|dc.description.abstract||This dissertation is organized in three chapters that deal with issues on agricultural development in Haiti. The first chapter presents results from adoption of soil conservation practices in Northern Haiti. Using data from 483 farmers, we investigate factors influencing adoption of soil conservation practices (SCP) in Northern Haiti. Four selected soil conservation techniques -bann manje (contour crop bands), rock wall, hedgerows and rampaye (contour bands of plant residues)-were evaluated using a multivariate probit model. The results reveal that educational level, crop dependency, access to credit and field size significantly affect rock wall adoption whereas gender, age of the farmer, land ownership, crop dependency, access to credit, interaction between educational level and group membership and the size of the treated plots had a statistically significant effect on adoption of hedgerows. Field size, the existence of slope and the interaction between slope and field size influence adoption of rampaye while age of the farmer, access to credit and the field size significantly influenced the adoption of bann manje. Policy makers who seek to encourage the use of SCP in North Haiti should consider those factors. Particular attention should be given to access to credit, extension education, training in soil conservation practices, and access to production resources.
The second chapter investigates factors affecting farmers’ willingness to pay for soil testing in Northern Haiti. Using data collected from 452 farmers in 17 localities in Northern Haiti, the interval regression was applied. The findings reveal that 90% of farmers have never tested their soils and have little knowledge of soil testing benefits. However, the explanation of soil testing benefits, led to a large number of farmers (93%) willing to pay on average 503 HTG, an equivalent of 7 USD per test. The models reveal that various factors affect the amount to be paid for soil testing services. These factors include: the type of crops grown, group membership, farmers’ educational level, access to credit, gender, contact with extension services or any institution, type of soils, income level, participation in soil testing program and farm size. Two major policy implications can be derived from this study. The training module on soil testing benefits should be designed and supported by extension services and NGOs. Second, the financial support in form of subsidies or access to credit should help low income farmers to pay for soil testing services.
The third chapter uses a structural equation model, to investigate factors affecting farmers’ perceptions and knowledge of soil testing benefits and fertilizer use in Northern Haiti. The soil testing benefits are based upon the following assumptions: insufficient fertilization reduces plant growth; excess use of fertilizer leads to money loss; insufficient fertilization reduces crop yields; soil tests help the producer to apply the right amount of fertilizer that will generate profits and too much fertilizer pollute the environment. Knowledge about these items was collected using Likert scale. Data were collected from 452 farmers within 17 localities in Northern Haiti. The findings reveal that farmers currently have no or little knowledge of soil testing benefits and know better about fertilizer use. Factors such as farm size, participation in project, rice, banana, and cocoa growers, affect farmers’ perceptions and knowledge of soil testing benefits. Factors affecting willingness include group membership, type of crops grown, whether farmer’ land is on the slope, his farm size and whether he participates in the USAID project. Knowledge on fertilizer use is influenced by rice and banana growers, fertilizer use, participation in soil testing program and support from AVANSE/USAID. The effects of both latent variables are found to be positive but non-significant. As policy implication; is that farmers need a training module on soil testing to improve their understanding.||en_US