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Journal of Environmental Management 84 (2007) 6270

The economics of adoption and management of alley cropping in Haiti

Budry Bayarda, Curtis M. Jollya,, Dennis A. Shannonb

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University, AL 36849, USA
Department of Agronomy and Soils, Auburn Agricultural Experimental Station, Auburn University, AL 36849, USA

Received 28 January 2005; received in revised form 11 March 2006; accepted 5 May 2006
Available online 20 July 2006

The Haitian people are facing serious problems of environmental degradation that threaten the economic livelihoods of many
resource-poor farmers. Structures to retard the process of soil loss have been adopted reluctantly and, even when adopted, the
management and maintenance have been less than desirable. We evaluate the factors that inuence the adoption and management of
alley cropping in Haiti. Results of the adoption model show that institutional factors, such as membership in a local peasant organization
and training in soil conservation practices, favorably inuence adoption. Socio-economic factors such as gender, per capita income, and
interaction between education and per capita income also signicantly inuence adoption of alley cropping in Gaita and Bannate. The
management of alley cropping is inuenced by demographic, socio-economic, institutional, and physical factors. The relative importance
of each factor on the probability of adoption and management of alley cropping varies from one variable to another. The study generates
important information for resource allocation in the establishment of alley cropping as a soil conservation structure.
r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Economics; Adoption; Alley cropping; Haiti

1. Introduction
Haiti, a mountainous and densely populated country,
has experienced severe soil erosion problems for decades.
The major impact of soil erosion in Haiti is a reduction of
soil fertility, which results in decreased agricultural
productivity. Three-fourths of the countrys land area is
on high elevations (Weil et al., 1973). Agriculture, a major
sector of the economy, is practiced by limited resource
farmers on steep plots unsuitable for sustainable agricultural production (Blemur, 1987).
In order to reduce soil erosion and increase agricultural
production to feed an ever-growing population, soil and
water conservation technologies such as terraces, rock
walls, and tree planting have been largely promoted
throughout the country. Given the limited success of such
practices (Paskett and Philoctete, 1990), alley cropping was
introduced as a technique with the capacity for not only
limiting soil erosion, but also improving soil fertility.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 334 844 5613; fax: +1 334 844 5639.

E-mail address: (C.M. Jolly).

0301-4797/$ - see front matter r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Agronomic and economic analyses have shown the

potential of alley cropping in several developing countries
(Vogel, 1986; Hernandez et al., 1995). Positive signicant
crop yields were reported with the implementation of alley
cropping in Africa (Shannon et al., 1994; Chirwa et al.,
1994; Akyeampong and Hitimana, 1996). Similarly,
research on alley cropping indicated that this technology
can reduce soil loss and be more protable than the
traditional farming system (Ehui et al., 1990; Paningbatan
et al., 1995). Lea (1996) reported signicant increased crop
yields with contour hedgerows in Haiti. However, the
diffusion of such a soil conservation practice is limited
(Lea, 1995, 1996, 2000). Moreover, even when alley
cropping and hedgerows are implemented with project
subsidies, established structures are not properly managed
when project funds are terminated (Pierre et al., 1995).
Rampant abandonment of hedgerows, established with
project funds, is observed throughout Haiti and the
developing world. We are aware of the reported low
adoption rate and low level of management of alley
cropping structures. Nonetheless, analyses of factors
inuencing farmers behavior towards adoption and

B. Bayard et al. / Journal of Environmental Management 84 (2007) 6270

management of alley cropping are limited. Therefore, this

study aims at understanding why steep land farmers in
Haiti do or do not adopt alley cropping; and why some
households manage these soil conservation structures
better than others.
2. Attributes of alley cropping
Alley cropping is one of the soil and water conservation
technologies promoted in the last two or three decades in
an attempt to mitigate the negative effects of soil erosion.
In Haiti, farmers have established hedgerows by planting
trees and shrubs on contours, as means for conserving soil,
as windbreaks, and/or as demarcation lines between plots.
Alley cropping, as dened in several studies, is slightly
different from a simple establishment of hedgerows. Alley
cropping consists of growing crops between closely planted
and regularly spaced hedgerows of fast-growing trees,
usually nitrogen-xing legumes. The trees are pruned
regularly to minimize shading of associated crops, and to
provide nutrient-rich, fast-decomposing leafy mulch, which
can be incorporated into the soil to provide nutrients to the
soil and crops (Bannister and Nair, 1990; Winterbottom
and Hazlewood, 1987). Alley cropping has been suggested
as an approach to improve soil fertility and for controlling
erosion. As pointed out by Isaac et al. (1994), alley
cropping differs from contour hedgerows in the sense that
in an alley cropping system the hedges are used primarily to
maintain soil fertility through the application of prunings
to the soil.
The benets of alley cropping have been documented in
Haiti and elsewhere. Field research has shown positive
response of maize, cassava, and bean to leucaena contour
hedgerows (Akyeampong and Hitimana, 1996; Chen et al.,
1989). Economic analyses have also indicated that alley
cropping is protable in tropical regions. In Cameroon for
instance, Tonye and Titi-Nwel (1995) reported a marginal
rate of return of 447% for alley cropping. Thus, alley
cropping is an advantageous land management system for
subsistence farmers (Bannister and Nair, 1990; Chen et al.,
1989). Yet even with these attractive nancial benets,
researchers and development agencies are unable to
understand why farmers, especially on the hillsides, are
not quick to adopt the technology and, when adopted, why
farmers fail to manage them satisfactorily. A number of
sociological reasons have been given (Lovejoy and Sanders,
1994; Napier, 1991).
3. Theoretical framework
Farmers adoption of soil conservation practices has
been considered in several countries. The International
Institute of Tropical Agriculture reported adoption rate of
alley farming of 31%, 32%, and more than 50%, in
Cameroon, Benin, and Nigeria, respectively. In areas where
the Productive Land Use Systems (PLUS) project has


intervened in Haiti, a rate of adoption of less than 20% was

reported for contour hedgerow (Lea, 1995, 1996, 2000).
Studies on technology adoption indicate that the
decision to use an innovation is a process where different
factors interact. Rogers (1995) pointed out several stages in
the decision process. The perceived attributes of a
technology are an important factor of the adoption
process. Rogers (1995) indicates that innovations perceived
by farmers as having greater relative advantage, compatibility with past experience and farmers needs, observability, and less complexity will be adopted more rapidly
than other innovations. Findings of several studies have
indicated that factors related to the technology being used
play an important role in explaining farmers attitudes. In
connection with this line of argument, Napier (1991) and
Pagiola (1994) indicated that adoption of technology is
constrained by inadequate supply of materials, the direct
and indirect costs, and the degree of complexity. Ervin and
Ervin (1982), Napier (1991), Barbier (1990), and Sain and
Barreto (1996) argued that adoption of a particular soil
conservation practice is related to its protability. They
indicated that conservation would take place only if it
increases land value or if it allows farmers to shift to
higher-valued crops.
Another set of factors that play an important role in the
adoption process is related to adopters characteristics.
Those factors include age, education and perception of
erosion problem, orientation to farming and conservation
attitude (Gould et al., 1989; Ervin and Ervin, 1982; Anim,
1999; Bultena and Hoiberg, 1983). With respect to farmers
ages, researchers have found that younger farm operators
are more likely to develop positive attitudes toward
conservation practices because they have a longer planning
horizon than the older (Norris and Batie, 1987; Featherstone and Goodwin, 1993; Gould et al., 1989; Burton et
al., 1999). Education and perception of erosion problems
have been found to positively impact conservation adoption in several studies (Ervin and Ervin, 1982; Anim, 1999;
Norris and Batie, 1987; Bultena and Hoiberg, 1983; Gould
et al., 1989; Shields et al., 1993; Traore et al., 1998).
According to these studies, higher educational attainment
and perception of the erosion as a problem are associated
with higher probability to develop positive attitudes
towards soil conservation practices. Cleareld and Osgood
(1986) have pointed out that adoption of soil conservation
practices depends on the individuals attitude.
A number of researchers found that economic and
nancial factors such as farm income, off-farm income,
and risk aversion are important factors inuencing farmers decisions to adopt soil and water conservation
technologies (Norris and Batie, 1987; Featherstone and
Goodwin, 1993; Gould et al., 1989; Shields et al., 1993;
Lasley et al., 1990). Off-farm activities inhibit implementation of soil conservation technologies whereas farm income
enhances the process.
Farmers attitudes towards land management technologies are also affected by physical and environmental


B. Bayard et al. / Journal of Environmental Management 84 (2007) 6270

characteristics, such as farm size, slope length, degree of

slope, and soil erodibility (Rahm and Huffman, 1984;
Barbier, 1990; Huszar and Cochrane, 1990). Finally, some
studies indicate that institutional factors such as land
ownership, membership in farmers organizations and
technical assistance affect on-farm adoption of conservation practices (Burton et al., 1999; Francis, 1986; Lee and
Stewart, 1983). Insecurity of tenure reduces farmers
incentives to invest in land conserving practices (Lee and
Stewart, 1983), while membership in local groups has a
positive and signicant effect on the adoption of such
technologies (Burton et al., 1999).
Unlike the adoption process, few studies focus on
management and continued use of soil and water
conservation practices. David (1995) indicated that management of hedgerow intercropping in Kenya is a serious
problem. Not only do farmers fail to follow the guidelines
of technical agents, but some of them also manage their
structures better than others. Their attitudes, argued
David, are partly explained by the characteristics of the
technology and other socio-economic factors. Ervin and
Ervin (1982) also indicated that erosion potential, education, and perception of erosion problem positively affect
long-term conservation effort.
Adoption of new technologies has been measured in
several different ways. Ervin and Ervin (1982); Gould et al.
(1989), and Featherstone and Goodwin (1993) evaluated
the adoption level by the number of practices used on the
farm. Norris and Batie (1987) measured adoption of soil
conservation by the capital expenditures made for installation. Some researchers (Rahm and Huffman, 1984; Lee and
Stewart , 1983, Anim, 1999; Traore et al., 1998) used binary
choice variables to measure the probability of farmers
adopting soil conservation practices. In this study, we use
probability choice models to evaluate Haitian farmers
decisions to adopt alley cropping as a soil and waterconservation technique. We consider the probability of
adoption as a success and non-adoption as a failure. The
probability of success can be written as indicated by
Powers and Xie (2000)
Probit pi F1 pi .


Eq. (1) above can be treated as a link function in the

generalized linear model framework and we can solve for

pi F
bk X ik ; k 0; . . . ; K,
where F(  ) denotes the cumulative distribution function of
the standard normal distribution; p, the probability; b, a
coefcient estimate; and X, a vector of explanatory
In the case where the structures are well managed we
may relate this to a well managed structure, in the case
of maintenance we may say average management, but in
the case of neglect we may say poor management. This
type of management may be represented by a multinomial
decision model. Under the multinomial model, if there are

N categories, the probability that a farmer is in a particular

category, pj, is given by

pY j F
bk X ijk ,
where j is equal to 1, if management is poor, 2 if average,
and 3 if management is good. Xijk represents a vector of
explanatory variables for farmer i with j level of management, and b the coefcient of the parameters.
4. Methodology
4.1. Study area
The study is based on a survey conducted in Gaita and
Bannate, two villages in southern Haiti, where several soil
and water conservation projects have been implemented.
The research sites vary in elevation from 100 to 300 m. The
area is hilly with steep slopes reaching over 60%. The
average annual rainfall is usually between 1500 and
2000 mm. The rainy season is bimodal with rain occurring
from February to May and from July to November.
Agriculture represents the economic base for the villages
with a predominance of subsistence crops including
sorghum, corn, beans, and cassava. Livestock is often
associated with crop production providing cash for
important family expenses.
4.2. Data collection
In this study, adopters of alley cropping are dened as
farmers who have implemented and/or used an alley
cropping system on their farms, as diffused in the area by
the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF),
more than a decade ago. Prior to the survey, we made a
eld visit to the zone in order to contact technical agents
and community leaders. One hundred and twenty individuals, comprising 71 alley cropping adopters and 49 nonadopters randomly chosen from a list of farmers, were
interviewed in 1999. The eld survey consisted of two parts:
a face-to-face interview with selected farmers, and an
evaluation of the management of conservation structures
established on farmers plots.
The survey instrument developed for the study covered
several sections, including farmers characteristics (age,
marital status, education level, and group membership),
farm family information (composition and occupation of
households members), and farm situation (size, land
tenure). Information on livestock and crop production,
implementation and management of alley cropping structures, and household income was collected.
For each adopter interviewed, a plot with alley cropping
was chosen for the evaluation of the structures. In case of
farmers with more than one treated plot, the most
accessible one was evaluated. Even though each plot may
play a particular role in farmers decisions to invest in soil
conservation practices, discussions with interviewees did

B. Bayard et al. / Journal of Environmental Management 84 (2007) 6270

not reveal such a strategy in choosing the plot to establish

alley cropping.
Management of established structures was determined in
three different ways. First, the farmers were asked to state
if the structures on their plots were poorly, fairly, or well
managed. It is assumed that farmers own evaluation may
provide a clear indication of long-term use of alley
cropping as a soil conservation measure. Second, enumerators assessed the level of management of structures
established on the selected plots by carrying out the
appropriate measurements. The criteria used in this
evaluation include observations on general conditions of
the structures and on surface erosion in plots with presence
of alley cropping, importance of gaps in rows and repair
frequency, maintenance of structures, and utilization of
prunings (Appendix A). A score of 3, 6, and 9 was given to
each parameter evaluated, if the condition was judged
poor, average, or good, respectively. Third, an evaluation
was conducted by a technical agent familiar with conservation practices and contour hedgerows in particular.
Accompanied by an enumerator, he visited all plots already
evaluated, and based upon the observed state of the
structures he classied the level of management of each
plot into poor, average, and good.
4.3. Model development
Adoption of alley cropping in the research area was
studied using a probit model. The model is dened as

pY i 1 F
bk X ik ,
where p is the probability, Yi is a binary variable with a
value of 1, if alley cropping is adopted and 0, otherwise. F
is the cumulative density function, Xi represents a vector of
explanatory variables, and b the coefcients of the
parameters. The independent variables used in the adoption model include age, gender, group membership,
training in soil conservation practices, crop dependency,
per capita income, and the interaction between education
and per capita income. Crop dependency is measured as
the share of revenue from crops in the total household
Management of alley cropping was studied with a
multinomial probit model. The general form of model is
dened as follows:

pY i j F
bk X k ,
where j is equal to 1 if management is poor, 2 if average,
and 3 if management is good; b represents the coefcient of
the parameters, and Xk a vector of explanatory variables
for individual i with j level of management. The independent variables used in this model are age, age-squared
(age2), gender, education levels, family labor, size of treated
plot, and distance of treated plot from home. Variables
used in the models are dened in Table 1. Here, we use a
quadratic term age2 to determine the age at which the


Table 1
Denition of variables used in the regression models


1. Age
2. Gender
3. Education level

Number of years from birth

1 if respondent is male; 0 otherwise
1 if respondent has a formal
education; 0 otherwise
1 if respondent is member of a
local group; 0 otherwise
1 if respondent has a training; 0
Annual per capita income of the
Share of crop revenues in total
family income
Number of family laborer
available on the farm
Area in hectares of a plot with
alley cropping structures
Distance in minutes of the treated
plot from farmer home

4. Group membership
5. Training in soil conservation
6. Per capita income
7. Crop dependency
8. Family labor
9. Size of the treated plot
10. Distance

farmers management effort will begin to decline. This term

is added to improve model t (Kleinbaum et al., 1988). It is
expected that the management levels will increase with age
up to a point and then begin to decline. The models were
estimated using maximum likelihood procedures using the
SAS software system (Stokes et al., 1995).

5. Results
5.1. Profile of respondents
Table 2 presents data on farmers characteristics and
households in the study area. Among the 120 households
enumerated, 59% have contour hedgerows implemented at
least on one plot. Male respondents made up 84% of the
sample, and females 16%. The average age of the
respondents is 50 years, with a minimum age of 18 and a
maximum of 85. Farmers between 36 and 65 years of age
represent 64% of all respondents. Common law is the most
frequent form of family union in the research area. Forty
percent of all unions are common law, while 31% are
Fifty-ve percent of all respondents have no formal
education; 38% have attended primary school, while only
7% attended secondary school. Despite the high level of
illiteracy among farmers in the region, an important
number are trained in soil conservation. Fifty-four percent
of the respondents declare they have received training in
soil conservation. Adopters of alley cropping are most
likely to receive this training. Establishment and management of alley cropping structures are the main focus of
these training sessions. Farmers who participate in the
training sessions are usually members of local organizations. Sixty-three percent of alley cropping adopters are
members of local organizations.

B. Bayard et al. / Journal of Environmental Management 84 (2007) 6270


Table 2
Selected characteristics of the respondents
Age (years)


Family size
o3 people


Size of farm
o1 ha
12.5 ha
42.5 ha















No formal education
Primary level
Secondary level

Annual per capita

o1000 gourdesa
10003000 gourdes
43000 gourdes

Table 3
Results of the model of adoption of alley cropping


US $1 25 gourdes at the time of the survey.

The average size of households in Gaita and Bannate is

about 5.37 ranging from one to 15 people. Forty-two
percent of the households have a size varying from three to
ve people, while households with less than three people,
and those with more than ve people, make up 18% and
40%, respectively. Besides agriculture, farmers and family
members devote part of their time to numerous nonagricultural activities. While the head of household may
not be directly involved in non-agricultural activities, one
or more other members usually participate in off-farm
activities. Approximately 57% of farmers surveyed have
off-farm activities that generate substantial revenues.
5.2. Characteristics of the farms and farming systems
The surveyed farmers in Gaita and Bannate operate an
average of 3.3 plots within a range of 1.07.0. The size of
the farm is on average 1.44 ha, with a minimum of 0.16 ha
and a maximum of 5.0 ha. Forty-one percent of the farms
are less than 1.0 ha while 46% are between 1.0 and 2.5 ha.
Given the number of people dependent on the farms, those
values reveal the high level of pressure being exerted on
limited household resources in these communities. The
farms produce a large number of crops, but subsistence
food crops dominate agricultural production in the study
area. The food crops include maize, sorghum, cassava,
beans, coffee, and plantains. These crops are usually
intercropped; fallowing and animal wastes remain the only
means for regenerating soil fertility. Fallowing varies from
one to three years in the study area. The fallow period is

Independent variable

Coefcient estimate

Group membership
Training in soil conservation
Per capita income
Crop dependency
Education  per capita
R2 0.33
Log likelihood ratio w2 (df) 48.39 (7), p 0.0001
Percent concordant: 84.3

Standard error

* and **signicant at 5% and 10%, respectively.

longer on highly nutrient impoverished plots than on less

degraded plots. During fallow periods, animals are
constantly grazed on plots with or without conservation
5.3. Factors influencing adoption of alley cropping in Gaita
and Bannate
Results of the regression of the nal adoption model are
summarized in Table 3. The estimated model correctly
classies 84.3% of the farmers into those who adopt alley
cropping and those who do not. The R2 is reasonable with
a value of 0.33, and the likelihood ratio w2 is 48.39 for 7
degrees of freedom (p 0:0001). These statistics suggest
that the model adequately describes farmers adoption
The results indicate that ve variables signicantly affect
adoption of alley cropping in Gaita and Bannate. They
include gender, participation in local organizations, training in soil conservation practices, per capita income, and
the interaction between education and per capita income.
As shown by the results in Table 3, two institutional
factorsnamely membership in a local organization and
training in conservation practicespositively inuence
adoption of alley cropping in Gaita and Bannate. The
coefcient of group membership is 0.89, implying that the
probability of adoption of alley cropping increases with the
participation in a local organization. The results indicate
that farmers who belong to farmer organizations within the
community are more likely than others to establish alley
cropping on their plots. Previous research (Burton et al.,
1999; Ervin and Ervin, 1982) indicated similar results.
Likewise, training in soil conservation practices increases
the probability of adopting alley cropping. Those who have
received training in soil conservation practices, particularly
in alley cropping, are more likely to adopt this technique
than those who do not.
Per capita income plays a role in the adoption of alley
cropping as evidenced by the positive and signicant

B. Bayard et al. / Journal of Environmental Management 84 (2007) 6270

coefcient. The coefcient of per capita income has a value

of 0.0003, indicating a positive effect of this factor on the
adoption of alley cropping. Thus, as per capita income
increases, adoption of alley cropping is more likely to
increase. One possible explanation for this result is that
high income is associated with resource ownership and
control. Within a community with limited resources,
farmers with higher income can take the risk of establishing
contour hedgerows on at least one plot. Gould et al. (1989)
found that household income was positively related to
adoption of soil conservation practices.
Two other variables in the model have signicant, but
negative signs. They are gender and the interaction between
education and per capita income. The coefcient for gender
is 1.19, suggesting a decrease in the probability of
adoption of alley cropping when the farmer is male. This
result indicates that female heads of household are more
likely to adopt alley cropping than males. Although the
study by Burton et al. (1999) support these results, in this
study on alley cropping, this variable is to be viewed with
caution since the sample of farmers studied contains only
16% of females, 74% of whom are adopters. However, this
result is an indication that female farmers are highly
interested in adopting soil conservation measures.
The coefcient for the interaction between education and
per capita income is also signicant and negative. This
result suggests a marginal decrease in the chances of
adoption of alley cropping for individuals of high income
who are educated. When both the level of education and
the per capita income increase, farmers have less incentive
to adopt alley cropping. This is particularly true in
subsistence farming where resources are scarce. Bettereducated rural people are more likely to emigrate from the
rural area and allow absentee management of their farms
as their level of education and income increase. Thus, the
interaction of education and income may have a negative
inuence on the adoption process.


Fodder shortage is a major constraint to animal

production in the zone. Because of the palatability of the
leucaena trees commonly found in the hedgerows, farmers
often use the leaves to feed their animals. During fallow
periods, animals are placed on plots with alley cropping to
graze. During cropping seasons, some farmers cut the
stems and carry them to feed the animals outside the plots.
Thus, the amount of leaves applied to soil after pruning is
relatively low, making it difcult to believe that prunings
are used to improve soil fertility. Hence, there is a trade-off
between the feeding animals and the use of leucaena for soil
fertility improvement.
The three forms of evaluation conducted in the area
generate different results. Farmers state that 52% of the
plots are well managed, while enumerators and the
specialist found most of the structures poorly or fairly
managed. According to enumerators evaluation, 44% of
the plots were poorly managed, while 48% and 8% of the
structures were fairly and well managed, respectively. The
specialist found that 38% of plots were poorly managed,
35% fairly, and 27% well managed. A KruskalWallis test
carried out on the three evaluations suggests that the three
evaluations yielded signicantly different outcomes. The
row mean score coefcient is equal to 30.48 with 2 degrees
of freedom, and a p-value of 0.001. Thus, the distribution
of the level of management among the three evaluations is
different. In fact, the score means of the three evaluations
are 2.36, 1.64, and 1.88 for farmers, enumerators, and
specialists assessment, respectively. Farmers tend to see
their management as good, while the other evaluators, who
used a more technical approach, mostly classify the
management into poor and average. An average mean
score of the three evaluations is used to examine factors
inuencing management of alley cropping in Gaita and
Results of the multinomial probit model are presented in
Table 4. The results indicate that ve variables are
signicant in determining management ability of farmers

5.4. Management of alley cropping in Gaita and Bannate

Farmers in the study area have been using alley cropping
as a soil and water conservation technique for an average
4.70 years. Approximately 86% of the alley cropping
structures in the area are between three and eight years old.
During the diffusion stage of alley cropping in the area,
farmers were recommended to prune the trees and shrubs
every two or three months at an average height touching
their knees (about 50 cm). They were also required to apply
leaves and stems to the soil after each pruning in order to
improve the fertility level. Observation and interviews with
farmers reveal a real gap between technical requirements
and farmers activities. The survey indicates that 60% of
the treated plots are maintained once or twice a year.
Pruning is carried out especially at the time of soil
preparation before planting. Farmers also repair breaches
in the rows during maintenance.

Table 4
Multinomial probit results of management of alley cropping
Independent variable


Standard error

Intercept 3
Intercept 2
Education level
Family labor
Size of treated plot
Distance of treated plot
R2 0.28
Likelihood ratio chi-square (df) 23.6069 (7), p 0.0013
Percent concordant: 74.8
* and **signicant at 5% and 10%, respectively.


B. Bayard et al. / Journal of Environmental Management 84 (2007) 6270

in the study area. The model has relatively good predictive

power, with 74.8% of correct predictions. The R2 of the
model is 0.28 and the likelihood ratio w2 is 23.61 for 7
degrees of freedom. The likelihood ratio w2 tests the null
hypothesis that all the coefcients (except the intercept) are
zero. Given a p-value of 0.001 for the w2, one rejects the null
Age is a signicant factor in management of alley
cropping. Up to the age of 51 years, the chance of
developing good management skills for alley cropping
increases. The coefcient of age is 0.16, meaning that the
probability of management of structures is positively
affected by age. Older farmers are more likely to manage
the hedgerows better than younger ones. However, the age
for good management peaks at 51 years (see Appendix B),
and the probability that farmers who are above this age
manage alley cropping structures well decreases as indicated by the negative sign of the coefcient of agesquared.
Our results show that gender is a signicant factor in the
management of alley cropping structures. The coefcient of
the variable gender is 0.69 implying that male farmers
are more likely to manage the structures than their
female counterparts. The probability that alley cropping
structures are well managed increases if the farm
operator is male. If female farmers are more responsive
to the adoption of alley cropping, men manage the
structures better than women. Given the amount of
effort required for the maintenance and the role of the
structures in animal production in the area, male farmers
might be more interested in taking care of them than the
females. The number of family workers per hectare
available on the farm is also a signicant determinant of
the management of alley cropping structures. The coefcient of this variable is 0.147, suggesting a negative effect
on the probability that alley cropping structures are well
managed in the zone.
With respect to the physical factors that inuence
management of alley cropping, our results indicate that
only the size of treated plot has a signicant impact on a
farmer ability to manage the structures well. Size of the
treated plot has a coefcient of 1.19, meaning that the
larger the treated plot the greater the probability of
managing the structures.
6. Conclusions and policy implication
The study examined the factors leading to the adoption
and management of alley cropping in two locations in
Haiti. Group membership, training in soil conservation practices, and per capita income play a signicant
and positive role in the adoption of contour alley
cropping. Organized and trained farmers are more
likely to develop a positive attitude toward adoption of
alley cropping. Those results suggest that efforts to
increase adoption should focus on local organizations
that include in their program farmer training. Whether a

project should organize farmers only for soil conservation purposes or it should work with existing
local groups is a question to be considered. In terms of
training, farmers need to be informed of the environmental benets associated with adoption of sustainable
agricultural practices. Training should be an ongoing
process where other elements of the farming system can
be discussed.
Per capita farm household income positively affects
adoption of alley cropping. It implies that efforts should be
directed toward improving the level of household income.
However, it is unlikely that alley cropping as it is practiced
in the research area will increase farmers incomes. One of
the problems with the structures that are currently
established is that the prunings are primarily used to feed
animals, which limits the amount of green manure for soil
fertility improvement. Hence, the establishment of alley
cropping requires the consideration of all sources of farm
The socio-economic factors that signicantly inuence
management of alley cropping include age, gender, family
labor, and size of the treated plot. Age of farmers
positively inuences the management of alley cropping.
However, beyond 51 years of age, management ability
declines. Male adopters of alley cropping seem to manage
the structures better than their female counterparts.
Although, male individuals are more likely to manage
structures on their plots, female farmers are more
likely to adopt the technique. Hence, womens participation in soil conservation practices should be given due
consideration in the design of soil conservation projects.
Size of the treated plot positively affects management of
conservation structures. This factor may be considered
very important given the agrarian situation in Haiti.
Population growth creates an increased pressure on land
resources that constantly reduces the size of plots operated
and the farms as a whole. Depending on the soil
conservation practices being diffused, the smallness in size
of plots and farm may be a limiting factor for long-term
The identication of the variables that inuence the
adoption and management of alley cropping provide
signicant information for policy decision making for
project development in the establishing of sustainable alley
cropping systems. The study pinpoints the areas where
resources can be most efciently allocated for the development of programs that will result in environmental
sustainability. It must be remembered that the sample size
is relatively small, and the research has been carried out in
only one region of Haiti. However, these limitations do not
detract from the importance of the ndings. In conclusion,
adoption and management of alley cropping in Gaita and
Bannate remain a dilemma. Results of the study allow us to
conclude that farm operators must be given adequate
training and economic incentives in order to encourage
adoption of alley cropping and to facilitate its proper

B. Bayard et al. / Journal of Environmental Management 84 (2007) 6270

Appendix A. Criteria used in management assessment of

alley cropping structures

1. Hedgerow conditions
Hedgerows well organized: 45 m spacing with robust
trees in nearly the entire row (9).a
Hedgerows partially organized: 68 m spacing with an
average number of trees in good condition (6).
Poor organization with very few trees in good standing
2. Observable erosion
Insignicant evidence of erosion (9).
Limited evidence of erosion (6).
Signicant evidence of erosion (3).
3. Gaps in rows
One gap causing little damage (9).
Two to three gaps with damage (6).
More than three gaps with extensive damage (3).
4. Distance in Gaps (% of the row distance)
Less than 10% of the row (9).
Ten to 50% of the row (6).
More than 50% of the row (3).
5. Repair of gaps
Often (as recommended) (9).
Sometimes (6).
Rarely or never (3).
6. Number of pruning during a calendar year
Three to 4 times per year (9).
Twice a year (6).
Once a year or never (3).
7. Height of prunings
Close to 50 cm (9).
Fifty to 70 cm (6).
100 cm or more (3).
8. Use of pruning for mulch
Always (as required) (9).
Sometimes (6).
Never (3).

The value in parenthesis denotes the score associated with the selected

Appendix B. Age maximum for farmers to better manage

their plots
To determine the maximum level where age is positively
related to the probability of good management of alley
cropping, the probit model was estimated using age and
age2 as explanatory variables holding all other variables
constant. The implicit form of the model is:
P f age; age2 .
From the results we obtain the following equation:
P 4:1569 0:1399 age  0:00136 age2 .


Taking the rst derivative of the equation set it to zero.

f age 0:00136 age2 0:1399 age  4:1569;
f 0 age 0:00272 age 0:1399 0,
f 00 age 0:00272.
The second derivative is negative, which means that age
attains a maximum and begins to decline.
Maximum age 0.1399/.00272.
Thus, the maximum age is approximately 51 years.
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