The Impact of Soil Conservation and Output Diversification on Farm Income in Central American Hillside Farming
Posted: 5 Apr 2011
Date Written: 2006
This paper analyzes the determinants of farm income among hillside farmers participating in natural resource management projects in El Salvador and Honduras. The farm income function was evaluated using a system of equations in which income is determined simultaneously by the farmer’s decision to adopt soil conservation technologies and by the level of diversification (number of agricultural activities) on the farm. The database used comes from surveys administered to 678 beneficiaries of these projects during 2002. The econometric results suggest that all the variables related directly to land use (i.e., output diversification, soil conservation practices and structures, and the adoption of forestry systems) have a positive and statistically significant association with farm income. Also, farmers who own land enjoy higher farm incomes than those who do not. The results indicate that when investing in natural resource management projects, governments and multilateral development agencies should pay close attention to output diversification, land tenure, and human capital formation as effective instruments in increasing farm income.
Keywords: Farm income, Soil conservation, Output diversification, Human capital, Central America
JEL Classification: Q12, Q24, Q55
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