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Induced innovation and land : Results from a bioeconomic model of a village in West Africa

Barbier B.. 1998. Agricultural Economics, 19 (1-2) : p. 1-11.

DOI: 10.1016/S0169-5150(98)00052-8

This paper introduces a modeling method which simulates a village's response to population and market pressure. The method combines a recursive and dynamic linear programming model with a biophysical model of soil condition and plant growth that predicts yields and land degradation for different type of land, land use and cropping patterns. Ile linear programming model simulates farmers' plans aggregated at the village level under constraints of risk aversion, food consumption, land area, soil, fertility, soil depth, labor and cash availability, Detailed agroecological factors determine the man processes of land degradation. A large number of technological alternatives, representing different degrees of labor and/or land-saving techniques available in the study area, are introduced, taking into account their respective constraints, costs and advantages. The method has been calibrated for a village located in the sub-humid region of Burkina Faso. Several simulations am carried out to the Year 2030. The results show that population pressure leads to intensification and investment in land conservation practices but not necessarily to better farm incomes. Increasing market opportunities can play a more positive role in boosting productivity, but for the next decades the best way to increase production per farmer is to let farmers migrate from the highpopulation-density area to the low-population-density areas because, under the sub-humid agroecological conditions, intensification per hectare is far more costly than the fallow system.

Mots-clés : programmation linéaire; simulation; politique agricole; innovation; gestion des ressources; modèle; gestion foncière; burkina faso; système de production agricole

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