Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (382 KB bytes)

Title: Indexing Soil Conservation: Farmer Perceptions of Agroforestry Benefits

Author: Pattanayak, Subhrendu K.; Mercer, D. Evan;

Date: 2002

Source: Journal of Sustainable Forestry, Vol. 15(2) 2002

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Soil erosion poses economic and environmental concerns in many tropical uplands. Agroforestry has been proposed as a sustainable land use that can mitigate soil erosion and promote the economic welfare of small farmers. To evaluate such claims, we must (a) develop a composite measure of effectiveness, such as a soil conservation index, and (b) define it in terms understood by the farmers who ultimately choose to adopt and implement agroforestry. We construct an empirical soil conservation index as a weighted average of farmer perceptions of four soil attributes and develop a statistical model of soil conservation benefits of agroforestry by using survey data from the Philippines. Accounting for self-selection bias, we evaluate the soil conservation benefits by testing the correlation between the index and the level of agroforestry adoption. Our estimated model shows that agoforestry can generate 15-20 percent soil conservation for the typical small farmer. We offer several nmethodological, practical, and policy insights. Because many farmers in developing countries face informational and capital constraints, our study suggests that public policies should support small-holder agoforestry, a type of "natural investment" in soil capital, to generate private and public benefits.

Keywords: Philippines, contour farming, soil indexes, local knowledge, survey data, probit, two-stage least square estimates, agroforestry policies

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Pattanayak, Subhrendu K.; Mercer, D. Evan 2002. Indexing Soil Conservation: Farmer Perceptions of Agroforestry Benefits. Journal of Sustainable Forestry, Vol. 15(2) 2002


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.