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Productivity and Land Enhancing Technologies in Northern Ethiopia: Health, Public Investments, and Sequential Adoption

Lire Ersado, Gregory Amacher and Jeffrey Alwang
American Journal of Agricultural Economics
Vol. 86, No. 2 (May, 2004), pp. 321-331
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30139558
Page Count: 11
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Productivity and Land Enhancing Technologies in Northern Ethiopia: Health, Public Investments, and Sequential Adoption
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Abstract

The adoption of more efficient farming practices and technologies that enhance agricultural productivity and improve environmental sustainability is instrumental for achieving economic growth, food security, and poverty alleviation in sub-Saharan Africa. Our research examines the interaction between public investments, community health, and adoption of productivity and land enhancing technologies by households in the northern Ethiopian state of Tigray. Agricultural technology adoption decisions are modeled as a sequential process where the timing of choices can matter. We find that time spent sick and opportunity costs of caring for sick family members are significant factors in adoption. Sickness, through its impact on household income and labor allocation decisions for healthcare and other activities, significantly reduces the likelihood of technology adoption. Our findings suggest that agencies working to improve agricultural productivity and land resource conservation should consider not only the financial status of potential adopters, but also their related health situation.

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