Discussion Paper

The Role of Production Risk in Sustainable Land-Management TechnologyAdoption in the Ethiopian Highlands

Apr 3, 2008 | Menale Kassie, Mahmud Yesuf, Gunnar Kohlin

This was created in partnership with Environment for Development .


This paper provides empirical evidence of production risk impact on sustainable land- management technology adoption, using two years of cross-sectional plot-level data collected in the Ethiopian highlands. We used a moment-based approach, which allowed a flexible representation of the production risk (Antle 1983, 1987). Mundlak’s approach was used to capture the unobserved heterogeneity along with other regressors in the estimation of fertilizer and conservation adoption. The empirical results revealed that impact of production risk varied by technology type. Production risks (variance and crop failure as measured by second and third central moments, respectively) had significant impact on fertilizer adoption and extent of adoption. However, this impact was not observed in adoption of conservation technology. On the other hand, expected return (as measured by the first central moment) had a positive significant impact on both fertilizer (adoption and intensity) and conservation adoption. Economic instruments that hedge against risk exposure, including downside risk and increase productivity, are important to promote adoption of improved technology and reducepoverty in Ethiopia.