5 years ago

Certification of Semi-forest Coffee as a Land-sharing Strategy in Ethiopia

We analyze whether private sustainability standards can improve the economic benefits from less intensified semi-forest coffee production in southwestern Ethiopia. We compare garden and semi-forest coffee systems, including non-certified and Rainforest Alliance certified semi-forest coffee, and evaluate yields, returns to land, returns to labor and profits. We use original household- and plot-level survey from 454 households and 758 coffee plots derived from a household survey and Geographic Information Systems, and ordinary least squares and fixed effects regression models. We find that more intensified garden coffee plots bring about higher yields and returns to land than less intensified semi-forest coffee plots; and that Rainforest Alliance certification of semi-forest coffee leads to higher returns to land and labor, and profits than non-certified semi-forest and garden coffee, mainly by guaranteeing farmers a better price and not by improving yields. Findings imply that in southwestern Ethiopia coffee certification can support farmers' incentives for land-sharing between coffee production and semi-natural forest conservation.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0921800917302677

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