The Rapid Expansion of Herbicide Use in Smallholder Agriculture in Ethiopia: Patterns, Drivers, and Implications

20 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2018

See all articles by Seneshaw Tamru

Seneshaw Tamru

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS)

Bart Minten

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) - CGIAR Consortium

Dawit Alemu

Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)

Fantu Bachewe

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: February 2017

Abstract

Adoption of herbicides by Ethiopian smallholders has grown rapidly, with application on cereals doubling to more than a quarter of the area under cereals between 2004 and 2014. Relying on unique data from a large-scale survey of producers of teff, the most widely grown cereal in Ethiopia, we find considerable positive labor productivity effects of herbicide use of between 9 and 18 per cent. We show that the adoption of herbicides is strongly related to proximity to urban centers, access to all-weather roads, and levels of local rural wages. All these factors have changed substantially over the last decade in Ethiopia, explaining the rapid take-off in herbicide adoption. The sizable increase in herbicide use in Ethiopia has important implications for rural labor markets, potential environmental and health considerations, and capacity development for the design and effective implementation of regulatory policies on herbicides.

Keywords: Herbicides, Ethiopia, agriculture, modern input use, Sub-Saharan Africa

Suggested Citation

Tamru, Seneshaw and Minten, Bart and Alemu, Dawit and Bachewe, Fantu, The Rapid Expansion of Herbicide Use in Smallholder Agriculture in Ethiopia: Patterns, Drivers, and Implications (February 2017). The European Journal of Development Research, Vol. 29, Issue 3, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3161497 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41287-017-0076-5

Seneshaw Tamru (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS)

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Bart Minten

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) - CGIAR Consortium ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Dawit Alemu

Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) ( email )

P.O. Box 2003
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia

Fantu Bachewe

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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