FARMERS’ DECISION TO ADOPT WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN GIBE BASIN, SOUTHWEST ETHIOPIA

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Abstract

Watershed management practices have been implemented to avert land degradation and to enhance people’s livelihoods in the highlands of Ethiopia for several years. However, the successes of these practices have been quite limited and the main factors affecting these practices have not been examined in detail. This study intended to investigate rates and intensities of adoption of watershed management practices and to determine the main factors affecting farmers’ adoption decisions in the upper Gibe basin. Data were collected from 304 household heads in six sub catchments across different topographic settings using household interview. Focus groups discussions, key informant interviews and transect walk observations were also used. Descriptive statistics and econometric models such as, multivariate and ordered probit were used to analyze the data. The results revealed that the majority of households (82.6 percent) used at least one of the six practices considered in this study. Soil bund, grass strip cultivation with soil bund and compost were the major watershed management practices adopted by farmers. Adoption rate and intensity of adoption were better for program participants and in upper and middle topographic settings. The results of the multivariate and ordered probit analysis indicated that household size, extension services, credit services, training services and perception of soil erosion had positive significant relationship with both rate and intensity of adoption of most practices. Hence, policy makers and planners need to consider labor, knowledge and awareness, and capital intensive nature of the practices for the up scaling planning and implementations of watershed intervention technologies.

FARMERS’ DECISION TO ADOPT WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN GIBE BASIN, SOUTHWEST ETHIOPIA