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Wageningen Universiteit Pays Bas (2006)

Economic analysis of deforestation : the case of the gum Arabic belt in Sudan

Rahim, A.H.A.

Titre : Economic analysis of deforestation : the case of the gum Arabic belt in Sudan

Auteur : Rahim, A.H.A.

Université de soutenance  : Wageningen Universiteit

Grade : PhD thesis 2006

Résumé partiel
The gum arabic belt inSudanoffered in the past an example of how environmental conservation and economic development could be achieved simultaneously as it generates a number of private and social benefits to gum producers and the country as a whole. The most important benefits from the gum based system are income from the gum harvest to the poor farmers and combating large scale desertification in the Sudan-Sahel zone. Over the last few decades, however, the gum belt suffered from increased degradation, gum production decreased andSudanlost its near monopoly position in the gum export market. The main purpose of this study is to obtain a better understanding of the factors underlying the deforestation of the gum belt and the decline in gum production inSudanduring recent years. Two important gum arabic producing acacias are found in the gum belt : Acaciasenegal that produces high quality gum and Acacia seyal that produces low quality gum. The analysis in this study focuses mainly on Acaciasenegal and Acacia senegal -based agroforestry system in Kordofan region - a major gum production area inSudan. Various methodological approaches including theoretical and empirical analysis are employed in the study. A micro econometrics technique is used to identify the effect of socio-economic factors assumed to influence the disadoption of gum production. The study merges the real options approach with agroforestry to analyze farmers’ investment decision in the choice between three different land use systems (gum agroforestry, gum forestry and agriculture). Moreover a theoretical scheme of Stackelberg model (non-cooperative oligopoly model) is deployed to analyze the competition in the gum export market for high and low quality gum between the (leader)Sudanand the followers (ChadandNigeria). It attempts to investigate the effects of market interventions-such as international subsidies on gum market equilibrium and leader’s (Sudan’s) long run performance of profits from the gum export. The micro-econometric approach used to analyze the determinants of farmers’ disadoption of gum production shows that factors which affect the opportunity cost of labor and income from annual crops tend to influence the observed variation in the behavior of adoption practices in gum production. Income from annual crops has a positive effect on continuous adoption of gum agroforestry. This specific result suggests that gum arabic and other agricultural crops (except groundnut because of overlap in harvest time) do not compete but rather complement one another in the household farming economy. Policy measures that aim to improve agricultural production in the region will induce farmers to settle in their village and reduce the seasonal labor migration trend which in turn will increase the availability of labor for gum production.

Mots clés : natural resources / resource management / deforestation / environmental degradation / economic analysis / gum arabic / sudan / environmental economics


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