Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Crop and Milk Production Structure of Smallholders in Ethiopia

Mariam, Yohannes and Coffin, Garth (1993): Crop and Milk Production Structure of Smallholders in Ethiopia.

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Radical changes took place with respect to several agricultural policies in Ethiopia in 1990-91. Different agricultural technologies were being delivered by several international agencies. Shifts in government policies and technological intervention would induce changes in the production structure of peasants that make-up 85% of the country's population.

To examine changes in crop and livestock production, statistical analysis of production structure is carried out for major crops grown and milk produced by farmers who have adopted cross-bred cows (test) and those who have not adopted (Control) in the Selale and Ada districts in Ethiopia. Analysis of changes in production structure indicate that the increases in production were greater among test compared with control farmers in both study sites.

Physical factors such as land, labour, oxen and seeding rate exert positive and significant impacts on the amount of crop produced. However, the impact of non-physical resources such as indigenous production knowledge is not only greater than most physical resources or inputs but also indicates that it is location-specific. That is, the impact of production knowledge is larger on the amount of grain produced by farmers living in regions with greater comparative advantage for grain production (Ada).

Physical factors such as grazing area and concentrates and number of cows exert significant impacts on the amount of milk produced in the region with greater potential for livestock production (Selale). Differences in the resource base, enterprise-specific experience and the availability of preconditions (infrastructure) influence the impact of inputs on the level of outputs. Livestock production knowledge exert greater influence on the amount of milk produced per cow in the Selale than in the Ada region.

The impact of most farm inputs is greater when farmers adopt fertilizer and pesticides (Ada) or fertilizer and cross-bred cows (Selale). Thus, package approach to technological intervention may not necessarily contribute to sustainable increases in food production. Instead, introduction of selective mixes of production technologies compatible with comparative advantages of regions and experience of peasants may prove useful strategy in attaining food self-sufficiency in LDCs.

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