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Agroforestry homegardens in Ethiopia

rural livelihoods in transition

Sahilu, Mersha Gebrehiwot (2017). Agroforestry homegardens in Ethiopia. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2017:58
ISBN 978-91-7760-006-0
eISBN 978-91-7760-007-7
[Doctoral thesis]

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The traditional agroforestry homegarden has a crucial role in achieving sustainable agricultural land management that combines production of food, wood and livestock for rural livelihoods while sustaining the natural environment. However since 1990’s it has been challenged by the transition to monoculture production of new cash crops. The aim of my thesis is to provide an in-depth analysis of the livelihood assets and outcomes delivered by agroforestry homegardens, the drivers of the recent transition of this farming practice, the impacts of this transition, and consequences for sustainability of rural livelihoods in south Ethiopia. I made 400 structured interviews with urban and rural inhabitants; 218 structured interviews with farmers; 40 semi-structured household interviews; 8 focus group discussions with 47 participants and 24 key informant interviews. The agroforestry homegarden is perceived by both urban and rural respondents as one of the most preferred land covers that deliver multiple ecosystem services. This farming practice has been a livelihood strategy of smallholder farmers to achieve balanced livelihood assets, multiple outcomes and food security. However the efficiency and capability of the agroforestry homegarden to deliver the livelihood benefits are confronted by variety of external and internal drivers. I identify three main trajectories of change (1) towards khat monoculture production, (2) adaptation of this traditional farming practice to the new socioeconomic conditions, and (3) returning to the traditional agroforestry homegardens after practicing new cash crop monoculture. The first trajectory towards khat monoculture is currently dominant; and leads to declining livelihood assets at the household level. The underlying driving forces of this transition are demographic, economic, socio-cultural, institutional and technological. Customary institutional practices in combination with the khat mono-cropping negatively affect the household gender relationship and contests women’s rights. International and national policies recognize women’s contributions, and their civil rights, however customary institutions restrict women’s rights in practice. I suggest that creating new opportunities for landless rural inhabitants and controlling population growth are essential. Research and development efforts towards introducing new technologies on how to integrate high-yielding crops in the diverse homegarden system are equally important. Moreover, minimizing the tension and mismatch between formal and informal institutions is crucial to guarantee women’s equal rights to achieve improved livelihoods and food security at the household and rural community levels.

Authors/Creators:Sahilu, Mersha Gebrehiwot
Title:Agroforestry homegardens in Ethiopia
Subtitle:rural livelihoods in transition
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :22 May 2017
Depositing date:30 May 2017
Number of Pages:84
IElbakidze, M., Angelstam P., Dawson, L., Gebrehiwot, M, Stryamets, N., Yamelynets, T., Johansson, KJ., Manton, M, Garrido, P., Naumov, V. Potential hubs of green infrastructure for human well-being in the Swedish urban-rural gradient. Landscape and Urban Planning (In revision
IIGebrehiwot, M, Elbakidze, M., Angelstam P., Yamelynets, T. Defining priority areas for securing livelihoods in rural Ethiopia: a case study based on citizens’ priorities. (Manuscript).
IIIGebrehiwot, M, Elbakidze, M., Poudyal, M. Is agroforestry homegarden a sustainable rural livelihoods strategy? A case study in Ethiopia. (Manuscript
IVGebrehiwot, M, Elbakidze, M., Lidestav G., Sandewall, M., Angelstam P., Kassa, H. (2016). From self-subsistence farm production to khat: driving forces of change in Ethiopian agroforestry homegardens. Environmental Conservation 43 (3): 263-272
VGebrehiwot, M, Elbakidze, M., Lidestav G., (2016). Gender relations in changing agroforestry homegardens in rural Ethiopia. Natural Resources Forum (Under second revision).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Faculty of Forest Sciences, School for Forest Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-7760-006-0
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-7760-007-7
Publication Type:Doctoral 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 > Forest Science
Agrovoc terms:agroforestry systems, domestic gardens, small farms, land use, women, sustainable livelihoods, ethiopia
Keywords:Agroforestry homegarden, Enset, Coffee
Permanent URL:
ID Code:14368
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > School for Forest Management
Deposited By: Mersha Gebrehiwot Sahilu
Deposited On:30 May 2017 11:40
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2020 14:17

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