The Economics of Smallholder Households in Central Haiti

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Virginia Tech


Smallholder households in Haiti face many natural resource management challenges. Agricultural production occurs on deforested hillsides prone to erosion. Charcoal is in an important source of income, and woodfuel stocks are often over-exploited. Donor-funded projects and non- governmental organizations have made large investments in programs that promote soil conservation practices and reforestation. Despite the magnitude of the problems and the amount invested, there are relatively few economic analyses of the long-term adoption of soil conservation practices and woodfuel management. This dissertation uses an economics approach to examine the adoption of conservation practices and the management of woodfuel resources in Central Haiti using cross-sectional data covering 600 households. The results show that plot and household characteristics have different effects on adoption across different classes of soil practices, particularly with regard to perceived soil quality, market access, and household health status. The results also provide evidence of the management of charcoal woodfuel stocks on private land. These findings inform the design and targeting of new programs related to soil conservation and reforestation in Haiti and other developing countries.



Haiti, Soil Conservation, Natural Resources, Agriculture, Charcoal, Woodfuel, Agroforestry, Probit, Tobit, Multinomial Logit