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Tilahun S.A.,Cornell University | Tilahun S.A.,Bahir Dar University | Guzman C.D.,Cornell University | Zegeye A.D.,Bahir Dar University | And 7 more authors.
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2013

Erosion modeling has been generally scaling up from plot scale but not based on landscape topographic position, which is a main variable in saturation excess runoff. In addition, predicting sediment loss in Africa has been hampered by using models developed in western countries and do not perform as well in the monsoon climate prevailing in most of the continent. The objective of this paper is to develop a simple erosion model that can be used in the Ethiopian Highlands in Africa. We base our sediment prediction on a simple distributed saturated excess hydrology model that predicts surface runoff from severely degraded lands and from bottom lands that become saturated during the rainy season and estimates interflow and baseflow from the remaining portions of the landscape. By developing an equation that relates surface runoff to sediment concentration generated from runoff source areas, assuming that baseflow and interflow are sediment-free, we were able to predict daily sediment concentrations from the Anjeni watershed with a Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency ranging from 0.64 to 0.78 using only two calibrated sediment parameters. Anjeni is a 113 ha watershed in the 17.4 million ha Blue Nile Basin in the Ethiopian Highlands. The discharge of the two watersheds was predicted with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency values ranging from 0.80 to 0.93. The calibrated values in Anjeni for degraded (14%) and saturated (2%) runoff source area were in agreement with field evidence. The analysis suggests that identifying the runoff source areas and predicting the surface runoff correctly is an important step in predicting the sediment concentration. © 2013 Author(s).


Chanie T.,Bahir Dar University | Chanie T.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute | Collick A.S.,University Park | Adgo E.,Bahir Dar University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics | Year: 2013

Eucalyptus is the tree of choice for wood production by farmers in Ethiopia. Although there are many claims about its harmful effect on ecology and water availability, little actual research exists. The main objective of this study was, therefore, to study the extent of harm of Eucalyptus on the ecosystem. This study was conducted at the Koga Watershed near Lake Tana in Ethiopia. Twenty-five farmers were interviewed and a field experiment with three replications was carried out to quantify the effect of Eucalyptus on various soil physical and chemical properties and maize crop measurements and to compare bulk density, soil moisture contents, maize crop counts and shading effects in fields bordered by Eucalyptus and Croton macrostachyus. Our results show that Eucalyptus decreased both soil nutrients and maize yields within 20 m of the trees. Although moisture content was not affected during the monsoon, it decreased faster within 30 m of the Eucalyptus trees than elsewhere. Soils become water repellent, too. Local farmers' perception agreed with our experimental findings and indicated that Eucalyptus trees are exhausting the once productive land. They also reported that Eucalyptus dries up springs. Despite this, the growers insist on planting Eucalyptus because of its cash income.


Goshu G.,Bahir Dar University | Tewabe D.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute | Adugna B.T.,Bahir Dar University
Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology | Year: 2010

The distribution of Lake Tana fish species was studied from January 2000 to December 2003. Samples were collected monthly using gill-nets of 60, 80, 100, 120 and 140 mm stretched mesh size. Labeobarbus spp., Oreochromis niloticus, Claris gariepinus and Varicorhinus beso are commercially important fish species and form 77%, 13%, 9% and 1% of the pooled experimental fish catch. There was significant variability among years and sampling sites encompassing both temporal and spatial aspects. Population densities of Labeobarbus spp. and V. beso were significantly declining, in contrast, the abundance of O. niloticus and C. gariepinus did not change. The most likely explanations for the decline in Labeobarbus spp. are the increase of the commercial gill-net fishery targeting their spawning aggregations in the river mouths, use of poisonous plant materials and the increasing trend of the dis-connectivity and channelisation of rivers. The results stress the need for urgent development of a management plan focusing on ensuring river connectivity, fishing effort and gear restrictions, and control in the river mouths and major tributaries during the breeding seasons.


Teshome A.,Wageningen University | Teshome A.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute | de Graaff J.,Wageningen University | Kassie M.,International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Environmental Management | Year: 2016

Soil and water conservation (SWC) practices have been promoted in the highlands of Ethiopia during the last four decades. However, the level of adoption of SWC practices varies greatly. This paper examines the drivers of different stages of adoption of SWC technologies in the north-western highlands of Ethiopia. This study is based on a detailed farm survey among 298 households in three watersheds. Simple descriptive statistics were applied to analyze the stages of adoption. An ordered probit model was used to analyze the drivers of different stages of adoption of SWC. This model is used to analyze more than two outcomes of an ordinal dependent variable. The results indicate that sampled households are found in different phases of adoption, i.e., dis-adoption/non-adoption (18.5 %), initial adoption (30.5 %), actual adoption (20.1 %), and final adoption (30.9 %). The results of the ordered probit model show that some socio-economic and institutional factors affect the adoption phases of SWC differently. Farm labor, parcel size, ownership of tools, training in SWC, presence of SWC program, social capital (e.g., cooperation with adjacent farm owners), labor sharing scheme, and perception of erosion problem have a significant positive influence on actual and final adoption phases of SWC. In addition, the final adoption phase of SWC is positively associated with tenure security, cultivated land sizes, parcel slope, and perception on SWC profitability. Policy makers should take into consideration factors affecting (continued) adoption of SWC such as profitability, tenure security, social capital, technical support, and resource endowments (e.g., tools and labor) when designing and implementing SWC policies and programs. © 2015, The Author(s).


Teshome A.,Wageningen University | Teshome A.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute | de Graaff J.,Wageningen University | Ritsema C.,Wageningen University | Kassie M.,International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Land Degradation and Development | Year: 2016

Land is a scarce resource in the highlands of Ethiopia. Its sustainable use is highly affected by bio-physical and institutional factors. The purpose of this research is to investigate farmers' perceptions about land quality, land fragmentation and tenure systems and their influences on sustainable land management (SLM) investments in the North Western Ethiopian Highlands. The study is based on a detailed farm survey among 300 households and 1,700 parcels in three watersheds. Simple descriptive statistics were applied to analyse the perception of farmers about land-related factors. A multivariate probit (MVP) model was used to analyse the effect of land-related factors on the interdependent investment decisions of SLM practices (Bunds, Compost/Manure and Fertilizer) using a multiple parcel-level survey. The study shows that on average, sample households managed 4·54 parcels in different locations with an average parcel size of 0·26ha. The MVP model analysis indicates that farmers invest a combination of practices at parcel level by considering substitution and complementarity effects of the practices. The results also reveal how land quality (e.g.slope and soil fertility status), land fragmentation (parcel size and distance of parcel from homestead) and tenure arrangements influence farmers' investments in SLM practices. The overall results indicate that farm land attributes promote or hinder investments, and tenure systems regulate the decisions about investments. Policy makers should take into consideration these various land-related factors in designing and implementing SLM policies and programmes. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Mcconnachie A.J.,Agricultural Research Council Plant Protection Research Institute ARC PPRI | Strathie L.W.,Agricultural Research Council Plant Protection Research Institute ARC PPRI | Mersie W.,Virginia State University | Gebrehiwot L.,Addis Ababa Institute of Technology | And 10 more authors.
Weed Research | Year: 2011

Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae), of South American origin, is considered to be one of the world's most serious invasive plants, invading Australia, Asia and Africa. As part of an international collaborative project, this study attempted to improve the understanding of the geographical distribution of P. hysterophorus in eastern and southern Africa. The climate modelling program CLIMEX was used to assist in the selection of survey localities. Roadside surveys of the distribution of the weed were conducted in Botswana, Ethiopia, South Africa, Swaziland and Uganda. Prior to these surveys, only limited P. hysterophorus locality records existed; substantially more records were obtained from surveys. Most infestations were high density (>3 plants m-2). Distribution records were used to validate the CLIMEX model, which proved a useful tool. This study increased current understanding of the distribution of P. hysterophorus and developed a baseline from which to monitor future spread and abundance of P. hysterophorus. Additional surveys are required in other countries in Africa which are predicted by CLIMEX to be at risk. This will enhance integrated management decisions for the control of a weed which has implications for food security and human health. © 2010 The Authors. Weed Research © 2010 European Weed Research Society.


Abate E.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Abate E.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute | Hussein S.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Laing M.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Mengistu F.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute
Australian Journal of Crop Science | Year: 2013

Tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter] is the most widely produced and consumed cereal crop in Ethiopia. It is a gluten-free crop with growing popularity worldwide. Unlike most globally important cereals, tef has not yet been bred for tolerance to soil acidity and to aluminium toxicity. This experiment was conducted to assess the quantitative responses among some grain and pasture varieties of tef. Strongly acidic soil (pH 3.94 and acid saturation of 78%) was used to evaluate the tef varieties. A highly Al-tolerant weeping love grass [Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees] variety, Ermelo, was used as a check. A randomized complete block design (RCBD) with 4 replications was used to evaluate the materials under limed and unlimed conditions. Measurements were taken on different root and shoot parameters. The result indicated the presence of genetic variability among the tef varieties for root length, shoot length, root dry weight and shoot dry weight. All the tef varieties were inferior to the variety Ermelo of E. curvula in their Al tolerance. The brown seeded tef varieties consistently showed better Al-tolerance than the white seeded ones. A similar pattern was also observed for tolerance indices, which were computed as ratio of each parameter under unlimed versus limed condition. Highly significant correlations (r>0.9) were observed for all the parameters used to assess Al-tolerance in this experiment. This first systematic work demonstrated the presence of genetic variability for tolerance to soil acidity and Al-toxicity within tef varieties. This variability suggests the possibility to launch strategic breeding of the crop with specific adaptation to acid soil prone areas.


Teshome A.,Wageningen University | Teshome A.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute | Rolker D.,Wageningen University | de Graaff J.,Wageningen University
Applied Geography | Year: 2013

Soil erosion by water is a major threat to food security, environmental sustainability and prospects for rural development in Ethiopia. Successive governments have promoted various soil and water conservation (SWC) measures in order to reduce the effects of land degradation, but adoption rates vary considerably. The profitability of SWC measures is an essential condition for their adoption. The objective of this research was to determine the economic efficiency of three different types of SWC technologies (soil bunds, stone bunds and fanya juu) in the watersheds of Debre Mewi and Anjeni in the northwestern Ethiopian highlands. A farm household survey was carried out among 60 farmers in both watersheds and the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) was used to assess erosion risk on farmers' fields. A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) was then carried out to determine the profitability of the measures under different conditions. Erosion estimates for the fields suggest that adapted SWC structures were successful in reducing soil erosion. The cost-benefit analysis indicates that all SWC measures are profitable under 'standard' conditions, except soil bunds in Anjeni without grass cover. However, the study shows that different underlying assumptions change the CBA results considerably and consequently also change the conclusions regarding circumstances under which SWC measures are or are not profitable. This illustrates the volatility of the profitability of SWC measures. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Kassa B.T.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute | Haile A.G.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute | Essa J.A.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2011

In order to assess and identify the determinants of sheep price and price variation across time, a time series data were collected from four selected markets in North Shewa, Northeastern Ethiopia on weekly market day basis for a period of 2 years. Data on animal characteristics and purpose of buying were collected on a weekly basis from randomly selected 15-25 animals, and a total of 7,976 transactions were recorded. A general linear model technique was used to identify factors influencing sheep price, and the results showed that sheep price (liveweight sheep price per kilogram taken as a dependent variable) is affected by animal characteristics such as weight, sex, age, condition, season, and color. Most of the markets' purpose for which the animal was purchased did not affect significantly the price per kilogram. This may be due to the similarity of the markets in terms of buyer's purpose. The results suggest that there will be benefit from coordinated fattening, breeding, and marketing programs to take the highest advantage from the preferred animals' characteristics and selected festival markets. Finally, the study recommends for a coordinated action to enhance the benefit generated for all participant actors in the sheep value chain through raising sheep productivity, improving the capacity of sheep producers and agribusiness entrepreneurs to access and use latest knowledge and technologies; and strengthening linkages among actors in the sheep value chain. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Teshome A.,Wageningen University | Teshome A.,Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute | de Graaff J.,Wageningen University | Kessler A.,Wageningen University
Land Use Policy | Year: 2016

In the north-western highlands of Ethiopia investments in land management (LM) have not always been successful. The objectives of this study were to assess farmers' perceptions about implementation approaches of soil and water conservation (SWC) practices and to explore the relationship between the different dimensions (factors) of social capital and investments in LM practices. Simple descriptive statistics were applied to analyse the implementation approaches, while factor analysis was used to reduce the social capital variables to six non-correlated factors for subsequent analysis. The Ordinary Least Square (OLS) model was used to analyse the effects of social capital dimensions on investment in three LM practices: bunds, compost and fertilizer. The study showed that the majority of the farmers state that they prefer the mass mobilization approach (which embodies social capital) to implement SWC practices. But farmers also pointed out several shortcomings of the mass mobilization approach (e.g., inefficient in labour utilization, lack of benefit sharing mechanism). The OLS model shows that the different dimensions of social capital affect investments in the LM practices differently. In particular, cooperation and trustworthiness positively influence investments in bunds and fertilizer use, while the extent of participation in formal institutions has a positive effect on fertilizer use and compost. Understanding and making use of these relationships could help in designing and implementing LM policies, strategies and programmes. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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