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Sustainable agriculture development in Ethiopia

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Sustainable agriculture development in Ethiopia

  1. 1. ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE in Ethiopia<br />Sue Edwards, DerejeGebre Michael, Hailu Araya and ArefayneAsmelash<br />Institute for Sustainable Development,<br />
  2. 2. <ul><li>Area about 1.12 million square Km
  3. 3. A rugged and mountainous country
  4. 4. High population about 80 million.
  5. 5. It is the water tower’ of eastern Africa - providing over 85% of the waters of the Nile and some to Kenya (Omo) and Somalia (Juba)
  6. 6. A country of smallholder farmers</li></li></ul><li>The challenge of over-grazing and gullies in Tigray<br />
  7. 7. The key components of the Tigray Project<br /><ul><li>Promote and strengthen existing local bylaws - government accepted restoration of control and use by local communities
  8. 8. Biological and physical Soil & Water conservation including planting multipurpose trees e.g., Sesbaniasesban
  9. 9. Women support based on environmental sustainability
  10. 10. Promoting Innovator farmers bringing local solutions
  11. 11. Connecting the new generation to the Sustainable Dev. Program and their elders
  12. 12. Promoting controlled grazing especially access to vulnerable land
  13. 13. Restoring soil fertility through low external inputs mainly compost, and helping farmers avoid debt paid for chemical fertilizer</li></li></ul><li>Why Tigray (sustainable development) project?<br />High attention was given to mineral fertilizer and High Yield Varieties<br />The prices of mineral fertilizer is/was beyond the purchasing power of smallholder farmers<br />High cost of production<br />Low market price of agricultural production<br />High pressure on smallholder farmers<br />
  14. 14. Ecological agriculture<br /><ul><li>It is ‘in tune’ with the local ecology
  15. 15. It builds on and enhances the traditional knowledge, practices and innovations of the farming communities
  16. 16. It uses low external inputs, which are readily available and affordable by the farmers
  17. 17. Ecological practices have spread throughout the country</li></li></ul><li>Soil fertility improvement<br />The project come up with a low external input i.e. compost – farmers to choose<br />It reduces expenditure and stress<br />Yield of grain and straw is equal or more than the production of mineral fertilizer<br />This transformed farmers from high external input into low external input agriculture<br />B/c local authorities were convinced that farmers can produce enough with compost<br />Its residual effect serve longer especially after continuous use of compost for 2-3 years<br />Improves soil moisture especially the duration of rain is shortened <br />
  18. 18.
  19. 19. Farmers’ practice - Results from over 900 samples from farmers fields over 7 years<br />
  20. 20. The net income of the three crops (ETB/ha)<br />
  21. 21. Plant protection<br />The introduction of HYV was supported with pesticides<br />Pesticides – retard plant growth e.g. 2.4.D delayed teff 10-15 days compared with no application <br />Kills and then reduce the size of bee colony<br />Reduce the production of honey<br />Then transforming from pesticides into traditional plant protection – <br />- reducing use of pesticides. <br />- Communities are banning use of pesticides<br />
  22. 22. Natural resource conservation<br />Physical and biological soil and water conservation improved watersheds<br />Gullies reclaimed <br />Catchments are occupied by beekeeping<br />Landless and unemployed youth are organized in bee keeping development<br />Plant cover is improved<br />Beekeeping development generate higher incomes, <br />Springs re-appeared – micro-irrigation started<br />
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  28. 28. AdiNefas- All components being used<br />Pond<br />Rehabilitated gully<br />Sesbaniatrees and long grasses<br />Composted fields of tef, wheat and barley<br />
  29. 29. Agricultural diversification<br />Number of crops grown per family or farm increased<br />Agriculture created complementarities<br />Increase intensive way of production like inter-cropping, double-cropping, <br />Production and income per unit area increased<br />
  30. 30. Reconnecting the new generation into local practices<br />Students are increasing their awareness through their environmental clubs<br />Students implement environmental conservation at school compounds and family lands<br />They respect and participate in their family activities<br />
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  33. 33. Promoting innovator farmers<br />Innovator farmers start a technology from local problems and local resources<br />Local innovations are cheap and easy to understand<br />Open for other members<br />
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  36. 36. Bee forage<br />
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  39. 39. Water-lifting innovations<br />
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  41. 41. Easy to be copied<br />
  42. 42. Energy and labour saving<br />
  43. 43.
  44. 44. Water use efficiency<br />
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  48. 48. Harmonizing the extension approach<br />Connecting the gap between farmers and extension workers<br />Improve dialogue<br />Experience sharing events<br />Train farmers as Training of Trainers (TOT) to train other farmers - <br />Develop trust between farmers and extension workers<br />
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  53. 53. Introducing a system of crop intensification (SCI)<br /><ul><li>Based on System of Rice Intensification developed in Madagascar 25 years ago
  54. 54. In Ethiopiafinger millet – average 4 – 6 t/ha compared to about 2 t/ha normal practice. In 2003, an old woman got 7.8 t/ha.
  55. 55. Tried in 2009 with tef at a research station, and wheat, finger millet, sorghum, maize and lentil with farmers
  56. 56. 2010 – preparations in 3 research stations and 10 districts with farmers</li></li></ul><li>Cont.<br />SCI helps:<br />Compensates the delay of the on-set of rain – putting as seedling at the beginning<br />Easy to the efficient use of compost<br />Easy to weed and harvest<br />Help crops to increase tiller per plant and then production (grain and straw)<br />
  57. 57. Summary<br /><ul><li>Compost managed the challenge of difficult weeds in a win-win approach e.g. using Parthenium as compost
  58. 58. Avoidance of debt and delays in getting chemical fertilizer
  59. 59. Aquifers recharged – springs reappeared
  60. 60. Family income increased very much
  61. 61. Double cropping, i.e. 2 crops per year with access to harvested water
  62. 62. Farmers diversify production and introduce perennial crops
  63. 63. Families better fed and clothed and children able to attend school
  64. 64. Local by-laws are respected – to control and use their resources under their own choices</li></li></ul><li>The way-forward<br />Support farmers in promoting their own skills and practices than pushing them to be recipient<br />Farmers’ CC adaptation works well – needs to be promoted<br />Environmental conservation and making and using of compost has been incorporated as part of the standard extension package<br />Climate Change negotiations should be the start of support for “the Tigray Project” to be adapted / adopted in Sub-Saharan Africa and other countries around the world<br />
  65. 65. Agroforestry as local practice<br />
  66. 66. A farmer of the future<br />

Editor's Notes

  • Organic principles of health, ecology, fairness, and caring for the earth
  • The farmers use their own varieties (landraces)