Responding to land degradation in the highlands of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia:
Improving the long-term sustainability and resilience of smallholder agriculture in Africa is highly dependent on conserving or improving the quality of the natural resource. Conservation agriculture is conceived around more integrated and effective management strategies for provisioning both food and other ecosystem services. If unattended to, land degradation would reduce agricultural productivity and increase pressure on marginal environments in the Tigray highlands of Ethiopia, adversely affecting food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers. This paper answers some pertinent questions about mass mobilization of free compulsory labor for ecological restoration in Tigray. It details perception of changes in climate; the process of collective decisionmaking; resistance, documentation, and enforcement of rules; methods of conflict resolution; knowledge and information networks; arrangements for benefit sharing of communal resources; and the role of gender in mass mobilization for communal work. We analyzed data collected from 20 villages in 3 districts in the Tigray region through a household survey using a structured questionnaire, focus group discussions, and personal observations. The results reveal that the people are motivated to provide their free labor to restore the ecology to increase agricultural productivity and production to avoid food insecurity and improve their general livelihood. Availability of institutions in terms of grassroots organizations and rules and regulations was a major factor in the positive response to the call for action. The commitment of the government at both the national and local levels (through sensitization and mobilization for group formation and provision of tools and construction materials); the ethnic homogeneity of the population; and the existence of the Orthodox Church, where most of the people were members, were major factors for the success of the community mobilization for collective action in Tigray. Social networking with neighbors, the clergy, and leaders of grassroots organizations provided the knowledge and information on climate variability and solutions required to conserve the ecology and improve human livelihood. We also observed that there were no differences in gender division of labor except that women worked half the workload of men in a day; the women also did the cooking and cleaned up the surroundings after eating at the site. Both men and women played active roles in leadership with regard to mobilization of people, communal work planning and scheduling, conflict resolution, and sharing of community products. An impact assessment of the ecological conservation in Tigray on agricultural productivity and production and food security would be useful. It will be interesting to replicate the study in other areas in Ethiopia and other countries where the societies may not be homogenous to find out the level of commitment of the people to communal work.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.ifpri.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Yesuf, Mahmud & di Falco, Salvatore & Deressa, Temesgen & Ringler, Claudia & Kohlin, Gunnar, 2008. "The impact of climate change and adaptation on food production in low-income countries: Evidence from the Nile Basin, Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 828, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Katleen Van den Broeck & Stefan Dercon, 2011. "Information Flows and Social Externalities in a Tanzanian Banana Growing Village," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 231-252.
- Badstue, Lone Bech & Bellon, Mauricio R. & Berthaud, Julien & Ramírez, Alejandro & Flores, Dagoberto & Juárez, Xóchitl & Ramírez, Fabiola, 2005. "Collective action for the conservation of on-farm genetic diversity in a center of crop diversity: an assessment of the role of traditional farmers' networks," CAPRi working papers 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Kazianga, Harounan & Udry, Christopher, 2006. "Consumption smoothing? Livestock, insurance and drought in rural Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 413-446, April.
- Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Pender, John & Tesfay, Girmay, 2004. "Collective action for grazing land management in crop-livestock mixed systems in the highlands of northern Ethiopia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 273-290, December.
- Jonathan Isham, 2002.
"The Effect of Social Capital on Fertilizer Adoption: Evidence from Rural Tanzania,"
Middlebury College Working Paper Series
0225, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
- Jonathan Isham, 2002. "The Effect of Social Capital on Fertiliser Adoption: Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(1), pages 39-60, March.
- Yesuf, Mahmud & Di Falco, Salvatore & Deressa, Temesgen & Ringler, Claudia & Kohlin, Gunnar, 2008. "The impact of climate change and adaptation on food production in low-income countries: Evidence from the Nile Basin, Ethiopia [in Amharic]," Research briefs 15(11)AMH, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Gaspart, Frederic, et al, 1998. "Participation in the Construction of a Local Public Good with Indivisibilities: An Application to Watershed Development in Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 7(2), pages 157-84, July.
- Holden, Stein & Shiferaw, Bekele & Pender, John, 2005. "Policy analysis for sustainable land management and food security in Ethiopia: a bioeconomic model with market imperfections," Research reports 140, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Frederic Gaspart & Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2001.
"Collective Action for Local-Level Effort Regulation: an Assessment of Recent Experiences in Senegalese Small-Scale Fisheries,"
Development Working Papers
150, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Gaspart, F. & Platteau, J.P., 1999. "Collective Action for Local-Level Effort Regulation: An Assessment of Recent Experiences in Senegalese Small-Scale Fisheries," Papers 217, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
- Agrawal, Arun & Gibson, Clark C., 1999. "Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Role of Community in Natural Resource Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 629-649, April.
- Bezu, Sosina & Holden, Stein, 2008. "Can food-for-work encourage agricultural production?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 541-549, December.
- Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, ed. & Knox, Anna, ed. & Place, Frank, ed. & Swallow, Brent, ed., 2002. "Innovation in natural resource management," Food policy statements 39, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Andersson, Camilla & Mekonnen, Alemu & Stage, Jesper, 2011.
"Impacts of the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia on livestock and tree holdings of rural households,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 119-126, January.
- Andersson, Camilla & Mekonnen, Alemu & Stage, Jesper, 2009. "Impacts of the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia on Livestock and Tree Holdings of Rural Households," Discussion Papers dp-09-05-efd, Resources For the Future.
- Dorte Verner & Jakob Kronik, 2010. "Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2472, September.
- Andrew Dorward, 2001. "The Effects of Transaction Costs, Power and Risk on Contractual Arrangements: A Conceptual Framework for Quantitative Analysis," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 59-73.
- Gray, Clark & Mueller, Valerie, 2012. "Drought and Population Mobility in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 134-145.
- Stefan Dercon & John Hoddinott & Tassew Woldehanna, 2005. "Shocks and Consumption in 15 Ethiopian Villages, 1999--2004," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(4), pages 559-585, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1142. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.