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Impact of Degraded Hillside Plantation on the Livelihoods of Land-Poor Farmers in Tigray, Ethiopia


Smallholder farmers in the northern highlands of Ethiopia used to face difficulties to sustain their lives.  As a response to this situation, degraded hillsides have been allocated to landless farmers for tree planting since the last two decades. The study was therefore aimed at assessing the impact of hillside plantation on the livelihoods of landless farmers in eastern Tigray. Pretested interviews, focus group discussions and transect walks were employed to generate the required information from103 randomly selected households. Matched-pair design was run on crop yield, TLU and income to test differences between 2001 and 2009. ANOVA was also estimated to investigate the level of variation on same variables among the study villages. Regression analysis, lastly, was used to capture variables determining hillside management. The result showed that beneficiaries obtained between Birr 4,064.64 and Birr 4208.16 per hectare on previously degraded hillsides whose opportunity cost was nearly zero. Benefits of hillside plantation increased crop yield, livestock productivity and cash income significantly. Male-headed household, good TLU size, age of household heads, distance to labour market and land security had a positive impact on management of hillside plantation. However, the study uncovered that hillside plantation was challenged by moisture stress, livestock encroachment and traditional gold mining. In conclusion, tree planting brought a positive impact on the livelihoods of land-poor farmers. Therefore, distribution of degraded hillsides for tree planting can be recommended for other regions where extreme shortage of cultivable land and land degradation persist with certain adjustments on the socio-economic consequence of non-beneficiaries

Corporate Author: 
Worku Gebeyehu and Demirew Getachew (Editors); Ethiopia Economics Association
Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: 

Livelihood strategies

Secondary Descriptor: 

Landlessness, Hillside plantation

Geographic Descriptors: 
Ethiopia - Tigray
Cataloge Date: 
Broad Subject heading: 
Land fragmentation
Serial Key Title: 
Proceedings of the first Regional Conference of the Tigray Regional State Economic Development
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Publication date: 
2013-03-01 00:00:00
Conference Place: 
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: 
Current frequency: 
Chapter conference: 
Conference date: 
July 14, 2012