Conference name, dates, place

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

Document Type


Presentation Date



The objective of the present study is to assess farm forestry decision-making strategies of smallholder farmers and to identify major choice constraints. It attempts to determine the potential of integrating multipurpose tree and shrub species into the existing land use units and its contribution to the objective of guaranteeing food self-sufficiency and sustainable livelihood. It also sheds some light on the deficiencies of current extension packages in helping farmers exploit the potentials of agroforestry innovations.

Farmers in the study area mainly employ eucalypt as major on-farm tree species both for meeting household wood demands and generating cash revenues. Farmers’ decisions to plant multipurpose tree and shrub species are constrained mainly by lack of sufficient knowledge and planting materials. Inadequate or absence of marketing infrastructure, exploitative marketing arrangements, poor organizational support, weak provision of inputs, callous credit facilities, etc. represent institutional deficiencies. Among ecological factors, erratic rainfall patterns stand prominent. Related problems such as shortage of farmland, ruinous wild animals, destructive crop diseases and pests, seriously debilitate targets of achieving food self-sufficiency. Cultivation of enset, the staple food crop in the region, and other food crops is threatened by lack of manure and draught power.

Genuine institutional support in helping farmers reap the rewards of their efforts and overcome major farm constraints is the primary means of achieving sustainable livelihoods. Critical farm constraints such as deteriorating soil quality, loss of biodiversity, and excessive soil erosion can be ameliorated via well-planned agroforestry practices. Strengthening extension services with qualified personnel and judicious provisions of appropriate agricultural technologies significantly contribute to efforts of achieving food self-sufficiency.