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Mega Project Poverty and Livelihood Analysis and Impact ICARDA

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					                       Mega-Project 5
                       Poverty and Livelihood Analysis and Impact
                       Assessment in Dry Areas

Introduction
Poverty, in its broadest sense (income, water,       hood strategies) in relation to agriculture and the
educational opportunity, gender equity, and vul-     environment, and studying patterns of adoption
nerability) is widespread in the dry areas, particu- and the impact of improved varieties and natural
larly in the CWANA region. A deeper understand-      resources management practices. Another impor-
ing of the determinants of poverty, and of the       tant dimension is understanding the structure, con-
livelihood strategies adopted by rural communi-      duct and performance of domestic markets for
ties, is necessary to continually refine the target- agricultural commodities across different countries
ing of ICARDA’s research, enhance and track its      to evaluate the implications of market imperfec-
impact, and identify pathways out of poverty.        tions for small farmers. Efforts are directed toward
                                                     the involvement and active participation of end-
Mega-Project 5 seeks to contribute to the identifi- users in development, testing and verification of
cation of research pathways to implement tech- new technologies, so that relevance and adoption
nological, institutional, and policy options to      by individuals, communities and institutions of new
reduce rural poverty in the dry areas globally. This options and pathways is maximized. Frameworks
is being done through, among other approach-         and methodologies for participatory and commu-
es, improved characterization of the rural poor      nity-based research are being developed and
(assets, context, depth and duration of poverty,     implemented in partnership with NARS to enhance
vulnerability, basic needs, and choice of liveli-    the impact on rural livelihoods.



Characterizing rural livelihoods: targeting                                           marginal areas, researchers con-
                                                                                      ducted a rural livelihoods study of
research to reduce poverty in marginal areas                                          households in the Khanasser
                                                                                      Valley, Syria. This integrated study
Research and development work             Classifying rural livelihoods in            used qualitative and quantitative
often neglects dry marginal envi-         Khanasser Valley, Syria                     surveys, rapid appraisal inter-
ronments. Because of low and              To help identify technologies and           views, and wealth-ranking exercis-
erratic rainfall, infertile soils, lim-   institutional and policy options that       es based on local people’s assets
ited groundwater, and land                could help people living in dry             and perceptions.
degradation, these areas con-
tribute only small amounts to
national production. As a result,
they recieve less agricultural
investment from governments for
strategic crops and farming tech-
nologies.

Rural households in dry marginal
areas are also poorly served by
social services and basic infra-
structure. Many depend on
wages from unreliable off-farm
employment. As they have few
capital assets, they are also
regarded as high-risk borrowers.
As a result, when they need loans
they are forced to pay excessive          Livelihood surveys help understand the context of rural poverty in marginal dryland
interest to local money lenders.          areas.


                                            ICARDA Annual Report 2005
                                                   Characterizing rural livelihoods in Syria                                       89




To better understand the different                 and migrate for employment; and           How different household types
dimensions of poverty in the area,                 (3) pastoralists who rely on exten-       would benefit from agricultural
researchers collected information                  sive herding, occasionally fatten         research
on five categories of household                    lambs intensively, and also               In general, the study found that
resources. These resources were                    migrate for employment. Each of           wage-laborers rely on farming to a
‘natural’ (land, water); ‘physical’                these three groups has two sub-           very small extent, and that people
(farm equipment, livestock); ‘finan-               groups (Table 1).                         in this category were most likely
cial’ (cash, use of micro-finance                                                            to give up farming for other occu-
and loans); ‘human’ (labor, level of               Researchers found that per capita         pations. Researchers also found
education, migration); and ‘social’                disposable incomes in the study           that about 30% of households in
(organizations, associations and                   area were below US$2/day, while           the study area (mainly wage-
connections to migration options).                 those of wage-laborers (50% of            laborers with no agricultural
                                                   households) were less than                assets) would benefit little from
Researchers then classified house-                 US$1/day. The poorest house-              agricultural research, although
holds into three types, based on                   holds—those with lowest per capi-         they might benefit from the
their resources and their main                     ta income and few assets—were             spillover effects of such research.
livelihood strategies. The house-                  the wage-laborers who farmed a
hold types identified were (1) agri-               little land, the wage-laborers who        This means that agricultural
culturists who integrate crop pro-                 worked as herders, and the pas-           research centers may not play a
duction with fattening lambs and                   toralists with no additional income       direct role in alleviating poverty in
also work for wages; (2) wage-                     from employment. These should             these groups. However, they are
laborers, who own little or no land,               be considered the poorest of the          well-placed to identify and pro-
mostly rely on off-farm earnings                   poor.                                     mote other options for improving
Table 1. Household typologies in the Khanasser Valley, Syria.

Capital                                                       Wage-laborers           Agriculturists              Pastoralists
                                                            With      Herders      Without    With           With        Little or no
                                                            farming                off-farm   off-farm       off-farm off-farm
                                                                                   labor      labor          labor       labor
Social, human       People            Average persons       9.17      6.64         6.75       11.29          10.43       11.00
                                      /household
                    Educated          % males               68        66           88         63             61          32
                    males
                    Educated          % females             46        28           11         30             15          33
                    females
                    Members           % households          25        9            50         52             57          80
                    of associations   with membership
                    Migrant members % households            75        73           0          62             43          0
                                    with migrants
Natural, physical   Land owned        Total (ha)            6.83      3.73         7.55       11.30          0           0
                    or used
                    Well owners       % of total households 58        9            25         71             71          40
                                      owning wells
                    Sheep             Head                  4.2       3.7          91.8       62             79.3        41
Financial           Average credit use US$/year/            490       310          810        415            1420        1280
                                       household
                    Per capita income US$/day1              0.82      0.48         1.72       1.30           1.43        1.15
Main livelihood    - Crop production % income               9         5            23         9              0           0
activities         - Livestock                              7         19           29         13             82          76
                   - Sheep fattening                        0           0          48         50             3           15
                   - Off-farm labor                         84        76           0          28             15          9
1 Based on an exchange rate of SP51=US$1 (2002).




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90            Poverty and Livelihood Analysis and Impact Assessment




these people’s livelihoods. Ways
forward include promoting initia-
tives to develop skills, create jobs
in non-farm sectors, and improve
access to capital through micro-
finance schemes. Pastoralists could
also benefit from research and
development that considers their
nomadic existence, as they rely on
extensive herding in remote
steppes where there are few
opportunities for off-farm work.

Agriculturist households were rel-
atively better off, as they had suffi-
cient land and labor to make a liv-
ing mainly from farming. They
were, however, still poor. This          Participants at a workshop on rural livelihood analysis at ICARDA.
group would benefit both directly
and indirectly from agricultural         benefit directly from new tech-               participate in the more profitable
research. They are, for example,         nologies to improve crop and live-            enterprises of sheep production.
more likely to adopt new crop and        stock production. They could take
livestock production technologies        advantage of both direct and indi-            Rural households in dry marginal
because (1) they have access to          rect opportunities to improve their           environments are not homoge-
water and land, (2) they are better      livelihoods without leaving farm-             neous. They have a variety of
educated, and (3) they have more         ing. Agricultural research can and            assets and capabilities. The
household members who are                should target these households.               household typologies and liveli-
wage earners. These households                                                         hood strategies identified in this
account for about 45% of those in        Several technologies show poten-              study will help ICARDA focus on
the Khanasser study area, and are        tial impact in the dry marginal               the research that will be most use-
the most likely to be able to use        areas. These include feed options             ful in lifting rural households out
their resources to improve their         such as production of vetch for               of poverty.
livelihoods.                             lamb fattening and dairy flocks,
                                         intercropping of Atriplex shrubs              This study has shown how
Wage-laborers who farm less than         with barley, improved barley and              research for development can reach
4 ha (about 25% of households)           wheat varieties, water harvesting             the dry marginal areas; and provid-
were placed in between the poor-         techniques for production of olives           ed evidence of the diverse potential
est and the relatively better-off        on hillslopes, and modern irriga-             impacts on different household
households. They have enough             tion practices for small-scale veg-           types depending on their asset
land to be able to increase their        etable production. Institutional              base. The findings, as well as the
agricultural income if they could        innovations such as micro-finance             approach used, will be relevant in
farm more intensively, and could         can help the poorest households               other dry marginal areas.


Agrobiodiversity conservation and use:                                                 Palestine, and Syria. It focused on
                                                                                       conserving landraces and the wild
assessing impacts                                                                      relatives of barley, wheat, lentil,
                                                                                       alliums, feed legumes (Lathyrus,
Since 1999, ICARDA has been              servation of dryland agrobiodiver-            Medicago, Trifolium, and Vicia
coordinating a five-year Global          sity and its sustainable use. The             species), and fruit trees (olive, fig,
Environment Facility (GEF) fund-         project, which ended in 2005, was             almond, pistachio, plum, peach,
ed project to promote in situ con-       implemented in Jordan, Lebanon,               pear, and apple).


                                           ICARDA Annual Report 2005
                                                 Agrobiodiversity conservation and use                                      91




                                                                                          pated in the project and 294
                                                                                          households which had not. These
                                                                                          surveys were conducted in the
                                                                                          eight project locations (two per
                                                                                          country) in August and
                                                                                          September 2004, using a question-
                                                                                          naire which had been tested in
                                                                                          June 2004. This dealt with a range
                                                                                          of topics and allowed researchers
                                                                                          to characterize household liveli-
                                                                                          hood strategies.

                                                                                          The researchers wanted to com-
                                                                                          pare livelihood strategies, agrobio-
                                                                                          diversity use, and incomes (1)
                                                                                          within and across all the countries
                                                                                          studied and (2) among poorer and
A nursery established in Lattakia, Syria, for landraces and wild relatives of fruit and
forest species.                                                                           better-off households. To do this,
                                                                                          they used factor analysis to create
Nationally, project activities were             officially recognized key sites rich      a wealth index that took into
implemented by different research               in agrobiodiversity, via processes        account all five types of capital a
institutes in each of the countries             which took into account the needs         household can have: human, natu-
involved: the National Center for               and wishes of local communities.          ral, financial, physical, and social.
Agricultural Research and                                                                 The survey covered household
Technology Transfer (NCARTT) in                 The project has also collected            assets such as cropland, range-
Jordan, the Lebanese Agricultural               many target-species accessions.           land, livestock, vehicles, and hous-
Research Institute (LARI) in                    These have been added to                  es, as well as on- and off-farm
Lebanon, the General Commission                 genebanks and databases devel-            incomes, and access to credit, co-
for Scientific and Agricultural                 oped to hold the results of ecolog-       operatives, and healthcare. Based
Research (GCSAR) in Syria, and                  ical and botanical surveys in the         on this, households were classified
the Ministry of Agriculture in                  countries involved. Importantly,          into four wealth groupings (quar-
Palestine. Farmers and herders                  standardized methods of manag-            tiles), each corresponding to 25%
were fully involved throughout                  ing these databases were also             of the range of values obtained for
the project.                                    developed and shared between              the wealth index.
                                                the partner countries. In addition,
The project has increased aware-                the project’s efforts to encourage        Livelihood strategies
ness of the need to conserve agro-              the use of the wild relatives of          To benefit the people in an area,
biodiversity at all levels. This has            fruit trees in afforestation efforts      conservation practices and invest-
led tourism and education min-                  led to the number of fruit-tree           ments need to be appropriate to
istries to collaborate with relevant            seedlings planted in Syria to rise        local people’s livelihood strate-
projects and non-governmental                   from 30,000 in 1999 to 500,000 in         gies—as well as to agro-ecological
organizations. It has also prompt-              2003. To review the project’s             conditions and the production
ed research institutions in Jordan,             progress, a full socio-economic           systems being used. The project’s
Lebanon, and Syria to implement                 assessment of its impacts was             impact assessment therefore con-
their own agrobiodiversity pro-                 conducted in 2004 and 2005.               sidered the different sources of
grams, and has resulted in                                                                income used by households in the
Jordan’s Forestry Department and                Impacts on livelihoods                    study areas. In all four countries,
the Palestinian Authority’s                     To assess the project’s impact on         the poorest households (those in
Ministry of Agriculture setting up              livelihoods, ICARDA researchers           the lowest wealth grouping) main-
agrobiodiversity units. The gov-                and national partners surveyed            ly obtained their income from crop
ernments involved have also now                 276 households that had partici-          production, although off-farm



                                                   ICARDA Annual Report 2005
92             Poverty and Livelihood Analysis and Impact Assessment




labor and government employ-
ment were also important (Fig. 1).

By contrast, households in the
highest wealth grouping mainly
depended on the income obtained
from selling livestock products
and live animals, though they
also practiced crop production,
worked off-farm, and took advan-
tage of government employment.
Over all wealth groupings, live-
stock provided the main source of
on-farm income in Jordan, while
crops and fruit trees were the
major source of on-farm income
                                               Simple water-harvesting techniques to conserve agrobiodiversity were demonstrat-
in Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.              ed extensively to local communities.

Overall, off-farm income was an                nent of livelihoods in the dry             tance to the household depended
important source of livelihoods in             areas.                                     on the wealth group (Table 2).
all the target areas, accounting for                                                      Wheat and barley were more
43-68% of household incomes.                   Importance of target crops by              important for better-off farmers,
Clearly, although agriculture is               wealth group                               while apricot and apple were
not the only source of household               The agrobiodiversity project tar-          more important to poor farmers.
income, it is still a major compo-             geted different crops; their impor-        In all groups, fruit trees were gen-
Table 2. Importance of different crops targeted in an agrobiodiversity project,
                                                                                          erally more important to farmers
classified by wealth group.                                                               than field crops.

                                     Wealth index category                                This finding has important impli-
Country/crop          Lowest 25%     25-50%      50-75%       Highest 25%    All groups
Lebanon
                                                                                          cations for national and interna-
Grapes                 6              9           13           6              8           tional efforts to conserve agrobio-
Apricot               19             28           25          16             22           diversity. It suggests that the
Apple                 15              5            3           7              7           focus of in situ conservation of
Olive                  0              3            3           2              2
Wheat                  5              7           14           9              9
                                                                                          cereal crops should be on the
Barley                 3              6            6          11              7           fields of well-off farmers; whereas
Chickpea               3              6            5           7              5           fruit tree conservation is more
Lentil                 2              2                        1              1           appealing for poorer farmers.
Syria
                                                                                          Appropriate conservation strate-
Grapes                16             17            9          22             17           gies will improve the livelihoods
Apple                 12             11            8          25             15           of all farming groups, especially
Olive                  8             11           10           8              9           the poor, and directly contribute
Wheat                 15             19           27          16             19
Barley                 7              6            8           2              5
                                                                                          to poverty reduction.
Chickpea               7             13           14          15             13
                                                                                          Project impacts on agricultural
Palestine                                                                                 incomes
Grapes                 11           12           11            9              11
Apple                   3                                                      1
                                                                                          The study found that average
Olive                  31           24           19           37              28          household incomes ranged from
Wheat                  23           38           28           37              31          US$2200 to US$9000 per year,
Barley                  0            0            6            3               2          equivalent to a daily per capita
Chickpea                0            0            0            3               2
Onion                   3            9           11            0               6
                                                                                          income of less than US$1 to
Numbers show the percentage of sample farms growing a particular species under each       US$5.
wealth-index category.


                                                 ICARDA Annual Report 2005
                                              Agrobiodiversity conservation and use                                    93




Fig. 1. Sources of income for farm households in different wealth quartiles in Jordan,Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.



                                                ICARDA Annual Report 2005
94            Poverty and Livelihood Analysis and Impact Assessment




In general, per capita incomes          households—by US$1148,                  between poorer and more well-off
were around US$2/day in Jordan,         US$1754, and US$1914 on aver-           farmers.
Lebanon, and Jenin (Palestine),         age, in Syria, Jordan, and
but less than US$2/day in Syria         Lebanon, respectively.                  The results highlight the impor-
and Hebron (Palestine). Income                                                  tance of agrobiodiversity conser-
from agriculture accounted for          Researchers also calculated Gini        vation in improving the liveli-
32-57% of these amounts.                coefficients to assess the equity in    hoods of farming communities.
                                        incomes within participating and        However, to be effective, research
In the majority of cases, the           non-participating households in         should be based on the impor-
households that had participated        each country. The values were           tance of targeted species to differ-
in the project had average agricul-     not significantly different, indicat-   ent farming groups. This study
tural incomes that were greater         ing that enhancing agrobiodiver-        provides clear indications on such
than those of non-participating         sity did not increase inequalities      targeting.


Gender dimensions of conserving and using
local agrobiodiversity
ICARDA’s five-year West Asia            sible for different agricultural
Dryland Agrobiodiversity Project,       activities, and that women were
which ended in 2005, promoted           intensively involved in agrobiodi-
the conservation and sustainable        versity management and conserva-
use of local agrobiodiversity at        tion.
eight sites in Syria, Lebanon,
Jordan, and Palestine. To ensure        Women’s roles
that efforts were targeted proper-      Women and children were main-           A woman in Ajloun, Jordan, tends her
ly, the project included work to        ly responsible for collecting           medicinal and herbal plants, which she
                                                                                established after receiving training
analyze the gender-related aspects      medicinal plants. This was true in      offered by the project.
of agrobiodiversity use and man-        75% of the households surveyed
agement.                                in Palestine (Table 3), and an even     seeds. By implication, seed inter-
                                        higher proportion in other coun-        ventions targeted at women, could
Men and women usually play dif-         tries.                                  generate more income.
ferent roles in the growing, collect-
ing, processing, and selling of         Women were also responsible for         Wild species: gender-related
plants and plant products.              processing agricultural crops and       benefits and responsibilities
Consequently they hold different        wild species to make food. This         The project also studied the uses
knowledge about important wild          was true in 96 to 100% of house-        of 37 types of wild plant, and
species and genetic resources.          holds surveyed (Table 3).               determined whether women or
Furthermore, women’s knowl-                                                     men were responsible for collect-
edge, and the contributions that        Responsibility for the sale of          ing, processing, and marketing
plants make to families’ food sup-      medicinal plants, however, was          them. The species considered
plies and livelihoods, tend to be       shared by men and women. In             were either used to make herbal
ignored in rural-development            Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, 60 to       teas (for medicinal or everyday
efforts and are often not well          88% of women sold plants that           use), were eaten as food, or used
understood.                             they had collected and processed.       as spices. Khobayzeh (Malva
                                        In Palestine, however, this figure      sylvestris), for example, was made
Rapid rural appraisals and surveys      fell to 42%, because of security        into a popular dish in all four
of around 70 households at each         issues at the project sites.            countries, while Silybum mari-
project site were used to study                                                 anum and Raphanus sp. were often
women’s and men’s roles as              Researchers also found that             eaten in salads in Syria. Rhus cori-
resource users and managers. We         women play an important role in         aria was widely used as a spice in
found that both groups are respon-      selecting, drying, and storing          Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

                                          ICARDA Annual Report 2005
                                       Gender dimensions of agrobiodiversity                                                    95




Because knowledge of these             labeling. Training also covered                 Syria. In Palestine, women’s
species is shared between men,         alternative sources of income,                  groups are now producing and
women, and children, the project       such as growing medicinal plants,               selling honey and shinglish
took all these groups into account     herbs, and mushrooms, and                       cheese (a dried cheese covered
in its research, awareness-raising,    developing nurseries. More than                 with herbs).
and development activities. This       1480 women were trained over
involved working closely with          five years.                                     The 278,000 medicinal plant
schools, NGOs, and women’s                                                             seedlings distributed in Palestine
groups.                                The project also provided women                 have helped 2240 households
                                       with in-kind incentives such as                 become self-sufficient in the medi-
Market access for women                seedlings (herbs and medicinal                  cines derived from them. These
For women to earn money from           plants), containers for locally                 households are also selling sur-
selling the products they have         processed products, and technical               plus produce at local markets.
collected or processed, they often     and business advice. Products                   Medicinal plants and a new agro-
need access to a market close to       processed by women from a local                 biodiversity nursery are also pro-
home. Researchers assessed how         Women’s Union are now being                     viding significant incomes for
accessible markets were in and         sold in a new ‘agrobiodiversity                 women in Jordan, while in
around the study sites.                shop’ set up near Salaheddin                    Lebanon women’s groups are pro-
                                       Castle, a major tourist site in                 cessing and selling wild plums.
In Lebanon, half the men and
                                       Table 3. Gender-related responsibilities at eight sites in four countries in West Asia
women surveyed were able to sell
                                       (% of households in which a particular group was responsible for the activity).
their products at a market in their
own village. This figure dropped to    Activity                       Jordan          Lebanon         Palestine       Syria
around one-third and one-quarter       Collection of edible and
of the people interviewed, respec-     medicinal plants
                                       Women & children               88              100             75              88
tively, in Palestine and Jordan –      Men                            12                0             25              12
and only 8% in Syria, where
respondents either used a city mar-    Preparing food
ket or a combination of different      Women                          98              100             96             100
                                       Men                             2                0              4               0
markets close to the village.
                                       Processing and use of
Across the sites, between 10% and      wild plants
                                       Women                         100              100             92              70
20% of households surveyed were        Men                             0                0              8              30
forced to sell their products at a
low price to people within their       Sale of medicinal plants
village, as they were unable to sell   Women & children               88               60             42              65
                                       Men                            12               40             58              35
them anywhere else. Improving
product marketing was therefore        Seed selection
one focus of the project.              Women                          75              100             86              10
                                       Men                            25                0             14              90

Adding value and raising               Seed drying
incomes                                Women                          50              100             60             100
To add value to local products, the    Men                            50                0             30               0
project set up food-processing and     Seed storage
handicraft units for women.            Women                          75              100             40              50
Women were taught how to               Men                            25                0             60              50
improve the quality of locally         Seed exchange
processed foods through the use        Women                         100               -              40               0
of better hygiene, packaging, and      Men                             0               -              60             100




                                         ICARDA Annual Report 2005
96             Poverty and Livelihood Analysis and Impact Assessment




Alley-cropping with Atriplex and cactus:                                                     combination of livestock and crop
                                                                                             production.
adoption and impacts in North Africa
                                                                                             Researchers used econometric
Unlike agricultural research                   ICARDA’s Mashreq and Maghreb                  models (Figs. 2 and 3) to assess
investments in high-potential                  (M&M) Project has developed and               the impact of alley-cropping on
areas, the rate of return to                   disseminated many new technolo-               barley yields, farmers’ use of
research investments in marginal               gies to farmers and herders in                alternative feed resources, feed
areas is not so clear. Adoption of             WANA. Successes include                       costs, and flock size; and also to
new technologies in these envi-                improved barley varieties, nutri-             assess how the provision of a
ronments is low because of the                 ent-rich feed blocks for sheep, and           subsidy affected uptake of alley-
variable returns from such tech-               techniques to boost sheep fertility           cropping. Probit, logit, and tobit
nologies, high level of risk, and              and restore degraded rangeland.               models were used to determine
institutional constraints such as              In 2005, researchers assessed the             what factors influenced farmers’
land rights issues. It can be                  impacts of two alley-cropping                 decisions to adopt each technolo-
hypothesized that unless public                technologies already disseminated             gy. A range of factors were con-
incentives are provided, the                   to farmers: barley with Atriplex              sidered, from the production sys-
potential benefits of new NRM                  (saltbush) and barley with spine-             tems farmers used to policy vari-
technologies will not be realized.             less cactus. Both cactus and                  ables and the areas’ natural
In particular, if the technologies             Atriplex provide animal feed and              resources. Community models
require investments, govern-                   can protect the soil.                         were also used to assess technol-
ments may have to provide sub-                                                               ogy performance at the farm and
sidies to help establish them.                 Researchers assessed the impacts              community levels.
Subsidies are justified if the value           of alley-cropping Atriplex and bar-
of public benefits generated                   ley in Irzain, a community in                 Atriplex alley-cropping in
exceeds the amount of the sub-                 northeast Morocco. Alley-cropping             Morocco: adoption and
sidy. The main objective of this               using cactus was assessed in                  impact
research was to assess the uptake              Zoghmar, in central Tunisia. Both             In Morocco, 33% of farmers had
and impact of crop/livestock                   places receive less than 300 mm of            adopted the technology on nearly
NRM technologies under rele-                   rain per year and suffer periodic             24% of the land in the community.
vant policy contexts.                          droughts. Local people rely on a              Researchers found that the area




Source: Adapted and modified after Trewin, 1997. ACIAR Project Workshop, Bogor, 7-8 July 1997, 47 pp.

Fig. 2. Conceptual framework used to assess the impacts of         Fig. 3. Conceptual framework used to assess the impacts of cactus
Atriplex alley-cropping in Morocco. B = barley; NPV = net          alley-cropping in Tunisia. B = barley; NPV = net present value; IRR =
present value; IRR = internal rate of return; SCUAF = ‘Soil        internal rate of return.
Changes under Agroforestry’.



                                                 ICARDA Annual Report 2005
                                            Alley-cropping with Atriplex and cactus                                    97




under alley-cropping increased as
farm size and flock size increased.
The net impact of the subsidy pro-
vided, according to the model
used, was an increase of 79% in
the area devoted to Atriplex.

Overall, barley grain and straw
yields were 17% and 97% higher,
respectively, in the alley-cropping
system than in the traditional bar-
ley–fallow system. And, because
adopting farmers had a more
secure feed supply, they
increased the size of their flocks
by 25% more than non-adopters
during the period 2001-2004.                Alley cropping with Atriplex (above) and spineless cactus provides substantial
                                            financial gains to farmers, and greatly reduces soil erosion.
Adopting Atriplex alley-cropping
also meant that farmers had to              relevant costs, including research,      IRRs. These scenarios included
buy less feed for their animals—            extension, and the subsidy pro-          low Atriplex yields due to farmer
reducing feed costs by 33% on               vided by the development project         mismanagement, and low barley
average. Adopters’ animals con-             that promoted the technology.            grain and straw yields due to bad
sumed 90% less wheat bran, 36%              The biomass produced by Atriplex         weather. Another such scenario
less barley grain, and 23% less             was valued in relation to the            involved valuing Atriplex biomass
sugar beet, than the animals kept           amount of barley grain that farm-        in relation to the price of barley
by non-adopting farmers.                    ers would otherwise have had to          straw (not grain). However, the
                                            buy to feed their animals. Using a       IRR estimates were still not less
Using a mixed ex-post/ex-ante               discount rate of 10%, the IRR was        than 18%. This further justifies
assessment (Fig. 2), researchers            calculated to be 25%.                    past investments in Atriplex alley-
also estimated the internal rate of                                                  cropping research.
return (IRR) for the period 1992-           Additional ‘pessimistic’ scenarios
2015. This took into account all            were used to calculate alternative       In Morocco, researchers also used
                                                                                     the SCUAF (Soil Changes under
                                                                                     Agroforestry; Fig. 2) model to
                                                                                     assess the environmental impacts
                                                                                     of alley-cropping over 15 years.
                                                                                     This showed that, in comparison
                                                                                     with farmers’ usual land-use prac-
                                                                                     tices, alley-cropping systems
                                                                                     reduced soil loss and greatly
                                                                                     improved soil organic carbon lev-
                                                                                     els. Researchers found that the
                                                                                     financial benefits of this reduction
                                                                                     in soil loss far outweighed the cost
                                                                                     of the subsidy provided to farmers
                                                                                     who switched to the new system.

                                                                                     Even using very conservative
                                                                                     adoption rates of 6%, researchers
ICARDA researchers interviewing farmers in Morocco on Atriplex alley-cropping.       calculated that alley-cropping


                                              ICARDA Annual Report 2005
98            Poverty and Livelihood Analysis and Impact Assessment




could be expanded to cover              animals as usual—and so did not       could greatly reduce soil erosion,
350,000 ha in northeast and cen-        lose so many assets. At the farm      restore soil organic matter, boost
tral Morocco. The potential bene-       level, this drop in de-stocking       crop yields, and provide high
fits of this—in terms of higher         was around 6% on average.             returns on farmers’ investments.
barley yields and lower feed
costs—would be almost US$60             Furthermore, cactus alley-cropping    The development of cactus and
million.                                led to a 5% fall in the amount of     Atriplex alley-cropping has
                                        marginal land cropped in drought      encouraged public investments in
Furthermore, Atriplex alley-crop-       years, and so helped to conserve      agriculture in the dry areas. This
ping could be adopted in other          the area’s natural resources.         in turn has increased the produc-
Mashreq and Maghreb countries,                                                tive capacity of households' main
as they have similar production         The assessment showed further         natural asset, which is land. This
systems, natural resources, and         financial benefits from alley-crop-   will lead to sustainable improve-
socio-economic characteristics.         ping: farm cashflows rose by 7%,      ments in the livelihoods of rural
                                        feed costs fell by 13%, and farmers   communities.
Impacts of alley-cropping using         were less dependent on the mar-
spineless cactus in Tunisia             ket for feed. What is more,           Results clearly show that incen-
Just two years after cactus alley-      impacts on the poorest group of       tives provided by development
cropping had been introduced, it        farmers were very positive. They      projects are important to stimu-
was being used by 31% of farmers        no longer fell so far below the       late technology adoption. Such
in Zoghmar in Tunisia, on around        poverty line, and their incomes       subsidies can be justified because
30% of the land in the community.       fluctuated less during the year.      the internal rates of return are sat-
Researchers also found, however,        The technology also increased bar-    isfactory if these costs (incentives)
that many farmers waited until          ley yields, as well as plant cover    are accounted for. In addition,
they received a subsidy before          on eroded lands (because the cac-     there are environmental benefits.
planting cactus. They also showed       tus shelters plants from the wind).   In the case of Morocco, conserva-
that in dry years, when cereal          This increase in cover led to         tive valuation shows that the
yields are low, the cost of this sub-   improved soil organic matter and      environmental benefits justify the
sidy would be greater than the          carbon, phosphorus, and potassi-      additional investments that gov-
returns obtained by farmers.            um levels, which will help to         ernments are making. The results
                                        reduce soil loss through erosion.     of this study will help policy
However, it was also found that                                               makers make decisions leading to
the availability of cactus as a feed    Overall, in the two areas studied,    investments in productive assets,
in dry years meant that farmers         the assessments showed that           like drought-resistant shrubs,
did not have to sell off as many        Atriplex and cactus alley-cropping    rather than on feed subsidies.




                                         ICARDA Annual Report 2005

				
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