Food Security

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 423–439 | Cite as

“Modeling the impact of natural resource-based poverty traps on food security in Kenya: The Crops, Livestock and Soils in Smallholder Economic Systems (CLASSES) model”

  • Emma C. Stephens
  • Charles F. Nicholson
  • Douglas R. Brown
  • David Parsons
  • Christopher B. Barrett
  • Johannes Lehmann
  • David Mbugua
  • Solomon Ngoze
  • Alice N. Pell
  • Susan J. Riha
Original Paper

Abstract

We investigate the interactions between natural resource-based poverty traps and food security for smallholder farms in highland Kenya using a recently developed system dynamics bio-economic model. This approach permits examination of the complex interactions and feedback between farm household economic decision-making and long-term soil fertility dynamics that characterize persistent poverty and food insecurity among smallholders in rural highland Kenya. We examine the effects of changing initial endowments of land and stocks of soil organic matter on smallholders’ well being, as reflected in several different indicators. We show that larger and higher quality land endowments permit accumulation of cash and livestock resources and conservation of soil organic matter relative to smaller or more degraded farms. This suggests the existence of asset thresholds that divide food secure households from food insecure ones.

Keywords

Poverty traps Kenya Food security Bio-economic modeling System dynamics 

References

  1. Adato, M., Carter, M. R., & May, J. (2006). Exploring poverty traps and social exclusion in South Africa using qualitative and quantitative data. Journal of Development Studies, 42(2), 226–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Antle, J. M., & Capalbo, S. M. (2001). Econometric-process models for integrated assessment of agricultural production systems. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 83(2), 389–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrett, C. B. (2007). Poverty traps and resource dynamics in smallholder agrarian systems. In A. Ruis & R. Dellink (Eds.), Economics of poverty, the environment and natural resource use. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Barrett, C. B. (2008). Smallholder market participation: concepts and evidence from Eastern and Southern Africa. Food Policy, 33(4), 299–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barrett, C. B. (2010). Food systems and the escape from poverty and ill-health traps in Sub-Saharan Africa. In P. Pinstrup-Andersen (Ed.), The African food system and its interaction with human health and nutrition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Barrett, C. B., Little, P., & Carter, M. (2007). Understanding and reducing persistent poverty in Africa. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Baulch, B., & Hoddinott, J. (2000). Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries. London: Frank Cass.Google Scholar
  8. Brown, D. R. (2000). A review of bio-economic models. Ithaca: Cornell University, prepared for the Cornell African Food Security and Natural Resource Management (AFSNRM) Program.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, D. R. (2008). A spatiotemporal model of shifting cultivation and forest cover dynamics. Environment and Development Economics, 13(4), 643–671.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, D. R., Stephens, E. C., Ouma, J. O., Murithi, F. M., & Barrett, C. B. (2006). Livelihood strategies in the rural Kenyan Highlands. African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 1(1), 21–36.Google Scholar
  11. Carter, M. R., & May, J. (1999). Poverty, livelihood and class in rural South Africa. World Development, 27(1), 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chronic Poverty Research Centre. (2004). Chronic Poverty Report 2004–2005. Retrieved August 8, 2008, from the Chronic Poverty Research Centre Web site: http://www.chronicpoverty.org/cpra-report-0405.php
  13. Cleaver, K. M., & Schreiber, G. A. (1994). Reversing the spiral: The population, agriculture, and environment Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa (Directions in Development). Washington D. C.: World Bank Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Crissman, C. C., Antle, J. M., & Capalbo, S. M. (Eds.). (1998). Economic, environmental, and health tradeoffs in agriculture: Pesticides and the sustainability of andean potato production. Boston: Kluwer Scientific Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Dercon, S. (1998). Wealth, risk and activity choice: cattle in Western Tanzania. Journal of Development Economics, 55(1), 1–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Duflo, E., Kremer, M., & Robinson, J. (2008). How high are rates of return to fertilizer? Evidence from field experiments in Kenya. American Economic Review, 98(2), 482–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ford, A. (1999). Modeling the environment: an introduction to system dynamics models of environmental systems. Washington: Island Press.Google Scholar
  18. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). (2007). Republic of Kenya: Country strategic opportunities programme. Report. Retrieved from http://www.ifad.org/gbdocs/eb/91/e/EB-2007-91-R-12.pdf
  19. Janssen, S., & van Ittersum, M. K. (2007). Assessing farm innovations and responses to policies: a review of bio-economic farm models. Agricultural Systems, 94(3), 622–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kibaara, B., Ariga, J., Olwande, J., & Jayne, T. S. (2008). Trends in Kenyan agricultural productivity: 1997–2007. Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development WPS 31/2008.Google Scholar
  21. Marenya, P., & Barrett, C. B. (2009a). State-conditional fertilizer yield response on Western Kenyan Farms. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 91(4), 991–1006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Marenya, P., & Barrett, C. B. (2009b). Soil quality and fertilizer use among smallholder farmers in Western Kenya. Agricultural Economics, 40(5), 561–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Minten, B., & Barrett, C. B. (2008). Agricultural technology, productivity, and poverty in Madagascar. World Development, 36(5), 797–822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mookherjee, D., & Ray, D. (2002). Contractual structure and wealth accumulation. American Economic Review, 92(4), 818–849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Perrings, C. (1989). An optimal path to extinction? Poverty and resource degradation in the open agrarian economy. Journal of Development Economics, 30(1), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Reardon, T., & Vosti, S. A. (1995). Links between rural poverty and the environment in developing countries: Asset categories and investment poverty. World Development, 23(9), 1495–1506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Shepherd, K. D., & Soule, M. J. (1998). Soil fertility management in west Kenya: dynamic simulation of productivity, profitability and sustainability at different resource endowment levels. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 71(1–3), 131–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shreffler, K., & Nii-Amoo Dodoo, F. (2009). The role of intergenerational transfers, land, and education in fertility transition in rural Kenya: the case of Nyeri district. Population and Environment, 30(3), 75–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Singh, Inderjit, Lyn Squire & John Strauss (eds.). (1986). Agricultural Household Models—Extensions, Applications and Policy. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Sterman, J. D. (2000). Business dynamics: Systems thinking and modeling for a complex world. Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  31. Thurlow, J, Kiringai, J., & Gautam, M. (2007). Rural investments to accelerate growth and poverty reduction in Kenya. IFPRI Discussion Paper 723.Google Scholar
  32. World Bank. (2000). World development report 2000/2001: Attacking poverty. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. World Bank. (2008). World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development. Retrieved October 2, 2008, from the World Bank Web site: http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTRESEARCH/EXTWDRS/EXTWDR2008/0,,menuPK:2795178~pagePK:64167702~piPK:64167676~theSitePK:2795143,00.html
  34. World Resources Institute, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme, World Bank. (2000). World resources 2000–2001, people and ecosystems: The fraying web of life. Washington D.C: World Resources Institute.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emma C. Stephens
    • 1
  • Charles F. Nicholson
    • 2
  • Douglas R. Brown
    • 3
  • David Parsons
    • 4
  • Christopher B. Barrett
    • 5
  • Johannes Lehmann
    • 6
  • David Mbugua
    • 7
  • Solomon Ngoze
    • 8
  • Alice N. Pell
    • 9
  • Susan J. Riha
    • 8
  1. 1.Pitzer CollegeClaremontUSA
  2. 2.Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Dept. of AgribusinessSan Luis ObispoUSA
  3. 3.World Vision InternationalMississaugaCanada
  4. 4.University of Tasmania, Agricultural ScienceHobartAustralia
  5. 5.Cornell University, Applied Economics and ManagementIthacaUSA
  6. 6.Cornell University, Crop and Soil SciencesIthacaUSA
  7. 7.World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)NairobiKenya
  8. 8.Cornell University, Earth and Atmospheric ScienceIthacaUSA
  9. 9.Cornell University, Animal ScienceIthacaUSA

Personalised recommendations