Assessing the costs and benefits of improved land management practices in three watershed areas in Ethiopia

Abonesh Tesfaye*, Roy Brouwer, Pieter van der Zaag, Workneh Negatu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Unsustainable land use management and the resulting soil erosion are among the most pervasive problems in rural Ethiopia, where most of the country's people live, jeopardizing food security. Despite various efforts to introduce soil conservation measures and assess their costs and benefits, it is unclear how efficient these measures are from an economic point of view in securing food production. This paper examines the costs and benefits of three soil conservation measures applied in the country in three different rural districts facing different degrees of soil erosion problems using survey data collected from 750 farm households. A production function is estimated to quantify the costs and benefits of more sustainable land use management practices. We show that the soil conservation measures significantly increase productivity and hence food security. Comparing the costs and benefits, the results indicate that implementing soil conservation measures would benefit farm communities in the case study areas through increased grain productivity and food security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Soil and Water Conservation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Blue Nile
  • Cobb–Douglas production function
  • Cost–benefit analysis
  • Ethiopia
  • Soil conservation


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