On-farm soil and water conservation measures

Photo credit: IWMI

Erosion is demolishing the infrastructure, the land and soil of the farmers in Ethiopia.
Photo: Petterik Wiggers / IWMI

Ethiopia’s farmers pay a high price for soil erosion

In a country of steep valleys and heavy seasonal rains, soil loss is a persistent threat. But just how much does erosion cost farmers? A new study suggests that for some Ethiopian smallholders, it may represent as much as half of their annual income.

Farming in much of rural Ethiopia is a precarious business. Whilst a wide variety of climatic conditions and land types mean that many crops can be grown, the reality is that smallholder farmers have little opportunity to develop their plots. Poverty and lack of infrastructure are at the root of much of the problem, but a capricious climate and fragile landscape compound the issue. Soil erosion is a constant and widespread threat. Together with nutrient depletion, it is estimated that soil loss puts 30,000 hectares of the country’s cropland out of production annually – that’s an area nearly two thirds the size of Addis Ababa.

Read the full article: IWMI

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