Conference name, dates, place

International Conference on Contemporary Development Issues in Ethiopia, August 16-18, 2001, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Document Type


Presentation Date



Ethiopia has not been able to maintain its economic, political and social development because of internal and external pressures for many years. The natural resource is the worst hit by the slow progress in economic development and this has made matters worse. To get out of the stagnation the present government has adopted a policy called Agricultural Development Led Industrialization taking agriculture as the stepping stone to industrialization.

The soil and water resources of Ethiopia although, still rich, is going through fast degradation processes. Topography, soil types and agro-ecological parameters are playing significant role in the degradation processes influenced by man.

The fast growing population of Ethiopia is playing significant role in hastening land degradation. The population of Ethiopia has tripled in the last 50 years. The increasing population abused land by deforestation and overgrazing for more cropland and grazing area. Recurrent droughts have aggravated the situation leading to repeated cycles of famine in recent years.

Three major types of land degradations are affecting productivity. These are biological, chemical and physical degradations of soils. As a result soil organic matter has declined, soil nutrients depleted, and soil depth decreased leading to the decline in yield of crops and forages. Yields are also declining due to the effect of soil acidity, salinity and drainage problems as well as the inherently low available soil phosphorus.

However, the most serious problem of Ethiopia’s land resources is soil erosion. Every year the country is losing billions of birr in the form of soil, nutrient, water and agrobiodiversity losses and awareness creation.

Efforts have been made and are still being made to avert the degradation but with very little progress. A lot is yet to be done in the area of policy issues and economic development.

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Economics Commons