsevier)-Vol. 5, Iss: 1, pp 83-95
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors review the ecological debate surrounding the planting of eucalyptus trees and conclude that a policy option favoring the allocation of wastelands for private tree planting offers the greatest opportunity for rural smallholders.
About: This article is published in Forest Policy and Economics.The article was published on 2003-01-01 and is currently open access. It has received 273 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Eucalyptus & Tree planting.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, an analysis of the environmental evolution of the Ethiopian highlands in the late Quaternary is presented, showing that the most important present-day geomorphic processes are sheet and rill erosion throughout the country, gullying in the highlands, and wind erosion in the Rift Valley and the peripheral lowlands.

564 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Sustainability of biomass based fuel use requires that in biomass production erosion and water usage do not exceed addition to stocks of soil and water and that levels of nutrients and organic matter in soils do not decrease.

280 citations

Posted ContentDOI
TL;DR: The authors in this article found that Kenyan horticultural exports are indeed a success story: horticulture has become the third largest earner of foreign exchange, more than half the exports are produced by smallholders, and smallholders gain from producing for the export market.
Abstract: Kenyan horticultural exports are often cited as a success story in African agriculture. Fruit and vegetable exports from Cote d’Ivoire have received less attention, but the export value is similar to that of Kenya. This paper focuses on three questions. First, do the horticultural sectors of Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire constitute valid success stories? Second, what factors have contributed to the success (or lack thereof)? And third, to what degree can the success be replicated in other African countries? The paper finds that Kenyan horticultural exports are indeed a success story: horticulture has become the third largest earner of foreign exchange, more than half the exports are produced by smallholders, and smallholders gain from producing for the export market. At the same time, the total number of smallholders producing for export is relatively small, and trends in European retailing may shift the advantage to larger producers. Cote d’Ivoire is not as clearly a success story because the most of the exports are produced on large industrial estates and because growth has been uneven. Ivorian exports rely on preferential access to European markets relative to Latin American exporters, raising doubts about sustainability. Factors in the growth and success of horticultural exports include a realistic exchange rate, stable policies, a good investment climate, competitive international transport connections, institutional, and social links with markets in Europe, and continual experimentation with the market institutions to link farmers and exporters. Smallholder participation is encouraged by farmer training and extension schemes, investment in small-scale irrigation, and assistance in establishing links with exporters. Many of the lessons of Kenyan horticulture can be applied elsewhere in Africa. Indeed, Kenya faces increasing competition from neighboring countries trying to replicate its success. At the same time, market institutions take time to develop, and demand constraints probably prevent other African countries from achieving the same level of success as Kenya. Keywords: horticulture, exports, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire

243 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors assess the investment and productivity impacts of the recent low-cost land certification implemented in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, using a unique household and farm-plot-level panel data set, with data from before and up to eight years after the reform.
Abstract: New land reforms are again high on the policy agenda and low-cost, propoor reforms are being tested in poor countries. This article assesses the investment and productivity impacts of the recent low-cost land certification implemented in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, using a unique household and farm-plot-level panel data set, with data from before and up to eight years after the reform. Alternative econometric methods were used to test and control for endogeneity of certification and for unobserved household heterogeneity. Significant positive impacts were found, including effects on the maintenance of soil conservation structures, investment in trees, and land productivity. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

240 citations

Cites background from "The role of trees for sustainable m..."

  • ...However, eucalyptus may be the most profitable crop to grow for rural households in Ethiopia (Holden et al. 2003; Jagger and Pender 2000) and local norms and attitudes toward tree planting may differ from the rules stated by the law....


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TL;DR: In this paper, a theoretical approach is outlined, showing that the tragedy of the commons is an unsatisfactory model of common property, and an alternative model is presented, together with a call for research into institutional alternatives in resource management.

409 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, an integrated economic-hydrologic modeling framework that accounts for the interactions between water allocation, farmer input choice, agricultural productivity, non-agricultural water demand, and resource degradation in order to estimate the social and economic gains from improvement in the allocation and efficiency of water use is presented.

406 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors identify factors affecting organization and collective action among water users in major canal irrigation systems in India and find that organizations are more likely to be formed in larger commands, closer to market towns, with religious centers and potential leadership from college graduates and influential persons.

389 citations

Frequently Asked Questions (17)
Q1. What is the common criticism of eucalyptus trees?

When considering tree species to be used for afforestation or for integration intofarming systems (i.e., agroforestry), depletion of soil nutrients is one of the most commonly cited criticisms associated with eucalyptus trees. 

16 Reduction in crop output is the major implication of allelopathic effects in smallholder farming systems when trees are planted adjacent to crops. 

Other eucalyptus benefits that have been excluded from their analysis include fuelwood and honey, as well as the value of any benefits that might arise as positive externalities such as soil erosion control. 

After borrowers demonstrate their credit-worthiness over a period of, say, four or five years, they are considered qualified for longer-term loans. 

Access to credit is likely to be most important to women, the poor and other marginalized groups that have few assets and find it difficult to invest in land uses with medium term benefits. 

The question of what to do with the site after the productive life of the woodlot has ended will have implications for smallholders that have planted trees on farmlands or other areas with positive opportunity costs. 

The reasons to plant and manage trees privately include assurance of acquisitionof perceived net benefits, relative security involved in the investment, and the opportunity cost of undertaking the land use change within the context of the farm production system (Gregersen, Draper, and Elz 1989). 

Among the options discussed, the most promising, for socioeconomic and ecological reasons as well as the ease of implementation, appears to be allowing75communities to allocate hillsides and degraded lands for private (or village-managed) tree planting. 

Based upon these considerations, the authors hypothesize that tree planting activities are most profitable in areas where population density is low, land of low agricultural potential (but still suitable for eucalyptus) is readily available, access to markets with elastic demand for tree products is high, there is access to long-term credit or households are wealthier and thus have lower discount rates, and where decisions about tree planting, management and use are made at a more local level (i.e., by private individuals or villages, as opposed to higher administrative levels). 

The impact of access to long-term credit would probably be greatest in areas close to urban markets where the potential market return from eucalyptus planting would be highest, and where potential investors may be inhibited by family labor constraints from large labor-intensive eucalyptus planting efforts (especially if family members are employed in off-farm activities). 

The most important factors influencing the rate of rate of return are the harvesting period and the opportunity cost of land (the latter especially where eucalyptus is planted in farmland). 

If the option of allocating wastelands for tree planting is pursued, it may be prudent to continue the current ban on eucalyptus in farmlands for an extended period of time, at least until the impacts of wasteland allocation become clearer and investors in such woodlots have a chance to recoup the initial returns of their investments. 

even if not all (but a significant fraction of) wastelands were used for tree planting, or even if pole prices were to fall below 17 EB, the potential economic impact of allocating wastelands for private tree planting would still be very large. 

The main factors influencing households’ and communities’ decisions to invest ineucalyptus or other trees are expected to be those that determine the costs and returns of these investments, including the opportunity costs and availability of land, labor and other inputs; the cost and availability of seedlings; the rate of growth of the trees; the price (or local scarcity, if not marketed) of poles, fuelwood and other tree products; the discount rate of households; and the institutional factors affecting the ability of households to receive benefits, the distribution and timing of benefits and costs; and the ability to attain effective collective action (especially for community woodlots). 

The authors estimate a social rate of return for private eucalyptus woodlots adapting their base case scenario by adding 370 birr to their opportunity cost of land estimates for woodlots planted on sites with an initially positive opportunity cost. 

Although a complete portfolio analysis of the various land use activities smallholders undertake is necessary to fully understand the effect of tree related crop losses on smallholder livelihoods, the authors incorporate crop losses to neighbors into the tree production rate of return estimates to provide a rough estimate of the impact of potential losses from a social rate of return perspective. 

rate of return estimates for woodlots that are harvested less frequently (for example, woodlots planted on high altitude sites) indicate that tree planting investments may not offer sufficient returns, especially for poor households, particularly when the value of cropland is high.