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Does Intensive Tillage Enhance Productivity and Reduce Risk Exposure? Panel Data Evidence from Smallholders’ Agriculture in Ethiopia

Zewdu Abro (), Moti Jaleta and Hailemariam Teklewold

Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2018, vol. 69, issue 3, 756-776

Abstract: We analyse the impact of intensity of tillage on wheat productivity and risk exposure using panel household‐plot level data from Ethiopia. In order to control for selection bias, we estimate a flexible moment‐based production function using an endogenous switching regression treatment effects model. We find that tillage has a complementary impact on productivity and risk exposure. As the intensity of tillage increases, productivity increases and farmers’ exposure to risk declines. Our results suggest that smallholder farmers use tillage as an ex‐ante risk management strategy. The main policy implication of this study is that the opportunity cost of switching to reduced tillage in wheat production seem rather high unless farmers are supported by appropriate incentive schemes.

Date: 2018
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