Analysis of the adoption of soil conservation practices in olive groves: the case of mountainous areas in Southern Spain

J. Calatrava Leyva, J.A. Franco Martínez, M.C. González Roa

Abstract


This paper presents some results from a survey carried out in 2004 among 223 olive tree farmers from mountainous areas in the Spanish Southern provinces of Granada and Jaén regarding the adoption of soil conservation and management practices. Olive tree groves in mountainous areas are subject to a high risk of soil erosion and incur a higher cost of soil conservation. This results in greater difficulty to comply with the requirements of the new single payment scheme (cross-compliance) and to benefit from agri-environmental schemes. The main objectives of this study are to analyze the current adoption level of soil conservation practices in this area and to address which socioeconomic and institutional factors determine such adoption. Three probit models are estimated. Dependent variables are three different soil conservation practices, namely tillage following contour lines, maintenance of terraces with stonewalls, and non-tillage with weedicides. Results show a significant increase in the adoption of several soil conservation measures in the last 15 years, especially of non-tillage practices. Some factors positively related with the adoption of soil conservation practices are farm profitability, the presence of young farmers, and continuity of the farming activity by relatives and the use of family labour.

Keywords


SPAIN; SLOPING LAND; OLEA EUROPAEA; EROSION; CONTOUR CULTIVATION; TERRACE CROPPING; ZERO TILLAGE; SOIL CONSERVATION; INNOVATION ADOPTION; PROFITABILITY

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2007053-246