This paper analyzes the influence of social capital on the farmers’ perception of the soil erosion problem and the level of investments in soil conservation in marginal areas of Kenya. It uses data from a survey of 321 households in Machakos and Taita-Taveta Districts. A Heckman’s two-step model is applied to assess the influence of social capital on investments in soil conservation by farmers. Results show that the education level of the household head, slope of farmers’ fields, proportion of off-farm income, and the status of soil erosion are significant determinants of the likelihood of farmers recognizing soil erosion as an important problem. Household size, slope, land tenure security, membership diversity, age of household
head, farm size per capita and membership in groups influence investments in soil control measures such as terraces. The effects, however, are location-specific. The policy challenge is to establish and strengthen social capital elements that have a strong influence on
communities undertaking soil conservation measures to promote sustainable agriculture, and improve land tenure security.
Samuel Mwakub , John Omiti Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis
Gideon Obare Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management, Egerton, Kenya
Lutta Mohammed Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)
Cpyright:2006 by Mwakubo S.M., G. Obare, J. Omiti and L. Mohammed. All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non -commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies.