Farmers' Perceptions of Land Degradation and their Investments in Land Management: a Case Study in the Cental Rift Valley of Ethiopia
Adimassu, Zenebe ; Kessler, A. ; Yirga, C. - \ 2013
Environmental Management 51 (2013)5. - ISSN 0364-152X - p. 989 - 998.
soil fertility management - conservation practices - nutrient balances - tenure security - south wello - highlands - adoption - smallholders - erosion - area
To combat land degradation in the Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia, farmers are of crucial importance. If farmers perceive land degradation as a problem, the chance that they invest in land management measures will be enhanced. This study presents farmers’ perceptions of land degradation and their investments in land management, and to what extent the latter are influenced by these perceptions. Water erosion and fertility depletion are taken as main indicators of land degradation, and the results show that farmers perceive an increase in both indicators over the last decade. They are aware of it and consider it as a problem. Nevertheless, farmers’ investments to control water erosion and soil fertility depletion are very limited in the CRV. Results also show that farmers’ awareness of both water erosion and soil fertility decline as a problem is not significantly associated with their investments in land management. Hence, even farmers who perceive land degradation on their fields and are concerned about its increase over the last decade do not significantly invest more in water erosion and soil fertility control measures than farmers who do not perceive these phenomena. Further research is needed to assess which other factors might influence farmers’ investments in land management, especially factors related to socioeconomic characteristics of farm households and plot characteristics which were not addressed by this study.