Unlocking the potentials of integrating market oriented commodity development with conserved resources within the watershed continuum: Lessons from Atsbi-Womberta district, Tigray, Ethiopia
Unlocking the potentials of integrating market oriented commodity development with conserved resources within the watershed continuum: Lessons from Atsbi-Womberta district, Tigray, Ethiopia 1. Introduction 3.3 Changes in the expansion and uptake of market oriented commodities A watershed consists of a steep land as runoff Sheep fattening and beekeeping generating and valley bottoms as run-on zones in a continuum fashion. With increased popu- 50000 12000 lation pressure, over use of the natural re- Number of colony or sheep sources results in low watershed productivity 40000 10000 Beneficiary households and unable to feed the growing population. In 2004 2004 (no/commodity) 8000 30000 2010 2010 this regard, watershed based market oriented 6000 commodities (MOC) development has been 20000 launched to improve productivity and income 4000 of smallholder farmers. The methods, achieve- 10000 2000 ments and the lessons learned from Atsbi- 0 0 Womberta district of Tigray are presented. Fattened sheep Honeybee colony Fattened sheep Honeybee colony 2. Intervention approaches Irrigated crops and dairy2.1 Interventions processes 2.2 Implemented approaches 15000 800 700 12500 Cut and carry system of livestock feeding Number of cows or beneficiaries Area (ha) or number of beneficiaries 2004 600 2004 and improved forage species introduced in 10000 2011 500 2010 the conserved watershed continuum. Knowledge management 400 7500 300 Potentials, limitations and interventions of Capacity development 5000 200 MOC identified along the value chain frame- 100 work (VCF) 2500 Commodity development 0 0 Crossbred dairy cows Beneficiary households Irrigated area (ha) Beneficiary households Interventions implemented along the VCF Research (scaling out/up) 3.4 Relationship between conserved resources, market oriented animal and crop production as sources of household income 3. Key achievements 3.1 Resources availabilitySkills and capacity to usethe conserved surfaceand groundwaterresources improved.Forage biomassproductivity andquality enhanced. 5000 100 Share of high value crops (%) Average income (birr/year)Quality and quantity of nectar Changes in the income of 4000 80flow improved. beneficiary households High value crops 3000 60 Traditional crops and shifting towards MOC 2000 40 1000 20 0 0 Adopter Non‐adopter 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 Farmer type Production year 3.2 Integration of MOC and conserved resources 4. Lessons learned and implications Relationship between watershed continuum and market oriented • Participatory market oriented commodity development along the value chain framework unlocks the use of commodities conserved resources effectively and efficiently. • The approach also helps to thinking beyond rainfed crop production. The integration approach improves the income of smallholder farmers along the watershed continuum than rainfed crop production. • This implies that the integration approach is more resilient to moisture stress than rainfed crop production under extremely variable rainfall. • The integration of MOC along the watershed continuum also helps to transform less productive watershed into intensified and diversified household income sources. • Improving the income of smallholder farmers triggers the community to invest more on resources conserva- tion. • Actors involvement along the watershed based development continuum and the commodity value chains en- sured and the approaches have been institutionalized.