Low-cost Economic and Environmental Performance Assessment of Farm Households Systems: Application to Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems in the Ethiopian Highlands

M.C. Rufino, A. Verhagen, H. Hengsdijk, J.W.A. Langeveld, R. Ruben, J.M. Dixon, K.E. Giller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The farm household system (FHS) is one of the main entry points for interventions for rural development. To identify appropriate interventions, it is necessary to assess a priori potential impacts of these interventions on the livelihoods and environment of rural households. This study presents an analytical approach to assess concurrently the environmental and economic performance of FHSs. The approach combines qualitative resource flow diagrams for rapidly assessing the organization and resource flows of the FHS with quantitative economic and environmental performance indicators of the household. We apply the approach to three types of mixed crop-livestock FHSs in Northern Ethiopia, i.e., wealthy, medium, and poor FHS. The wealthier FHS diversifies production, recycles nutrients, and makes substantial use of common resources, with the risk of degrading them. Diversification leads to increased labor productivity at the expense of low land productivity. The livelihood strategy of the poor FHS is based on a combination of off- and on-farm activities. Although the medium FHS is fully engaged in farming, the household is not able to produce sufficient food on-farm, but is able to use cash generated from selling products to bridge the food deficit. The low-cost analytical approach uses existing databases and a limited set of indicators to evaluate economic and environmental performance of FHSs. The methodology can be used to assess and evaluate the current performance of different types of FHSs. This information can be used to identify FHS-specific interventions (recommendation domains) aimed at poverty reduction or improved resource use efficiency and to assess environmental effects of these interventions
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-595
JournalJournal of Sustainable Agriculture
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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economic performance
performance assessment
Farms
Crops
livestock
households
farm
highlands
farms
crop
Economics
crops
costs
economics
cost
Costs
livelihood
food
performance
environmental performance

Keywords

  • policy
  • sustainability
  • nitrogen
  • impacts
  • tropics
  • diversification
  • instruments
  • indicators
  • diversity
  • dynamics

Cite this

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title = "Low-cost Economic and Environmental Performance Assessment of Farm Households Systems: Application to Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems in the Ethiopian Highlands",
abstract = "The farm household system (FHS) is one of the main entry points for interventions for rural development. To identify appropriate interventions, it is necessary to assess a priori potential impacts of these interventions on the livelihoods and environment of rural households. This study presents an analytical approach to assess concurrently the environmental and economic performance of FHSs. The approach combines qualitative resource flow diagrams for rapidly assessing the organization and resource flows of the FHS with quantitative economic and environmental performance indicators of the household. We apply the approach to three types of mixed crop-livestock FHSs in Northern Ethiopia, i.e., wealthy, medium, and poor FHS. The wealthier FHS diversifies production, recycles nutrients, and makes substantial use of common resources, with the risk of degrading them. Diversification leads to increased labor productivity at the expense of low land productivity. The livelihood strategy of the poor FHS is based on a combination of off- and on-farm activities. Although the medium FHS is fully engaged in farming, the household is not able to produce sufficient food on-farm, but is able to use cash generated from selling products to bridge the food deficit. The low-cost analytical approach uses existing databases and a limited set of indicators to evaluate economic and environmental performance of FHSs. The methodology can be used to assess and evaluate the current performance of different types of FHSs. This information can be used to identify FHS-specific interventions (recommendation domains) aimed at poverty reduction or improved resource use efficiency and to assess environmental effects of these interventions",
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author = "M.C. Rufino and A. Verhagen and H. Hengsdijk and J.W.A. Langeveld and R. Ruben and J.M. Dixon and K.E. Giller",
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Low-cost Economic and Environmental Performance Assessment of Farm Households Systems: Application to Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems in the Ethiopian Highlands. / Rufino, M.C.; Verhagen, A.; Hengsdijk, H.; Langeveld, J.W.A.; Ruben, R.; Dixon, J.M.; Giller, K.E.

In: Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, Vol. 32, No. 4, 2008, p. 565-595.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Low-cost Economic and Environmental Performance Assessment of Farm Households Systems: Application to Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems in the Ethiopian Highlands

AU - Rufino, M.C.

AU - Verhagen, A.

AU - Hengsdijk, H.

AU - Langeveld, J.W.A.

AU - Ruben, R.

AU - Dixon, J.M.

AU - Giller, K.E.

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

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AB - The farm household system (FHS) is one of the main entry points for interventions for rural development. To identify appropriate interventions, it is necessary to assess a priori potential impacts of these interventions on the livelihoods and environment of rural households. This study presents an analytical approach to assess concurrently the environmental and economic performance of FHSs. The approach combines qualitative resource flow diagrams for rapidly assessing the organization and resource flows of the FHS with quantitative economic and environmental performance indicators of the household. We apply the approach to three types of mixed crop-livestock FHSs in Northern Ethiopia, i.e., wealthy, medium, and poor FHS. The wealthier FHS diversifies production, recycles nutrients, and makes substantial use of common resources, with the risk of degrading them. Diversification leads to increased labor productivity at the expense of low land productivity. The livelihood strategy of the poor FHS is based on a combination of off- and on-farm activities. Although the medium FHS is fully engaged in farming, the household is not able to produce sufficient food on-farm, but is able to use cash generated from selling products to bridge the food deficit. The low-cost analytical approach uses existing databases and a limited set of indicators to evaluate economic and environmental performance of FHSs. The methodology can be used to assess and evaluate the current performance of different types of FHSs. This information can be used to identify FHS-specific interventions (recommendation domains) aimed at poverty reduction or improved resource use efficiency and to assess environmental effects of these interventions

KW - policy

KW - sustainability

KW - nitrogen

KW - impacts

KW - tropics

KW - diversification

KW - instruments

KW - indicators

KW - diversity

KW - dynamics

U2 - 10.1080/10440040802257413

DO - 10.1080/10440040802257413

M3 - Article

VL - 32

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EP - 595

JO - Journal of Sustainable Agriculture

JF - Journal of Sustainable Agriculture

SN - 1044-0046

IS - 4

ER -