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Soil conservation, land use and property rights in northern Ethiopia

understanding environmental change in smallholder farming systems

Beyene, Atakilte (2003). Soil conservation, land use and property rights in northern Ethiopia. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria, 1401-6249 ; 395
ISBN 91-576-6401-3
[Doctoral thesis]

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Land resources are key aspects in food production and livelihood systems for the majority of the population of developing countries. For these reasons promotion of sustainable management of agricultural land resources is, and will continue to be, of concern to a range of actors: the public, the state, donor agencies, the scientific community and not the least the smallholders themselves. Major initiatives to address such concerns are soil and water conservation programmes. It is, however, widely recognised that conservation programmes are faced with many challenges. Conservation programmes often incur heavy costs, rely heavily on external resources, often encounter failures and have a poor record as regards sustainability. All these features indicate challenges for future approaches to sustainable use of land resources. This thesis aims to address these challenges in a broader perspective. It explores the discourse of conservation research and how such a discourse shapes intervention in smallholder farming systems. This study indicates that although research related to the physical environment has been central in the initiation and implementation of environmental policies and conservation efforts, the evidence about the physical environments tend to be cursory and not sufficiently explained. Three interrelated aspects have emerged empirically that address the context, processes, challenges and prospects of land degradation in Tigray; livelihood, dwelling and land tenure. The livelihood system encompasses concepts not only of the agricultural use value of the land but also how land use itself is situated in broader social relationships. Specific institutionalised practices, such as sharecropping, explain how management aspects of the land enter productive relationships among the villagers. The dwelling aspect, being a broader part of the relations and commitments of the villagers to their landscape, explains the structures of villagers’ perceptions and values in relation to the land, and the connection between perceptions and values in relation to landscape diversity. The land tenure systems are egalitarian and have provided villagers with user rights to land. Nonetheless, the tenure systems are poor in promoting farm integrity, security, ownership and transfer of land resources. The thesis also shows that, although conservation interventions aim to benefit people, the people and their institutions are often not central in interventions. Conservation interventions have not been conceptualised in a way that allows villagers to take on central roles. Rural people have often been conceived as conservationist, producers and/or land managers. The inclusion of people as social actors, with multiple objectives and social roles is a perspective that needs to be considered in future intervention approaches in order to attain sustainable management of the land.

Authors/Creators:Beyene, Atakilte
Title:Soil conservation, land use and property rights in northern Ethiopia
Subtitle:understanding environmental change in smallholder farming systems
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria
Year of publishing :June 2003
Number of Pages:206
Place of Publication:Uppsala
ISBN for printed version:91-576-6401-3
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E20 Organization, administration and management of agricultural enterprises or farms
P Natural resources > P36 Soil erosion, conservation and reclamation
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:soil conservation, developing countries, land use, farmers, small farms, farming systems, tenure, rural housing, arable land, ethiopia
Keywords:typology, institutions, farm fragmentation, heterogeneity, intervention, conservation, tenure, livelihood, dwelling, arable land
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ID Code:306
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Institutionen för landsbygdsutveckling (fr.o.m. 960901)
Deposited By: Staff Epsilon
Deposited On:13 Jun 2003 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:03

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