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Recent transitions in Ethiopian homegarden agroforestry

driving forces and changing gender relations

Gebrehiwot, Mersha (2013). Recent transitions in Ethiopian homegarden agroforestry. Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv. , Rapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning och geomatik, 1401-0070 ; 21
ISBN 978-91-576-9142-2
eISBN 978-91-576-9143-9
[Licentiate thesis]

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Homegarden agroforestry was a dominant land use practice in Southern Nations,
Nationalities and People's Regional State (SNNPRS) Ethiopia until the 1990s. It has
been known for its diversity, ecosystem balance and sustainability. Its outputs were
contributing to the sustainable livelihoods of the region and were crucial for the
household food security and rural development. More recently it has been challenged
by population pressure, shrinking farm size, poverty and a new market situation and has
gradually been changing towards monoculture production of khat (Catha edulis) and
eucalyptus species. The consequence of the transitions on ecology, biodiversity,
sustainability and food security has been studied by different scholars. However, the
trend and extent of the change, its driving forces and its impacts on household food
availability, gender division of labour and income, gender roles and gender power
relations have not been properly addressed. Therefore, the overall aim of this thesis is
to broaden the scope and understanding of drivers and consequences of the on-going
land use changes in the traditional agroforestry of Ethiopia and thereby contribute to
institutional development efforts towards a stable and sustainable land use and gender
equity in rural development. Its specific objectives are i) to assess the trend of change
from traditional homegarden agroforestry towards cash crop production and its
proximate and underlying causes and ii) to analyse and explain how the land uses
change affects the lives of farm women and men, their gender roles and the gender
power relationship and space for action and agency. Primary data have been gathered
through transect walks, field and market observations, household surveys, keyinformants
and focus group discussions, while secondary data have been obtained
through policy documents, files and records.

The study revealed that there is a change in the distribution and area proportion
among the three land use categories "food crops", "cash crops" and "grazing and living
quarter" and in the structure of traditional homegarden agroforestry. The change has
been driven by expectations of financial income (cash), farm land fragmentation,
favourable market conditions for new cash crops, access to irrigation, limited supply of
farm input for food crop production (fertilizer and seed), experience of others, risk of
theft, and wildlife disturbance. These causes, which were identified by the respondents,
have been underpinned by underlying factors such as demographic, economic, policy
and institutional, socio-cultural and technological drivers. The analysis of the system
dynamics shows that all underlying driving forces interact with each other and cause
change in traditional practices although policy and institutional factors could be seen as
key drivers provoking the change of other driving forces. The expansion of cash crops
has had a number of effects on the households. It has significantly affected the food
supply for households and market, and the financial income from cash crop trading.
Moreover it has affected household division of labour, decision making, family share
and distribution of income, gender role of women and men, and the household gender
power relationship. The expansion of cash crops has enhanced the decision making
and the bargaining power of men as most production and trading of cash crops and the
income is controlled by men. Women's role, on the other hand, has been declining in
terms of labour input, access to products, control over products decision making and
bargaining over use and distribution of resources. The increase of cash crop production
and financial income obtained more attention while declining food crop production and
biodiversity of the system were given little attention by the farming households.

The transition towards monoculture cultivation of crops has affected the rational of
weighing and balancing economic gain and the socio-cultural and ecological benefits
derived from the traditional homegarden agroforestry in the study region. Therefore,
securing gender equality and balancing the economic benefits with the socio-cultural
and ecological values of this system should be considered in regional agricultural
development plans and land use policies towards the implementation of sustainable
rural development.

Authors/Creators:Gebrehiwot, Mersha
Title:Recent transitions in Ethiopian homegarden agroforestry
Subtitle:driving forces and changing gender relations
Series Name/Journal:Rapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för skoglig resurshushållning och geomatik
Year of publishing :2013
Number of Pages:53
I.Mersha Gebrehiwot, Marine Elbakidze, Gun Lidestav, Mats Sandewall, Habtemariam Kassa (2012). From diversity to monoculture: driving forces of change in traditional homegarden agroforestry in Ethiopia. Journal of Agroforestry System (in review, resubmitted)
II.Mersha Gebrehiwot, Gun Lidestav, Habtemariam Kassa, Marine Elbakidze (2013). From traditional homegarden agroforestry to cash crop production: impact on gender relationship and livelihoods in Ethiopia. Submitted Manuscript
Place of Publication:Umeå
Publisher:Dept. of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-9142-2
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-9143-9
Publication Type:Licentiate thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E50 Rural sociology and social security
F Plant production > F01 Crop husbandry
F Plant production > F08 Cropping patterns and systems
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Agrovoc terms:agroforestry, domestic gardens, small farms, land use, choice of species, cash crops, catha edulis, eucalyptus, women, men, sustainable livelihoods, ethiopia
Keywords:Homegarden agroforestry, SNNPRS, land use, driving forces, cash crops, khat, eucalyptus, labour, decision, bargaining power, women, men
Permanent URL:
ID Code:10499
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
Deposited By: Staff Epsilon
Deposited On:03 Jun 2013 10:04
Metadata Last Modified:13 Apr 2015 12:41

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