Annual Forum Papers

Analysis of Farmers' Preferences for Development Intervention Programs: A Case Study of Subsistence Farmers from Eastern Ethopia

  • Year: 2004
  • Author(s): Wagayehu Bekele
  • Countries and Regions: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa)

The aim of this paper is to better understand farmers' perception of the relevance of different development intervention programs. Farmers' subjective ranking of agricultural problems and their preference for development intervention are elicited using a stated preference method. The factors influencing these preferences are determined using a random utility model. The study is based on a survey conducted in the Hunde-Lafto area of the Eastern Ethiopian Highlands. Individual interviews were conducted with 145 randomly selected farm households using semi-structured questionnaires. The study suggests that drought, soil erosion and, shortage of cultivable land are high priority agricultural production problems for farmers. Low market prices for farm products and high prices of purchased inputs also came out as major problems for the majority of farmers. Farmers' preferences for development intervention fall into four major categories, market, irrigation, resettlement, and soil and water conservation. Multinomial logit analysis of the factors influencing these preferences revealed that farmers' specific socio-economic circumstances, and subjective ranking of agricultural problems play a major role. It is also shown that preferences for some interventions are complimentary and need to be addressed simultaneously. Recognition and understanding of these factors, affecting the acceptability of development policies for micro level implementation, will have significant contribution to improve macro level policy formulation.