Development pathways for hillsides and highlands: Some lessons from Central America and East Africa

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Elsevier Ltd.

This paper reviews hypotheses and evidence about the development pathways (common patterns of change in livelihood strategies) occurring in hillside and highland areas and their implications for sustainable land management and poverty reduction, based upon community level survey results from Honduras, Uganda and Ethiopia. Several common development pathways were found in these three countries, all of which include cereal production as the primary or secondary activity. These include expanding or intensifying cereal crop production, mixed cereals/livestock, cereals/perennials, cereals/perishable annuals, cereals/non-farm employment, and in Honduras, cereals/forestry activities. These pathways were largely determined by four types of factors affecting local comparative advantages: agricultural potential, access to markets and roads, population density, and presence of programmes and organizations. Adoption of improved land management was higher and productivity, resource and welfare outcomes were better in the pathways associated with higher value crop production or non-farm employment. It is suggested that in less-favoured environments where such pathways have less potential, other development pathways should be facilitated and improved. Opportunities for socially profitable investments have been shown to exist even in less-favoured environments, but these need to be tailored to the different comparative advantages of these areas. [CAB Abstracts]

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Rural development, Natural resource management, Agriculture, Economic impacts, Land use management, Governance
Food-Policy 29(4): 339-367