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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

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Stephens, E and Nicholson, CF and Brown, D and Parsons, D and Barrett, CB and Lehmann, J and Mbugua, D and Ngoze, S and Pell, A and Riha, S (2012) 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. Food Security, 4 (3). pp. 423-439.

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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

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Poverty traps Kenya Food security Bio-economic modeling System dynamics
Journal or Publication Title: Food Security
Page Range: pp. 423-439
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1007/s12571-012-0176-1
Additional Information: Copyright 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2012 04:01
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:43
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/15193
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