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Karltun - Reintroducing Vicia faba beans in resource-poor farming systems - adoption of a participatory farmer-led initiative


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Presentation delivered at the CIALCA international conference 'Challenges and Opportunities to the agricultural intensification of the humid highland systems of sub-Saharan Africa'. Kigali, Rwanda, October 24-27 2011.

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Karltun - Reintroducing Vicia faba beans in resource-poor farming systems - adoption of a participatory farmer-led initiative

  1. 1. Reintroducing Vicia faba beans in resource-poor farming systems - adoption of a participatory farmer-led initiative Erik Karltun, Tesfanesh Gichamo, Linley Chiwona-Karltun, Mulugeta Lemenih and Motuma Tolera Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences International Water Management Institute Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources, Ethiopia
  2. 2. <ul><li>Beseku, 250 km south of Addis Ababa </li></ul><ul><li>Eastern escarpment of the Rift Valley </li></ul><ul><li>Mean annual rainfall 1200 mm </li></ul><ul><li>Mollic Andosols, Humic Haplustands </li></ul><ul><li>2100 m asl </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1967 1986 2006
  4. 4. Lemenih et al., 2005 Cultivation since deforestation vs. total N content of the soil
  5. 5. Why are the farmers not adopting better nutrient management methods?
  6. 6. <ul><li>Fallowing is currently impossible because of population increase and shortage of land.. </li></ul><ul><li>Manure addition: Due to decreased number of livestock it is difficult to use manure for field crops. </li></ul><ul><li>Crop residue: Farmers use crop residues for animal feed due to shortage of grazing land and therefore it is not contributing much to soil fertility </li></ul><ul><li>Fertilisers: Expensive, only a few farmers can afford them and difficult to access </li></ul><ul><li>Crop rotation has shown a change in crop composition in recent years, whereby only few and all non-legume crops are involved. </li></ul><ul><li>Beans, the only nitrogen-fixing crop , used to be component of the crop rotation in the area, are no more grown due to thievery </li></ul>Soil fertility management in crisis….
  7. 7. ” You can not pass by a bean field or a beautiful woman without stopping by and enjoy for a moment” Local proverb
  8. 8. Cultivation constraints in bean cultivation ranked by farm households
  9. 9. Farmers in Beseku stopped growing beans to avoid conflicts, and to preserve human security and community integrity Bean theft Marginalization of young people in rural areas Driver
  10. 10. <ul><li>We need beans to feed our children </li></ul><ul><li>The men complain - no shuro </li></ul><ul><li>Beans are expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to the men </li></ul><ul><li>The conflicts are serious </li></ul><ul><li>We understand the problem </li></ul><ul><li>If we all agree we can do something about it </li></ul><ul><li>Idirs should discuss </li></ul><ul><li>PA support </li></ul><ul><li>Explain in school </li></ul>Women Men Men & Women Focus group discussions
  11. 11. Idirs formulated by-laws against bean theft <ul><li>200 Birr fine for bean theft </li></ul><ul><li>No protection of thieves </li></ul>
  12. 12. Re-introduction of Vicia faba bean by distribution of bean seed
  13. 13. What is the adoption rate? What are the reasons for adoption/non-adoption? Research questions:
  14. 14. <ul><li>Quantitative mapping of adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured interviews </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth interviews with key informants </li></ul><ul><li>Focus group discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Triangulation </li></ul>Methods
  15. 15. <ul><li>2008 </li></ul><ul><li>2 tons of bean seed sold </li></ul><ul><li>206 bean fields – 20.3 ha </li></ul><ul><li>20 – 40% recovery </li></ul>
  16. 16. Boye Shibeshi Gasha 1 Shibeshi Gasha 2
  17. 17. Villagization (76%) ‘‘ In this area few farmers who have their land near to their home grow beans but we don’t ...Our farm is far away from our home, it is not possible to guard the farm all the time. Thieves may steal day or night’’ <ul><li>A villagization programme was implemented in Beseku during the Derg regime (1974 - 1991) </li></ul><ul><li>Spatial separation of the house-hold and the farmland </li></ul>
  18. 18. Fear of conflict (44%) <ul><li>Exposing a thief is seen as “buying an enemy” – fear of repercussions </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity tensions – minorities avoid conflicts at all costs </li></ul><ul><li>Bean cultivation moved to safer grounds (25%) </li></ul>‘‘ In this Gote people do not expose thieves because thieves will take revenge in the future. Government law is weak, and police release thieves without punishment. So it is better to keep quiet…
  19. 19. Land-holding fragmentation and poverty (32% and 26%) <ul><li>Less land leads to a shift towards crops that give more bulk (maize, wheat) to sustain energy demand </li></ul><ul><li>Problems accessing seed </li></ul>“ I divided and gave a large part of the family land to my sons and only kept a small portion of land which is not enough to cultivate bean” Widow
  20. 20. Access to information (17%) <ul><li>In Shibeshi-Gasha women were not informed (by the men?) about the bean re-introduction </li></ul><ul><li>The issue of bean theft had not been discussed in the women Idir </li></ul>“‘ .. in the women Idir we did not discuss about bean theft and we did not formulate by-laws’’
  21. 21. Concluding statements <ul><li>Success or failure of an intervention is not only dependent on the content, relevance and implementation but also on local social structures which may vary considerably in a seemingly similar environment </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional institutions, like the Idir, may play and important role in interventions and up-scaling but support is needed also from government institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Can participation and farmer mobilization be a pathway for conflict resolution at village level? </li></ul>