Agricultural Investment and Productivity: Building Sustainability in East Africa, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Agricultural Investment and Productivity

Building Sustainability in East Africa, 1st Edition

Edited by Gunnar Köhlin, Randall Bluffstone

RFF Press

210 pages

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Agricultural Investment and Productivity provides a deep and systematic look at the opportunities for and constraints to investments in sustainable agriculture in East Africa, offering important insights into what works and how to analyze agricultural investments in one of the poorest regions of the world.

The book critically examines the reasons behind East Africa's stagnant agricultural productivity over the past forty-five years, using the primary lens of investments in fertilizers, seeds, and sustainable land management technologies. These investments have a tremendous impact on production volume, ultimately affecting the income of millions of families throughout the region.


'Improving the productivity and sustainability of agriculture in Africa is one of the pressing challenges of the 21st century. Bluffstone and Köhlin have assembled an authoritative volume of readings on this topic from some of the leading global experts. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the complex problem of agricultural development in Africa.' -Edward B. Barbier, John S. Bugas Professor of Economics, University of Wyoming

'Stagnant yields, spikes in food prices, and a changing climate have pushed agriculture to the forefront of development concerns. This book provides a masterly microeconomic analysis of what's needed to make farm management more sustainable in Africa, the continent most dependent on agriculture.' -Jeffrey R. Vincent, Clarence F. Korstian Professor of Forest Economics and Management, Duke University

'Undoubtedly we must improve agricultural productivity to reduce widespread and persistent poverty. The sheer lack of agricultural development strategies, however, precludes the implementation of effective policies. This book represents a milestone towards the goal of poverty reduction in East Africa.' -Keijiro Otsuka, Professor of Development Economics, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo

Table of Contents

Contents Contributors Preface Acknowledgements 1. Agricultural Production in East Africa: Stagnation, Investment and Poverty Part I: Determinants of Sustainable Land Management Investments 2. Stimulating Smallholder Investments in Sustainable Land Management: Overcoming Market, Policy and Institutional Challenges 3. The Role of Social Capital in Sustainable Development: An Analysis of Soil Conservation in Rural Kenya 4. Tenure Security and Incentives for Sustainable Land Management: A Case Study from Kenya Jane Kabubo-Mariara and Vincent Linderhof Part II: The Effect of Risk on Investments 5. Risk Preferences and Technology Adoption: Case Studies from Ethiopian Highlands 6. Fertilizer Use by Smallholder Households in Northern Ethiopia: Does Risk Aversion Matter? 7. Crop Biodiversity and the Management of Production Risk on Degraded Lands: Some Evidence from the Highlands of Ethiopia Part III: Returns to Sustainable Land Management Investments 8. Where does investment on Sustainable Land Management Technology Work? Empirical Evidence from the Ethiopian Highlands 9. Soil Conservation and Small Scale Food Production in Highland Ethiopia: A Stochastic Metafrontier Approach Part IV: Public Policies and Sustainable Land Management Investments 10. Policy Instruments to Reduce Downstream Externalities of Soil Erosion and Surface Run-Off 11. Incentives for Sustainable Land Management in East African Countries 12. Conclusions and Key Lessons

About the Editors

Randall Bluffstone is Professor of Economics and Chair of the Department of Economics at Portland State University. Gunnar Kohlin is Associate Professor with the Environmental Economics Unit in the Department of Economics at University of Gothenburg and Director of the Environment for Development Initiative.

About the Series

Environment for Development

The Environment for Development (EfD) initiative ( supports poverty alleviation and sustainable development through the increased use of environmental economics in the policymaking process. EfD identifies the environment as an important resource for development rather than a constraint. The EfD initiative is a capacity-building program in environmental economics focusing on research, policy advice, and teaching in Central America, Chile, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa Tanzania, USA and Sweden. The nine EfD centers are hosted by leading universities or academic institutions in respective country/region.

The EfD is initiated and managed by the Environmental Economics Unit, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The core funding for the EfD initiative is provided by Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Sustainable Agriculture