Impacts of Cash Crop Production on Land Management and Land Degradation: The Case of Coffee and Cotton in Uganda

We investigate the impacts of coffee and cotton production on land management and land degradation in Uganda, based on a survey of 851 households and soil measurements in six major agro-ecological zones, using matching and multivariate regression methods. The impacts of cash crop production vary by agro-ecological zones and cropping system. In coffee producing zones, use of organic inputs is most common on plots growing coffee with other crops (mainly bananas), and least common on mono-cropped coffee. Both mono-cropped coffee and mixed coffee plots have lower soil erosion than other plots in coffee producing zones because of greater soil cover. Potassium depletion is much greater on mixed banana-coffee plots. In the cotton production zone, few land management practices or investments are used, especially on cotton plots. Soil erosion and soil nutrient depletion are lower in the cotton zone than in coffee producing zones because of flatter terrain and lower crop yields. Soil erosion is much higher on cotton than non-cotton plots in this zone. These results imply that promotion of cash crop production will not halt land degradation, and in some cases will worsen it, unless substantial efforts are made to promote adoption of sustainable land management practices.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
Q13; Q16; Q17
Series Statement:
Contributed Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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