• Revisiting innovation practices in subsistence farming: The net effects of land management, pesticide, herbicide and fungicide practices on expected crop harvest in Ethiopia

      Onjewu, Adah-Kole; Jafari-Sadeghi, Vahid; Hussain, Sundas (Inderscience Publishers, 2022-12-31)
      To settle inconsistent findings in the farming innovation and productivity nexus, this inquiry examines the land management practices of 7,625 households in rural Ethiopia. Specifically, the net effects of (1) improved seeds, (2) mixed cropping and (3) row planting on the use of (4) pesticides, (5) herbicides and (6) fungicides are assessed. Using a structural equation technique, the study probes how these six practices predict households’ expected harvest. It is found that while improved seeds increase pesticide, herbicide and fungicide use, mixed cropping and row planting generally reduce these practices. Moreover, mixed cropping moderately increases expected harvest while improved seeds and row planting have the reverse effect. The interrelations of these factors increase knowledge in contingency-driven agronomics, and provoke reflection on the sustainability of land management practices. Particularly, opposed to prevailing views, it is demonstrated that sowing traditional seeds will reduce households’ reliance on pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. The inherent findings speak to policy-makers tasked with supporting peasant life in rural Ethiopia and similar contexts.