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Abstract

Land degradation mainly in the form of soil and nutrient depletion is the prominent problem that the Ethiopian agriculture is facing. Due to this, farmers should be aware of this problem and the necessity of implementing conservation measures. Hence, this study assesses farm households’ willingness to participate in soil conservation practice through a Contingent Valuation method in one of the most degraded parts of the country. Double Bounded Dichotomous choice with an Open-ended follow up format was used to elicit the households’ willingness to pay using data collected from randomly selected 140 sample households. Results show that the mean willingness to participate in soil conservation practices was about 25 person days per annum and the total aggregate value of soil conservation was computed to be at 975622.73 person days (24390568.3 Birr). Moreover, the Tobit regression model results indicate that the education level of the household head, initial-bid, income, labour shortage and number of days on holiday and social ceremony were important factors influencing the willingness to participate in soil conservation practices. Hence, to improve the participation level, policy should target on supporting adult education, introducing ways to increase farm income and creating awareness on the loss associated with too many days of social ceremonies.

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