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Adoption of soil conservation: the case of the Philippine uplands

Lapar, Ma. Lucila A., Pandey, Sushil
Agricultural economics 1999 v.21 no.3 pp. 241-256
cost effectiveness, farmers, farms, highlands, soil conservation, soil degradation, Philippines
Soil degradation in the sloping uplands of Asia is a serious problem that threatens the sustainability of agriculture. Although several soil conservation technologies have been developed and promoted, their adoption has not been widespread. A micro‐economic analysis of adoption of contour hedgerows by upland farmers in the Philippines is conducted to identify the factors that determine adoption. The empirical results show that adoption depends on several farm and farmer characteristics and the relative importance of these factors differs across sites. The high cost of establishment, maintenance and the loss of land to hedgerows are considered to be the major constraints to adoption by non‐adopters. The economics of the contour hedgerow system is found to improve substantially if crop intensification or cash cropping is possible. In addition to the need to develop a range of cost‐effective technologies, the study indicates that in the more marginal environments, on‐site benefits alone may not be sufficient to justify investment in soil conservation.