The On-site Cost of Soil Erosion by the Replacement Cost Methods in Inle Lake Watershed, Nyaung Shwe Township, Myanmar

Cho Cho San, Corazon L Rapera
Vol 13 No 1 (2010), pp. 67-81




On-site cost of soil erosion from cultivated and abandoned or resting rice-and-corn upland areas in the eastern side of Inle Lake Watershed at Nyaung Shwe Township, Myanmar was estimated using the replacement cost method. The calculations, in 2006 constant kyat terms, were based on reported average erosion rates of 4.35 t ha yr-1 (94,438 m3) and 8.95 t ha yr-1 (194,752 m3) on cultivated and abandoned plots, respectively. The replacement value consisted of costs for garden soil, inorganic fertilizers for replacing lost N, P, and K, and labor wages for topsoil and fertility restoration. Total replacement cost was 70,519 kyat ha yr-1 (US $70.52 ha yr-1) for cultivated plots and 143,505 kyat ha yr-1 ($143.50 ha yr-1) for abandoned land.

To minimize on-site erosion costs, abandoned or resting upland areas should have appropriate vegetative cover, and economic crops should be soil-conserving as much as possible. Research should be undertaken to identify site-specific and appropriate erosion control measures. Upland farmers should be encouraged to compare replacement cost estimates with the cost of appropriate erosion control measures. Also, benefits from regular restoration of topsoil and soil fertility should be compared with benefits from sustained productivity due to effective erosion control measures. A rational choice can then be made between erosion prevention and topsoil restoration.


Keywords: replacement cost method, externality, topsoil restoration

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