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Preferences for forms of land conservation investment in the Ethiopian Highlands: a household plot-level analysis of the roles of poverty, tenure security and market incentives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2015

Worku Genanew Bekele
Economics Department, University of Dubai College of Business Administration, P.O. Box 14143, Dubai, UAE. Tel: +971- 056 6055303. E-mail: or;
Friedrich Georg Schneider
Economics Department, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria. E-mail:


This study used the multinomial logistic model to examine the factors leading to differences in farm-households' preferences for various forms of land conservation measures. Using a survey of 4,795 household-plots in rural Ethiopia, the study demonstrates the inappropriateness of pooling different forms of land conservation investments in preference studies. The results suggest that poverty drives farm-households towards conservation measures which are more short term and which entail the expenditure of less skill. While tenure security has a mixed effect on such preferences, market access seems not to matter for preference decisions. Further, farm-households consider the characteristics of the plot in their preference, which also vary across villages. This study shows that a farm-household's preference is a complex decision. Major changes in conservation investments on the part of farm-households will require attention to many factors, since no single factor exerts enough control to be used solitarily as a major policy leverage instrument.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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