Are sustainable agricultural practices improving output and incomes of smallholder farmers in Malawi

Sustainable agricultural practices could promote agricultural development. They have proven to improve soil structure, moisture content and reduce competition from weeds. There are, however, mixed reactions to the impacts of these technologies. Opponents argue that some technologies are labor intensive, bind nutrients in the soil and decrease crop yields in the short run. This study examines impacts of sustainable intensification strategies on maize output and household full income using random survey data from Malawi. The study employs multinomial endogenous switching regressions on a typology of farm households to isolate direct causal effects of these technologies. It triangulates the results with reduced form propensity score matching. Average Treatment Effects on the Treated are reported. Results indicate that socioeconomic, geographical and plot characteristics influence adoption decisions. Further, farmers who adopt sustainable agricultural practices such as improved seed and soil and water conservation have consistently more farm output and incomes than non-adopting households.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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