Conference name, dates, place

International Conference on Development Studies in Ethiopia, July 11-12, 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Document Type


Presentation Date



In the highlands of Ethiopia, soil erosion is a bottleneck to maintain land productivity. In order to mitigate the problem of land degradation, the Soil Conservation Research Project (SCRP) developed and disseminated a number of soil conservation techniques. The studies done so far dealt with the impact of these techniques on yield and profitability of farming. However, poor farmers take not only yield and profitability into consideration but also many other factors. This study was initiated to assess the future impact of adoption of bund construction on family income, external labour requirement, cash balance, credit need, and dependence on purchased food. The study was conducted using survey data collected in 1999 from 111 farm families in the Ankober district in Ethiopia. The study area was sub-divided into four sub-regions before carrying out the survey based on intensity of agriculture, the main emphasis of the farming system (crop and/or livestock), type of major crop and the altitude, which is one of the main agro-ecological factors. A multi-periodical linear programming model was applied to each of the sub-regions to assess the future impact of the strategy at household level. The model results indicated that adoption of a soil conservation strategy has positive impact on family income and the cash balance of the family in the long term. However, except in one of the sub-regions, credit must be available to make adoption of the conservation measure feasible. Adoption of the technique has mixed effect on the dependence of farm families on purchased grain.