Watershed conservation-based market oriented commodity development: A move towards resilient farming?
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Woldewahid, G., Gebremedhin, B., Hoekstra, D. and Tegegne, A. 2012. Watershed conservation-based market oriented commodity development: A move towards resilient farming? Paper presented at the Tropentag 2012, Göttingen, Germany, 19-21 September 2012.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/27617
Reversing watershed degradation and food insecurity has been one of the major development challenges in the semi-arid areas of northern Ethiopia where rainfed dependent mixed croplivestock farming is predominant (Berhanu et al., 2010; SERA, 2000). As an entry point, community based physical soil and water conservation has been launched at village levels (Belete, 2009). The conservation has been initiated on cultivable lands and gradually extended to watershed levels. The conservation and enclosure of watersheds have resulted in improved water retention capacity and recovery of perennial bee forage plants in upstream hilly sides, and revitalized surface and groundwater in the downstream of the watersheds (Belete, 2009). Despite the intensive interventions in watershed conservation and recovery, the contribution to the economy of smallholder farmers has been low. The watershed approach has been useful to harmonize the use of soil, water and vegetation in a way that conserves these resources and improve household income. The watershed management can be augmented with market oriented commodity developments along the watershed resources gradient: upstream, valley bottoms and downstream. In order to increase benefits to farmers, participatory, demand driven, skill and knowledge based market oriented commodity development has been introduced, tested and promoted in Atsbi-Womberta district, northern Ethiopia, since 2005/06. The objective of this paper is to present the response to the integrated interventions along the watershed resources gradient.