Land Management Decisions and Agricultural Productivity in the Hillsides of Honduras

Increasing land degradation and concomitant low agricultural productivity are important determinants of rural poverty in the hillside areas of Honduras. Using data at the levels of the farm household, parcel and plot, we develop an econometric modeling framework to analyze land management decisions and their impact on crop productivity. Our econometric model allows for endogenous household decisions regarding livelihood strategy choice, use of labor and external inputs, and participation in organizations. We found support for the inverse farm size-land productivity relationship which suggests that improved land access could increase total crop production. Land tenure has no impact on crop productivity, but adoption of soil conservation practices is higher on owner-operated than leased plots. Ownership of machinery and equipment and livestock ownership both positively influence crop productivity. Education positively affects perennial crop productivity. The gender of the household head has no significant effect on crop productivity, but does influence some land management and input use decisions. Even though household participation in training programs and organizations has only limited effects on crop productivity, agricultural extension plays a key role in promoting adoption of soil conservation practices. Location assets have limited impacts on crop productivity but do influence land management decisions. Road density and better market access have a positive effect on perennial crop productivity. Population density has limited direct impact on crop productivity, though it may have indirect effects by affecting farm size and livelihood strategies.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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