Induced innovation and productivity enhancing, resource conserving technologies in Central America [Elektronische Ressource] : the supply of soil conservation practices and small-scale farmers
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Induced innovation and productivity enhancing, resource conserving technologies in Central America [Elektronische Ressource] : the supply of soil conservation practices and small-scale farmers' adoption in Guatemala and El Salvador / vorgelegt von Monika Barbara Zurek

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252 Pages
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Induced Innovation and Productivity-Enhancing, Resource-Conserving Technologies in Central America: The Supply of Soil Conservation Practices and Small-Scale Farmers’ Adoption in Guatemala and El Salvador Monika Barbara Zurek Institut für Agrarpolitik und Marktforschung der Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen Senckenbergstr. 3 35390 Giessen Induced Innovation and Productivity-Enhancing, Resource-Conserving Technologies in Central America: The Supply of Soil Conservation Practices and Small-Scale Farmers’ Adoption in Guatemala and El Salvador Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades (Dr. agr.) im Fachbereich 09 (Agrarwissenschaften und Umweltmanagement) -Agrarwissenschaften- der Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen Vorgelegt von Dipl. agr. biol. Monika Barbara Zurek Giessen, Oktober 2002 Vorsitzender: Prof. Dr. Peter Felix-Hennigsen 1. Gutachter: Prof. Dr. Ernst-August Nuppenau 2. Gutachter: Prof. Dr. Gregory Traxler Prüfer: Prof. Dr. Volkmar Wolters Prüfer: Prof. Dr. Hermann Boland Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 17. Dez. 2002 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Conducting my fieldwork and writing this thesis would not have been possible without the help and encouragement of a large number of people, to all of whom I am deeply indebted.

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Induced Innovation and Productivity-Enhancing,
Resource-Conserving Technologies in Central America:
The Supply of Soil Conservation Practices and
Small-Scale Farmers’ Adoption in Guatemala
and El Salvador














Monika Barbara Zurek










Institut für Agrarpolitik und Marktforschung
der Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen
Senckenbergstr. 3
35390 Giessen






Induced Innovation and Productivity-Enhancing,
Resource-Conserving Technologies in Central America:
The Supply of Soil Conservation Practices and
Small-Scale Farmers’ Adoption in Guatemala and El Salvador












Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades (Dr. agr.)
im Fachbereich 09 (Agrarwissenschaften und Umweltmanagement)
-Agrarwissenschaften-
der Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen



Vorgelegt von

Dipl. agr. biol.
Monika Barbara Zurek



Giessen, Oktober 2002

























Vorsitzender: Prof. Dr. Peter Felix-Hennigsen

1. Gutachter: Prof. Dr. Ernst-August Nuppenau

2. Gutachter: Prof. Dr. Gregory Traxler

Prüfer: Prof. Dr. Volkmar Wolters

Prüfer: Prof. Dr. Hermann Boland




Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 17. Dez. 2002




ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Conducting my fieldwork and writing this thesis would not have been possible
without the help and encouragement of a large number of people, to all of whom I
am deeply indebted.
First I must thank my thesis advisor Prof. Dr. Ernst-August Nuppenau for accepting
me as a PhD student, for his long-lasting support, and for helpful and constructive
discussions during the write-up of the thesis and my time in Giessen. I would also
very much like to thank my second thesis advisor, Prof. Dr. Gregory Traxler, for his
constant support in times of doubt, for fascinating discussions about concepts and
theories and their application to this research, and for his very helpful reviews of the
first versions of the thesis.
I am especially grateful to CIMMYT - the International Maize and Wheat
Improvement Center - for accepting me as a pre-doctoral fellow in the Economics
Program and for providing me with the necessary infrastructure and logistical
support to carry out my research. Dr. Gustavo Sain, based at CIMMYT's Regional
Office for Central America and the Caribbean in San José, Costa Rica, was my
original supervisor and without him none of my work in Central America would
have been possible. He introduced me to the region and the CIMMYT collaborators,
had great patience in answering my never-ending questions, helped me to set up the
fieldwork, constantly discussed ideas and new concepts and supported me with his
generous friendship. In addition, I am very grateful to Marlen Montoya, Carlos
Bonilla and Andres Jauregui from the CIMMYT Costa Rica office for their friendship
and support during my three years working with CIMMYT in San José.
Also in Central America, I am particularly grateful to the farmers who sat through
long discussions and answered - with great patience - my questions during the
surveys in Guatemala and El Salvador. Without their cooperation, none of my field
research would have been possible!
In Guatemala, Jérôme Fournier, at the time a PhD student in the CIMMYT Guatemala
office, introduced me to the Polochic Valley. I am very grateful for his support in
setting up my field research in the area, for sharing many of his field experiences
with me, and for the fun-times we had while learning more about ‘life in the tropics’.
Dr. Jorge Bolaños, leader of the CIMMYT Guatemala office, provided vibrant discussions and insights about rural-development issues in Central America, and I
would like to thank him for his support during my time in the region. Furthermore, I
am grateful to Miriam Hernádez, Wiliam Quemé, Mariela González and Don
Landelino Aguirre of the CIMMYT Guatemala office for all their help. In the Polochic
Valley, I am especially indebted to Leonel Chavez, without whose explanations, help
and great organizational skills, the work in the valley would have been so much
more difficult and whose family always made me feel very welcome. In addition,
Otoniel Gracia from the ICTA office in Panzós provided a lot of help during the
fieldwork. And I would also like to thank all the surveyors from the valley who
demonstrated great patience in collecting the information I needed.
I am very grateful for the help I received from the members of the Programa Regional
de Maíz in Central America. They supported me during field visits and never failed to
help me learn more about the problems and important issues of the region. My
special thanks go to Cristina Choto de Cerna, who was a great mentor for learning
about El Salvador and who helped to organize the field survey and the surveyors in
Nueva Concepción. And who was great fun to work with!
I would like to thank my current supervisor Dr. Prabhu Pingali, former director of
the CIMMYT Economics Program and currently director of the Agricultural and
Development Economics Division at FAO, for his support during my time in Costa
Rica and for allowing me the time to finish this thesis while I was simultaneously
working with him on a new project. In addition, I am grateful to the other members
of the CIMMYT Economics Program in Mexico, with whom I could always discuss
ideas and fieldwork results. In CIMMYT headquarters, I would also like to thank
Dagoberto Flores, who provided invaluable help for the farmers’ surveys, Jens Riis-
Jacobsen and Lone Badstue for their friendship despite having to comment on all the
first versions of this thesis, and Janin Trinidad for her invaluable help through the
last meters before the finishing line. In addition, I am grateful to John Woolston,
whose good conversations and cups of teas helped me to get through long weekend
working-hours, and to all the other people in HQ that made my life at CIMMYT so
interesting and pleasant.
I am happy to acknowledge the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation
and Development (BMZ) for its financial support by assigning me to work within the
project “Accelerating the adoption of productivity-enhancing, resource-conserving (PERC) technologies in maize-based cropping systems in Central America”, which
was funded by the Ministry and executed by CIMMYT.
Last but not least, I would like to say an especially big ‘Thank you’ to my parents,
Prof. Dr. Ernst Zurek and Dr. Barbara Zurek, my sister Christina Zurek and my
friend Randolph Watpool. During all these years of work, they never let me down;
they provided unfailing support, read and re-read all the different versions of the
thesis, discussed all my questions and doubts, and gave me the strength and
confidence to finish. THANK YOU!


Mexico City, October 2002









Table of Contents


Table of Contents..…………………………………………………………………… I
List of Figures……………………………………………………………………….... IV
List of Tables………………………………………………………………………….. VI
List of Abbreviations………………………………………………………………… VIII


1 Introduction……..………………………………………………………………… 1
1.1 Focus and objectives of the study…………………………………………… 2
1.2 Thesis outline.…………………………………………………………………. 3

2 Soil erosion in Central America – Main Causes and Promoted Solutions.. 4
2.1 Soil degradation and soil erosion.………………….……………………….. 4
2.1.1 Soil degradation and soil erosion worldwide..………………………. 4
2.1.2 Factors influencing soil erosion…..……………………………………. 8
2.1.3 Effects of soil erosion…………………………………………………… 9
2.2 Soil erosion in Central America……………………………………………... 13
2.2.1 Evidence for the soil erosion problem in Central America…………. 13
2.2.2 Factors influencing the soil erosion problem in Central America…. 16
2.2.2.1 Agro-ecological characteristics of Central America….…….. 17
2.2.2.2 Development of land use patterns in Central America
and their importance for the soil erosion problem…………. 20
2.2.3 Towards a classification of soil conservation practices
promoted in Central America……………….………………………… 29

3 Environmental Innovations and Technical Change…………………….…… 38
3.1 Differences between Environmental and Commercial Innovations…….. 38
3.2 Induced Innovation Theory of Technical and Institutional Change and
Environmental Innovations………………………………………………….. 45
3.2.1 The inducement mechanism for technical change in the “Induced
Innovation Theory”……………………………………………………. 47
3.2.2 Environmental innovations and the inducement mechanism
described in the “Induced Innovation Theory”…………………… 53
3.2.3 Technology development according to the “Induced Innovation
Theory”…………….……………………………………………………. 61
3.2.4 Interactions between technology users and suppliers with respect
to Environmental Innovations…….…………………………………... 63
3.2.5 Induced institutional change and Environmental Innovations……. 67
3.3 Summary………..……………………………………………………………... 69



I4 The Adoption of Productivity-Enhancing, Resource-Conserving
Technologies in Central America: The Case of the Legume Mucuna
(Mucuna spec.) in the Polochic Valley, Guatemala………………………….. 71
4.1 Introduction........................................................................................................ 71
4.2 Methodological issues……………………….……………………………….. 72
4.3 Description of the study area………………………………………………... 74
4.3.1 Agro-ecological conditions………………………..…………………… 74
4.3.2 Socio-economic conditions……………………………………………... 77
4.3.3 The general farming system in the Polochic Valley…………………. 78
4.3.4 The erosion problem in the Polochic Valley………………………….. 80
4.4 The Maize and the Maize-Mucuna System in the Polochic Valley………. 83
4.4.1 The maize cropping system…………..………………………………... 86
4.4.2 The Maize-Mucuna system…………………………………………….. 89
4.4.2.1 Description and history of Mucuna…………….……………... 90
4.4.2.2 Benefits and disadvantages of Mucuna use…………..……… 91
4.4.2.3 The Maize-Mucuna system in the Polochic Valley………….. 94
4.5 Modeling farmers’ decision to use Mucuna………………………………... 103
4.5.1 The Logit model………………………………………………………… 104
4.5.2 The Structural Equation Model with latent variables……………….. 111
4.5.2.1 Theoretical Background………………………………………... 113
4.5.2.2 Hypotheses………………………………………………………. 121
4.5.2.3 Results…….……………………………………………………… 126
4.6 Lessons learned……………………………………………………………….. 136

5 Offering Soil Conservation Technologies to Farmers and Farmers’
Response: The Origin and Use of Soil Conservation Techniques in the
County of Nueva Concepción, El Salvador…………….…………………….. 140
5.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………… 140
5.2 Methodological Issues………………………………………………………... 142
5.3 Description of the study area………………………………………………... 143
5.3.1 General description……………………………………………………... 144
5.3.2 The farming system…………………………………………………….. 146
5.4 Description of the organizations promoting soil conservation practices
in Nueva Concepción………………………………………………………… 147
5.4.1 General description of the investigated organizations……………… 148
5.4.2 The selection process of soil conservation practices to be promoted 154
5.4.3 The promotion of soil conservation techniques……………………… 164
5.5 Farmers’ response to the offer of soil conservation techniques………….. 169
5.6 Lessons learned……………………………………………………………….. 179

6 Summary and Conclusions…...………………………………………………… 184

References…………………………………………………………………………….. 195


IIAnnex………………………………………………………………………………….. 203
Annex 1: Questionnaire about the adoption of soil conservation
technology and the maize production system in the Polochic
Valley, Dept. of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala………………………….. 203
Annex 2: Encuesta: Origen y Desarrollo de las Técnicas de Conservación de
Suelo en Nueva Concepción, El Salvador – Organizaciones…..….. 218
Annex 3: Encusta Origen y Desarrollo de las Técnicas de Conservación
de Suelo en Nueva Concepción, El Salvador – Agricultores............ 228



IIIList of Figures


Figure 2-1: Reasons for human-induced soil degradation and their
relevance in the different regions of the world............................. 5
Figure 2-2: Map of soil degradation................................................................... 7
Figure 2-3: Hypothetical relationship between cumulative soil erosion
and yield for two different soil types............................................. 11
Figure 2-4: Percentage of agricultural land affected by human induced
soil degradation per geographical region...................................... 14
Figure 2-5: Map of Central America (darker areas are hillside regions)....... 18
Figure 2-6: Land use in 1961 and 1994/1998 in Central America (as
percentage of land area)................................................................... 20
Figure 2-7: Changes in use of agricultural land in Central America
between 1961 and 1998 ( arable land, permanent crops and
permanent pasture area as percentage of total agricultural
area)…………………………………………………………………. 22
Figure 2-8: Share of basic grains producing farmers in the total of all
farmers in Central America in 1989……………………………... 25
Figure 2-9: Distribution of soil conservation projects from Dvorak list
among Central American countries and Mexico……………….. 30
Figure 2-10: Classification of soil conservation practices promoted by
projects in Central America and Mexico according to their
preventive or corrective qualities…………………………….…. 32
Figure 2-11: Number of soil conservation practices promoted by projects
from Dvorak list……..………………………………………….... 35
Figure 3-1: Induced technical change for mechanical and biological
innovations according to the “Induced Innovation
Theory”………………………......................................................... 49
Figure 3-2: Differing paths of changes in land and labor productivity
between 1960 and 1980 in the agricultural sector …………….. 52
Figure 3-3: Possible paths of yield development depending on
application of different farm management practices………..... 55
Figure 3-4: The inducement mechanism for the use of environmental
innovations with ‘Productive Capacity’ as a new production
factor…………………………………………………..…………… 59
Figure 3-5: Different perceptions of farmers and researchers concerning
the Isocost lines depicting the price ratio between the
‘Productive Capacity’ and another production
factor………………………………………………………………. 64
Figure 3-6:
the use of the production factor ‘Nature’…………………........ 66
Figure 4-1: Map of Guatemala and the study area ………………………… 75

IV