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Agricultural production and erosion in as small watershed in Honduras: A non linear programming approach

Barbier B.. 2001. In : Heerink Nico (ed.), Van Keulen Herman (ed.), Kuiper Marijke (ed.). Economic policy and sustainable land use: recent advances in quantitative analysis for developing countries. Heidelberg : Physica-Verlag, p. 199-209. (Contributions to economics).

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-57558-7_12

This paper describes a multi-period non-linear programming model of agricultural production that includes soil erosion and its effect on crop production within a small watershed. The purpose of the model is to predict the likely effect of different decisions taken by the local community of the watershed on land uses, soils and incomes. The model has been applied to a small watershed in the hillsides of Central Honduras. Results show how erosion will affect local production in the long term. It also shows how farmers are likely to cope with the problem. In the model, the effect of erosion is calculated as a function of soil loss through decreasing soil depth. To better describe the spatial dimension of the problem, the watershed is divided in homogenous land units of different sizes. These land units are specified according to altitude, slope and farm type. The land units are inter-related through transport time, access to road, and water transfer. The main actual agricultural activities are available to the model, including land conservation techniques. Each land unit starts with a different stock of soil volume, land use area, crop productivity, and human population. These variables are modified over lime by both natural and human activities.

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