Factors Affecting the Adoption of Soil Conservation Measures: A Case Study of Fijian Cane Farmers

By Asafu-Adjaye, John | Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, April 2008 | Go to article overview

Factors Affecting the Adoption of Soil Conservation Measures: A Case Study of Fijian Cane Farmers


Asafu-Adjaye, John, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics


This study explores the extent to which various factors affect Fijian cane farmers' adoption of soil conservation measures. The significant factors affecting perception of the soil erosion problem include age, education, ethnicity, and extension services. On the other hand, the significant factors affecting soil conservation effort include perception of the erosion problem, net farm income, farm size, land type, and extension services. In general, personal characteristics appear to affect perceptions of soil erosion while the extent of conservation effort is affected by economic and physical factors. The resulting implications for soil conservation policy are discussed.

Key words: Fiji, ordered probit model, soil conservation, soil erosion, sugarcane

Introduction

Fiji is a relatively small Pacific Island country with a population of 824,000. The Fiji Islands comprise some 300 islands covering a land area of approximately 18,400 km^sup 2^ (figure 1). The two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, make up 88% of the land area. Approximately 16% of the land is suitable for arable agriculture, and an additional 43% can be used for tree cropping and grazing. For many decades agriculture in Fiji has been the major contributor to gross domestic product (GDP) and exports. In 1994, agriculture's share of total exports was 60%, while its share of GDP was 18%. However, agriculture's contribution to GDP and exports is on the decline, having now been overtaken by tourism and textiles. The tourism sector alone currently contributes about 20% of GDP, while agriculture's share is approximately 15%. Nevertheless, agriculture remains the main source of employment. Sugar production and subsistence farming are the dominant activities in this sector, with the former providing employment for more than 25% of the workforce (Kumar and Prasad, 2002).

Although there is a reasonable level of public awareness about environmental issues in Fiji, recent evidence suggests the problem of land degradation is worsening.1 Soil loss measurements by the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture, Sugar, and Land Resettlement indicate that the agricultural productive base in many sugarcane areas is declining at a rate well above what would be regarded as economically acceptable (Leslie and Ratukalou, 2002). The main form of land degradation is soil degradation, which occurs from widespread and indiscriminate burning-particularly, but not exclusively, in the sugarcane growing areas. Other causes of soil degradation include deforestation, overgrazing, and expansion of sugarcane and other traditional crops (e.g., dalo and yagona) onto marginal land (e.g., steep slopes).

In a review of a variety of catchments in both the western (dry) and eastern (wet) sides of Viti Levu, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) estimated soil loss to be between 24 and 79 tons per hectare per annum, which is equivalent to a topsoil loss of 1.6-5.3 mm per annum (IUCN, 1992). Other forms of land degradation include excessive pesticide and fertilizer use in taro and vegetable farming. A serious consequence of land degradation is that the impacts from natural disasters are becoming increasingly more acute-in particular, vulnerability to droughts and flooding. The cost of these natural disasters is conservatively estimated at an average of F$20 million2 per annum (Swami, 2004). The social costs are even greater when one considers the reduction in rural incomes and the increase in rural unemployment as a result of these climatic events.

Despite the acuteness of the land degradation problem in Fiji, no formal studies have examined the socioeconomic factors influencing the adoption and diffusion of soil conservation technologies. Moreover, the results of studies conducted in other developing countries do not necessarily apply to the Pacific Island countries (PICs) in general, or to Fiji in particular, due to their different geographical, socioeconomic, and environmental circumstances. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Factors Affecting the Adoption of Soil Conservation Measures: A Case Study of Fijian Cane Farmers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.