OJSS  Vol.4 No.1 , January 2014
The Effect of Land Degradation on Farm Size Dynamics and Crop-Livestock Farming System in Ethiopia: A Review
ABSTRACT

Ethiopia is among the poorest countries in which poverty, land and resource degradation appear to feed off each other. The irony is that Ethiopia is a country with high biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems and the natural resource base is critical to the economy and the livelihood of a high percentage of the population. Being the owner of varying agro ecology, the country’s agricultural production system had practiced for decades with a maximum potential. However, because of the presence of interrelated problems, the productivity had not sustained as its potential. From the interrelated problems, land degradation takes the first and challengeable problem in many countries. Land degradation refers to a temporary or permanent decline in the productive capacity of the land, or its potential for environmental management as a result; the long-term biological and environmental potential of the land has been compromised. Land degradation in the Ethiopian highlands (i.e. areas above 1500 m.a.s.l.) has been a concern for many years and is a great threat for the future that requires great effort and resources to ameliorate. It had adverse effect on lowering of livestock production by shrinking grazing land, the fertile soil types were washed and the grazing land was dominantly covered by unpalatable pastures and grasses which had low nutritive value and fertility for crop-livestock production system. In other cases, degradation induces farmers to convert land to lower-value uses; for instance, cropland converted to grazing land, or grazing lands converted to shrubs or forests. Equitable and secure access to land is a critical factor for the rural poor, especially livestock owners, who depend on agriculture and animal-related activities for their livelihood. Having secure access to land for agriculture and pastoral activities reduces their vulnerability and enhances their opportunities to invest in land for agriculture and livestock activities. Historical patterns of feudal ownership of land followed by government ownership and despite policy change uncertain status of land ownership. These land distribution and ownership patterns coupled with continuous fragmentations and degradation disrupt the balance between crop, livestock, and forest production. These things nowadays enforce Ethiopian farmers to put more land into crop production than working on livestock sector. Livelihoods are complex, dependent on animal and crop production based on land and water resources, with emerging market opportunities. And from year to year, the size of farms is getting minimized because of land degradation and segmentations, and these make a change in farm size dynamics and farming shift. Currently, there is a great scenario towards the land policy pattern and agricultural production system, which is the backbone of the country’s economy. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to review the effect of land degradation on farm size dynamics and crop-livestock production since the impact of these things is not well measured.


Cite this paper
A. Tesfa and S. Mekuriaw, "The Effect of Land Degradation on Farm Size Dynamics and Crop-Livestock Farming System in Ethiopia: A Review," Open Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2014, pp. 1-5. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2014.41001.
References
[1]   A. Woldu, “Dairy Marketing System Study Amhara National Regional State Head of Government Office,” Bahir Dar, 2004.

[2]   L. Berry, “Land Degradation in Ethiopia: Its Extent and Impact,” Commissioned by the GM with WB Support, 2003.

[3]   L. Berry, J. Olson and D. Campbell, “Assessing the Extent Cost and Impact of Land Degradation at the National Level; Overview: Findings and Lessons Learned,” 2003.

[4]   POPIN, United Nations Population Information Network, “Population and Land Degradation,” 1995.

[5]   G. Taddese, “Land Degradation: A Challenge to Ethiopia,” US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2001.

[6]   Environmental Economics Policy Forum of Ethiopia, “Poverty and Land Degradation in Ethiopia: How to Reverse the Spiral?” Concept Note International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Wageningen University and Research Center (WUR), 2005.

[7]   Z. G. Bai, D. L. Dent, L. Olsson and M. E. Schaepman, “Global Assessment of Land Degradation and Improvement 1,” ISRIC, Wageningen, 2008.

[8]   C. R. Adams and H. Eswaran, “Global Land Resources in the Context of Food and Environmental Security,” In: S. P. Gawande, Ed., Advances in Land Resources Management for the 20th Century, Soil Conservation Society of India, New Delhi, 2000, 655 p.

[9]   M. Snel and A. Bot, “Draft Paper: Suggested Indicators for Land Degradation Assessment of Drylands,” FAO, Rome, 2003.

[10]   L. R. Oldeman, R. T. A. Hakkeling and W. G. Sombroek, “World Map on the Status of Human Induced Soil Degradation, with Explanatory Note (Second Revised Edition),” ISRIC, Wageningen, UNEP, Nairobi, 1991.

[11]   Netherlands Engineering Consultants, “Tekeze River Basin Integrated Development Master Plan Project (TRBIDMPP): Land Degradation and Soil Conservation,” Second Phase Report, Volume-ENV1, Consultant’s Report to the Commission for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Rehabilitation for Amhara Region (CoSAERAR), Bahir Dar, 1997, 101 p.

[12]   United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, “Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Rehabilitation Programme: Household Level Socio-Economic Survey of the Amhara Region,” Produced by the Co-Operative Endeavours of the Amhara Regional Council and UNECA. UNECA, Addis Ababa, Vol. 1, 1996, 298 p.

[13]   Food and Agriculture Organization, “Land and Environmental Degradation and Desertification in Africa,” 2005.

[14]   A. Abegaz, “Feed Resources, Livestock Production and Soil Carbon Dynamics in Teghane,” Northern Highlands of Ethiopia, 2005.

[15]   S. Wiggins, “Farm Size Dynamics,” Overseas Development Institute (ODI), 2003.

[16]   B. Kebede, “Land Reform, Distribution of Land and Institutions in Rural Ethiopia: Analysis of Inequality with Dirty Data,” 2006.

[17]   Ministry of Agriculture, “Agro-Ecological Zones of Ethiopia on 1:2,000,000 scale,” Natural Resource Management and Regulatory Department, MoA, Addis Ababa, 2000.

[18]   W. H. Cheung, G. B. Senay and A. Singh, “Trends and Spatial Distribution of Annual and Seasonal Rainfall in Ethiopia,” International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 28, No. 13, 2008, pp. 1723-1734.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joc.1623

[19]   Agricultural Water Management, “Ethiopia Situation Analysis,” 2009.

[20]   B. Duguma, A. Tegegne and B. P. Hegde, “Smallholder Livestock Production System in Dandi District, Oromia Regional State, Central Ethiopia,” Global Veterinaria, Vol. 8, No. 5, 2012, pp. 472-479.

[21]   E. B. Barbier, “Modelling Land Degradition in Low-Input Agriculture: The ‘Population Pressure Hypothesis’ Revised,” The 25th International Conference of Agriculture Economists, 16-22 August 2003, Durban.

[22]   I. Coxhead and R. Oygard, “Land Degradation,” Copenhagen Consensus, 2008.

[23]   B. Nega, B. W. Adene and S. Gebre Sellasie, “Current Land Policy Issues in Ethiopia,” Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute, Addis Ababa, 2003.

 
 
Top