International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security
The Socio-Economic Impacts of Windbreaks
Alladeen M. A. Al-Sharjabi
Senior Forests Specialist
Wadi Zabid is one of the major agricultural areas of Yemen that faces serious land degradation (LD) problem caused by wind. Some of the farmers in the area have planted windbreak (WB) to conserve their farmland soil but many do not. As the LD is becoming serious and soil conservation activity is not progressing, there is a need to reveal the impacts of soil conservation investment, obstructions to soil conservation and farmers LD perception.
Data for this study were collected through questionnaires during the agricultural season of 1999/2000. The total sample was 264 comprising two groups; i.e., “with” and “without” WB. The financial benefit cost analysis was the analytical technique and the decision criteria used were the net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and benefit cost ratio (BCR). Order logit and logistic models have been applied to reveal farmers characteristics related to the perception of the soil erosion and to the decision of soil conservation, respectively.
The study found that the farming period, numbers of WB, presence of demo plots and awareness of soil conservation programs all have shown positive relations with the perception of wind erosion. However, the farmer experience, WB age and neighbor complaints all have shown negative relations with the perception. Nonetheless, the farmer will not plant WB unless he is aged, literate, has more family working force, asked by neighbors and has attended the extension night gatherings. The size of the family and the size of rented farm area have shown negative relations with the adoption of WB measure.
In addition, the study found that the investment in WB has been financially feasible. The farmer who has invested in WB has got YRs 54,190 as NPV and 1.8 and 27 percent as BCR and IRR, respectively. Therefore, as WB proved to be financially feasible then government subsidies are justified and will attract more farmers to conserve their farmland soil.