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close this bookAbstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ; 1992; 423 pages)
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts On Traditional Land-Use Systems
close this folderAbstracts on farming systems research and development
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the document1. Using indigenous knowledge in agricultural development.
View the document2. On-farm sustainable agriculture research: lessons from the past, directions for the future.
View the document3. A manual for culturally-adapted market research (cmr) in the development process.
View the document4. Environmentally compatible agricultural development. Resource, food and income security as a task for development and structural policy.
View the document5. The economics of sustainable agriculture: adding a downstream perspective.
View the document6. Monitoring and evaluation in the management of agricultural research.
View the document7. Sustainable institutions for african agricultural development.
View the document8. Human resource management for national agricultural research: lessons from ISNAR's experience.
View the document9. A conceptual framework for studying the links between agricultural research and technology transfer in developing countries.
View the document10. Linkages between on-farm research and extension in nine countries.
View the document11. Resource-poor farmer participation in research: a synthesis of experiences from nine national agricultural research systems.
View the document12. Organization and management of field activities in on-farm research: A review of experience in nine countries.
View the document13. Social and human dimensions of agricultural development in africa in the perspective of the year 2000 (dimensions sociales et humaines du developpement agricole de l'Afrique dans la perspective de l'an 2000. ).
View the document14. Nature and society.
View the document15. Development of fragile lands: theory and practice.
View the document16. Agricultural research networks as development tools: views of a network coordinator.
View the document17. Measures of protection: methodology, economic interpretation and policy relevance.
View the document18. Women in development in southern africa; an annotated bibliography.
View the document19. Women in development: a resource guide for organization and action.
View the document20. Income generation and african rural women: choice or mere neglect.
View the document21. Accelerating technology transfer by means of atta (advanced technologies in traditional agriculture).
View the document22. Projects with people: the practice of participation in rural development.
View the document23. Technological innovations in latin american agriculture.
View the document24. Agricultural compendium - for rural development in the tropics and subtropics.
View the document25. Guidelines for designing development projects to benefit the rural poor.
View the document26. Participatory education and grassroots development: the case of rural appalachia.
View the document27. Approaches that work in rural development: emerging trends, participatory methods and local initiatives.
View the document28. Participatory rapid rural appraisal in wollo: peasant association planning for natural resource management.
View the document29. Farmers' knowledge of agricultural practices: a sri lankan experience.
View the document30. The sustainability of the impact of the integrated rural development programme (irdp) zambia/nw-province.
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on integrated systems
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on cropping system
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agroecology
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agrometeorology
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on homegardens
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on seed production
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on plant protection
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on water management
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on soil fertility
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on erosion and desertification control
Open this folder and view contentsAbstracts on potential crops for marginal lands

5. The economics of sustainable agriculture: adding a downstream perspective.

J. of Sustainable Agriculture, 2, 1992, pp. 75-87

The objectives of this downstream perspective and assessment of the economics of sustainable agriculture in this paper are:


- to explain to a general audience (broader than economists) that sustainability from an economic perspective as a minimum requires accounting for both on and off-site effects of economic activity;
- to focus on soil erosion and related water quality impacts (including changing property rights) as the major sub-set of downstream economics of alternative farming systems, and
- to present some empirical results and policy implications of Ohio downstream impacts which would seem to be generalizable to many other settings.

More empirical evidence is needed regarding on-site and downstream costs (particularly groundwater contamination) and returns of alternative tillage and rotation systems if socially optimal systems are to be identified. The evidence to date suggests that on average downstream costs of soil erosion are not trivial and that they exceed the average on-site costs of soil erosion. This implies that some form of tax, subsidy, technical assistance or regulatory intervention may be appropriate and necessary. The evidence also suggests that downstream costs per unit of soil loss can vary dramatically from site to site.

This points to the extreme importance of targeting control measures.

The empirical evidence on the economics of soil erosion to date suggests the following for consideration:


- Further research and extension of information to farmers on sustainable reduced tillage and expanded rotation systems which reduce downstream costs without reducing profitability to the farmer.
- More comprehensive research on downstream costs of soil erosion and related chemical contamination of water and identification of any strong correlated or proxies, e.g., population, existence of harbors, density of private wells, etc. for these impacts.
- Taxes on the inputs, such as nitrogen (e.g., N without inhibitors) and selected pesticides (e.g., Atrazine) which have been most problematic in surface and groundwater contamination to at least provide revenues for further research.

In sum, more comprehensive economic assessment, particularly of the downstream costs and benefits of alternative farming systems, is likely to favour those systems that are less erosive and chemically intensive.

This in turn leads to the need to reassess the entitlements and property rights related to alternative farming systems and their downstream impacts. Evidence to date suggests shifts in favour of the impacted downstream users and these trends will probably continue. Thus, sustainable agriculture is an idea that is currently ecologically, and in many cases, economically attractive. In addition, its future economic attractiveness is likely to increase.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, agricultural research, monitoring and evaluation, impact assessment, guidelines, evaluation concepts, terms, ISNAR

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