Livelihood diversification

Livelihood diversification potentials of climate smart based agriculture and adaptation to CC in southern Ethiopia

Yonas Berhanu

Supervisor: Professor Jens B. Aune, Department of International Environment and Development studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)


Smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are threatened by degradation of natural resources base exacerbated by the impacts of climate change in different ways, with profound impacts on with profound impacts on the livelihoods of the local communities (FAO, 2010). Agriculture, an activity traditionally vulnerable to impacts of climate change, in Ethiopia is dominated by smallholder farming system characterized by integration of crop and livestock under rain-fed condition (CSA, 2008). And, the sector is still suffering from low productivity, low technology, and low output (Hailu, 2012).

Despite the existence of increasing interest in studying climate change along with the problems such as natural resources degradation, decline in agricultural productivity, and challenges of poverty and food insecurity at aggregate regional and national scale in eastern Africa (Angassa and Oba, 2008; Salami et al., 2010), however, the potential importance of local practices in enhancing socio-ecological resilience has been under estimated (Bishaw et al., 2013). In addition, earlier research on agricultural productivity has largely been mono-disciplinary, based on analysis of plot research and lack of socio-economic analysis.

Objectives of the proposed study

The objective of this study will be to investigate the role of natural resource management and farming practices in affecting productivity (at farm level) and fostering regeneration of indigenous vegetation, diversifying livelihood and enhancing system resilience in southern Ethiopia under changing environment.

Study area and methods

Four districts, namely Ziway and Halaba: in the rift valley regions and Lokabaya and Yabello situated in southern parts of Ethiopia will be used for the study. These areas of Ethiopia are believed to have a great diversity of natural resources & potential for C sink, with the potential to drive large positive climate feedbacks.

A combination of (a) Biophysical measurement and productivity analysis; (b) In depth socioeconomic analysis based on household surveying (selected using stratified random sampling) and FGD and KII; (c) Site-level measurements, and surveys across land management gradients to assess regeneration potential of indigenous vegetation and C and (d) Analysis of Archival records/documents will be employed to have a profound understanding of the issue under investigation.

Differences in various vegetation and soil parameters among management regimes will be analyzed using the general linear model (ANOVA). The statistical procedures will be performed using SAS software. Statistical Package for Social Studies (SPSS) will be used for socio-economic data analysis.

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