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Estimating the Impact of Crop Diversity on Agricultural Productivity in South Africa

Estimating the Impact of Crop Diversity on Agricultural Productivity in South Africa

Chapter:
(p.185) 6 Estimating the Impact of Crop Diversity on Agricultural Productivity in South Africa
Source:
Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior
Author(s):
Cecilia BelloraÉlodie BlancJean-Marc BourgeonEric Strobl
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226619941.003.0006

Crop biodiversity has the potential to enhance resistance to strains due to biotic and abiotic factors and to improve crop production and farm revenues. To investigate the effect of crop biodiversity on crop productivity, we build a probabilistic model based on ecological mechanisms to describe crop survival and productivities according to diversity. From this analytic model, we derive reduced forms that are empirically estimated using detailed field data of South African agriculture combined with satellite derived data. Our results confirm that diversity has a positive and significant impact on crop survival odds. We show the consistency of these results with the underlying ecologic and agricultural mechanisms. We also draw from the increasingly available satellite data to build a rich dataset allowing us to estimate the impact of biodiversity on crop productivity based on our probabilistic model.

Keywords:   Agrobiodiversity, Crop productivity, Cross-crop externality, South Africa, Satellite imagery

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