Onduru et al
Greener Journal of Geology and Earth Sciences Vol. 1 (2), pp. 043-062, September 2013.
ISSN: 2354-2268 © 2013 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 061713673
Financial Efficiency and Intergenerational Equity of Soil and Water Conservation Measures in Kenya
Onduru D. D.1*, Muchena F. N.1, Esther Njuguna2, Kauffman S.3
1ETC-East Africa, P.O. Box 76378-00508 Yaya, Nairobi, Kenya.
2Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 14733-00800, Nairobi, Kenya.
3ISRIC-World Soil Information, P.O. Box 353, 6700 AJ Wageningen, The Netherlands.
*Corresponding Author’s Email: d.onduru @ etc-eastafrica.org; ddonduru @ gmail.com,
The present study, conducted in Upper Tana, Kenya, has the objective of assessing viability and profitability of structural and non-structural soil and water conservation measures among smallholder farmers. Financial cost benefit analysis (FCBA) framework was used to analyse primary data collected from 433 smallholder farmers in Upper Tana. Similarly, a review of methodological experiences and challenges in assessing benefits accruing from conservation measures to future generations was also conducted. Structural and non-structural conservation measures studied were financially attractive with bench terraces and Napier grass strips attaining higher net present values than other structural and non-structural measures studied respectively. The gross margins of the conservation measures were also positive in the year of study. Labour and materials were the major inputs required for establishing and maintaining conservation measures. However, farmers needed a conducive institutional framework and land use policies, technical advice and support, favourable input-output market and credit to invest on conservation measures on a sustainable basis. Analysis at 15, 30, 60 and 90 year time horizons and at different discount rates (10%, 12% and 14%) using FCBA indicated that the higher the discount rate, the less were the streams of benefits. Similarly, a longer period of analysis at a constant discount rate resulted in marginal benefits bringing into question the application of conventional FCBA to intergenerational equity assessments and whether it is appropriate to conduct analyses at 60 and 90 year time horizons using FCBA. Reviews of methodologies for assessing conservation benefits to future generations indicated divided opinions on use of discount rates and methodologies.
Keywords: Soil erosion, Cost and Benefits, Equity, Smallholders, Land management options, Soil conservation.