DRIVING FORCES OF YIELD DIFFERENCES IN SMALL SCALE FOOD CROP FARMING SYSTEM IN ETHIOPIA

Bizualem Assefa (MSc. 06568/05) Gashaw Guben (MSc.06570/05) Metages Belete (MSc.06572/05)

A Seminar Paper Submitted to the Department of Agribusiness and Value-Chain Management, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Jimma University, in Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Course Agribusiness Organization and Management (ABVM 521)

Jimma, Ethiopia June, 2013
i

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
First of all, we would like to serve our great thank for our lovely instructor, Dr. Ravi, who arrange such a kind of opportunity by integrating this seminar as a part of assessment in the course. We also would like to thank our department staffs who have been giving us

important inputs for the accomplishment of this paper. Next to this, we are interested to thank the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness and Value Chain Management head who allowed us to use different facilities. Finally, as a whole, we are not interested to pass the computer centre workers, libertarian workers and our best classmates without giving our deep thanks and respect that have been helping us in completing this seminar paper effectively.

ii

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
ADBG AIDS AISE CSA CUFHs CUFHs DA EEA ESE FAO GDP GoE ha HIV Kg MoA MoARD SNNPR t UNCTAD UNDP UNEP USDA WB WFP African Development Bank Group Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome African Institute of Seed Enterprise Central Statistical Authority Credit Constrained Farm Households Credit Unconstrained Farm Households Development Agent Ethiopian Economic Association Ethiopian Seed Enterprise Food and Agriculture Organization Gross Domestic Product Government of Ethiopia Hectare Human Immune Deficiency Virus Kilogram Ministry of Agriculture Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region Tones United Nations Conference on Trade and Development United Nations Development Program United Nations Environment Program United States Department of Agriculture World Bank World Food Program

iii

TABLE OF CONTENT

Contents
ACKNOWLEDGMENT ...................................................................................................................................... ii LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS ........................................................................................... iii TABLE OF CONTENT ...................................................................................................................................... iv LISTS OF APPENDEX ........................................................................................................................................ v SYNOPSIS ............................................................................................................................................................ vi 1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................ 1 2. DRIVING FORCES OF YIELD DIFFERENCES IN SMALL-SCALE FOOD CROP FARMING SYSTEM ................................................................................................................................................................ 4 2.1 Associating Yield Differences with Farming Inputs and Management Practices ................................. 4 2.1.1 Use of improved or/and certified Seed variety ...................................................................................... 4 2.1.2 Use of inorganic fertilizer technology ................................................................................................... 5 2.1.3 Use of animal droppings ........................................................................................................................ 5 2.1.4 Use of vegetal waste (compost) ............................................................................................................. 5 2.1.5 Forms of residue management and effects on yields ............................................................................. 6 2.1.6 Choice of crops to cultivate and intercropping implications on yields .................................................. 7 2.1.7 The use of Agro-Chemicals ................................................................................................................... 7 2.1.8 Impact of access to credit....................................................................................................................... 8 2.1.9 Constraints facing agricultural extension in Ethiopia ............................................................................ 8 2.2 Change in Rain Fall Amount and Patterns .............................................................................................. 9 2.3 Associating Yield Difference with Irrigation .......................................................................................... 10 2.4 The Impact of Agro-Ecological Variation .............................................................................................. 10 2.5 Yields in Relation to Farm Ownership and Level of Farm Management ............................................ 11 2.6 Impact of HIV/AIDS on Small-Holder Agriculture ............................................................................... 12 2.7 Yields and the Socio-Cultural Dimension of Households ...................................................................... 12 2.7.1 Gender perspectives of yields .............................................................................................................. 12 2.7.2 Other socio-cultural factors ................................................................................................................. 13 2.8 Constraints to Agricultural Productivity in Ethiopia ............................................................................ 13 3. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................... 14 4. RECOMMENDATION .................................................................................................................................. 15 5. REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................................... 16 6. APPENDIX ..................................................................................................................................................... 18

iv

LISTS OF APPENDEX
Appendix Page

Appendix 1 Expected production & distribution of improved seeds by ESE in 2010 (quintals).......... 18 Appendix 2 Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE) and its sales in the year 2006, 2007, and 2008 ............. 18

v

SYNOPSIS
This paper is prepared to review the driving forces of yield differences in small-scale food crop farming system in Ethiopia. Agriculture is the backbone of Ethiopian economy which determines the growth of all other sectors and consequently, the whole national economy. Small-scale crop farming is production on a small-piece of land without using advanced and expensive technologies. Unlike large-scale commercial agriculture, it is characterized by using family pieces of land, traditional lands and smallholdings on the periphery of urban areas, intensive labour and in most cases, animal traction, limited use of agro-chemicals and supply to the local or surrounding markets. In Ethiopia, small-scale farmers make up the majority of food producers. Recognizing that the yields per hectare for main food crops are generally low in small-scale food farming systems, there are considerable differences in yield among individual farmers. The objective of this seminar paper, therefore, is to review the (1) Impact of input, socio economic, climatic and agro ecological forces for food crop yield in Ethiopian small scale farming system, and (2) Constraints of Ethiopian small-scale food crop farming system. Accordingly, the use of inputs, techniques of crop cultivation and sociocultural characteristics of farming households which are factors making a difference in food crop yields are the general issues discussed. The use and appropriate application of basic inputs such as inorganic fertilizers, animal droppings, vegetal waste (compost) improved seeds, herbicides, and pesticides with their proper management do significantly improve yields and determine yield differences. The usage of improved seeds is one of the most efficient ways of raising food crop production. Increased and efficient use of inorganic fertilizers can be considered as a more plausible alternative in Ethiopia to bridge the wide gap of food shortage at least in the immediate future. The use of animal droppings or crop residues helps to improve the soil’s moisture-retention capacity and provides room as well as favourable conditions for the growth of beneficial soil microbes thereby reducing erosion and prevents nutrients from leaching which in turn improves crop yields. Intercropping is the practice of growing more than one crop simultaneously in alternating rows of the same field in aiming at an increase in yield per area of land. Tools such as herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides reduce crop losses both before and after harvest, and increase crop yield. Climate changes affects crop yield through direct impacts on the biophysical factors such as plant and animal growth and the physical infrastructure associated with food processing and distribution. Rain-fall variability causes variations in crop yield in small scale agriculture so that development of irrigation and agricultural water management holds significant potential to improve productivity and reduce vulnerability to climactic volatility. It can also be revealed that crop production in the small-holder farming varies across different agroecological settings. The impact of HIV/AIDS is quite visible in districts that have been hit by the epidemic. The cultural and religious practices and institutions affect interactions of most small-holder farmers. Farmers with informal trainings in farming will obtain higher yields than those that have not. Key constraints to agricultural productivity include low availability of improved seed, lack of seed multiplication capacity, low adoption of fertilizer, lack of transport infrastructure and market access, and lack of irrigation and water management. Therefore, extension services like marketing, agricultural credits, and extension advices directly or indirectly benefit the local communities in increasing the yield if properly applied.

Key words
Commercial Agriculture, Compost, Improved Seed, Inorganic Fertilizer, Intercropping, RainFed Farming, Small-Scale Farming, Subsistence Farming vi

1. INTRODUCTION
Agriculture is the backbone of the Ethiopian economy. This particular sector determines the growth of all other sectors and consequently, the whole national economy. According to World Bank 2007, as cited by Shumet Assefa, 2011), agriculture has accounted for about 30 % of Africa’s GDP and 75% of total employment. According to World Food Program (2009) economic growth of the country highly depends on the agricultural sector, which accounts for 47% of the GDP and more than 90% of exports, and 83% of the total employment, followed by the service and the manufacturing sectors with a share of 39% and 14% of GDP, respectively. On average, crop production makes up 60 percent of the sector’s outputs, whereas livestock accounts for 27 percent and other areas contribute 13 percent of the total agricultural value added. The sector is dominated by small-scale farmers who practice rainfed mixed farming by employing traditional technology, adopting a low input and low output production system. The land tilled by the Ethiopian small-scale farmer accounts for 95 percent of the total area under agricultural use and these farmers are responsible for more than 90 percent of the total agricultural output. Small-scale farmers produce 94 percent of the food crops. Private and state commercial farms produce just 6 percent of food crops. These commercial farms use about 5 percent of the total cultivated land (Atsbaha & Tessema, 2011). With these statistics, one can easily infer to what extent the small-scale farmers are the key element in strengthening the effort towards agricultural growth and consequently to the overall economic growth. Small-scale farming is the production of crops and livestock on a small-piece of land without using advanced and expensive technologies. Though the definition of size of these farms is a source of debate, it can be argued that farming on family pieces of land, on traditional lands and smallholdings on the periphery of urban areas fall in this category. This type of farming is usually characterised by intensive labour and in most cases, animal traction, limited use of agrochemicals and supply to the local or surrounding markets. Unlike large-scale commercial agriculture, it plays a dual role of being a source of household food security as well as income from sale of surplus. Although some claim small-scale agriculture is less efficient in output as compared to commercial agriculture (Kirsten & Van Zyl, 1998), it is ecologically friendly in that less land is cleared for cultivation, there are fewer emissions due to less use of fueldriven machinery and the market is usually local implying less carbon miles. On the other hand permaculturalists and others claim that per unit of area small-scale agriculture is far 1

more productive than commercial agriculture in terms of total output from the piece of land. On traditional lands, the produce is first meant to feed the household thereby contributing to food security. Small-scale farming involves growing crops, at least in part, to be used by an individual family, with farming being a significant source of their livelihood. Subsistence farming: however, implies that farm production is solely for the family’s livelihood and farm products are not sold at a market; most small farmers do sell their crops at local or national markets. Subsistence farming system in Ethiopia could be identified as small and often fragmented land, primitive tools and implements, production geared to personal needs rather than to market, lack of alternatives or seasonal employment opportunities and almost total absence of reserves of either grain or cash (Mertz et al. 2009). Crop Yield or crop productivity is identified as one of the essential indicators for agricultural development and defined as the amount of harvested product per crop area and is normally expressed as kilograms (kg) or metric tonnes (t) of product per hectare (ha) (World Bank, 2010). According to the USDA (as cited by Brenda Dawson, 2011) a small farmer is defined as one that grows and sells between $1,000 and $250,000 per year in agricultural products. In Ethiopia, small-scale farmers make up the majority of food producers. While recognizing that the yields per hectare for main food crops are generally low in small-scale food production systems of Ethiopian agriculture, there are considerable differences in yield output among individual farmers (Atsbaha & Tessema, 2011). At the very local scale, why do these differences exist? By examining factors that are associated with yield differences, policy can be better informed and tailored to respond to challenges of food production among this important group of small-scale farmers. Generally the objective of this seminar paper is to review those driving-forces of yield differences in small-scale food crop farming system in Ethiopia and to give the recommendation as how to policy intervention has to be implemented in lessening those challenges. Specifically this paper aims to review the (1) Impact of input, socio economic, climatic and agro ecological forces for food crop yield in Ethiopian small scale farming system, and (2) Constraints of Ethiopian small-scale food crop farming system.

2

So to what extent the small-scale farmers producing food-products are the key element in strengthening the effort towards agricultural growth there by alleviating the food-insecurity and consequently to the overall economic growth, we are initiated in paying attention to study our seminar paper on the major driving-forces of yield differences in small-scale food crop farming system in Ethiopia. Accordingly, inputs to agriculture, techniques of crop cultivation and socio-cultural characteristics of farming households which are factors making a difference in food crop yields are the major issues which are going to be discussed. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, very important since it equips us for the future scientific research project. The study of this seminar is also important for the government and other concerned bodies to have information about driving forces for yield differences in small scale food crop farming systems. The paper is organized by having introduction, discussion, summary, conclusion and recommendation. Based on this; we have prepared such kind of paper by revising different research results as follows.

3

2. DRIVING FORCES OF YIELD DIFFERENCES IN SMALL-SCALE FOOD CROP FARMING SYSTEM
2.1 Associating Yield Differences with Farming Inputs and Management Practices According to Yengoh (2012), the use of these inputs is neither uniform among small-holder farmers nor constant from one agricultural season to the next. The use of basic inputs such as inorganic fertilizer, animal droppings, vegetal waste (compost) and improved seeds do significantly improve yields. The method of residue management and the control of pests and crop diseases are important in determining yield differences. Small investments that are properly targeted to improve basic techniques of farming can make an appreciable difference in food crop yields and food security at the local level. In small-scale farming systems, the methods of plant residue management and the practice of intercropping are important in determining the availability of nutrients for plant growth. Various studies made in Ethiopia have recognized that an appropriate application of modern farm inputs such as chemical fertilizers, improved seeds and herbicides would increase crop yield and productivity in smallholder farming system (Degefa, 2006). 2.1.1 Use of improved or/and certified Seed variety Farmers who use improved seeds experience substantially better yields relative to those that do not use them. Farmers depend considerably on the quality of seeds for viable crops and a good harvest. The traditional method of saving some of the previous harvest as seed for next year’s planting has gone on for several generations. The usages of improved seeds is one of the most efficient ways of raising food crop production, but in Ethiopia less than 10 percent of farmers use improved seeds. This is partly a supply problem due to the inability of the various suppliers (the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise and other suppliers including international firms such as Pioneer Seed Company and cooperative seed producers) to meet the demand. It is also said that farmers have little working capital and uncertain access to credit, they often cannot afford the cost of improved seed and the fertilizer it requires to achieve its maximum genetic potential and yield. Hence, most farmers use second or later generation seed, thereby reducing harvest potential. Due to this difference in the amount of income farmers owned and the type of seed farmers employed can be factors that vary food crop production by small scale farmers (Yengoh 2012).

4

2.1.2 Use of inorganic fertilizer technology Despite its highest share in the country’s economy, the performance of the small-holder agricultural sector is found to be very poor due to the very low land productivity that gives only an average yield of 1.23 tones/ha for food grains (CSA, 1998b). The short-term means to increase agricultural productivity per unit area is to adopt package of agriculture technologies of which fertilizer is among the main component (Bekele, 2000). According to Berhanu (2000), farmers’ crop production, without doubt, varies due to the variation of the adoption of inorganic fertilizer. Therefore, intensifying small holder agriculture through the use of fertilizer is considered to be a strategic component to boost crop production and productivity. Hence, increased and efficient use of fertilizer can be considered as a more plausible alternative in Ethiopia to bridge the wide gap of food shortage (at least in the immediate future). Recognizing the role of fertilizer in increasing crop yield, the government of Ethiopia has given top priority to the fertilizer this small holder sub-sector 2.1.3 Use of animal droppings
According to Yengoh (2012), the use of animal droppings has the most substantial association

with high yields. Animal wastes bring benefits to the poorly structured, low-nutrient soils. Besides providing more nutrients per unit volume relative to other organic fertilizer sources, animal droppings improve the soil structure through enhancing aeration and preventing compaction. The use of animal droppings therefore helps improve the soil’s moistureretention capacity and provides room as well as favourable conditions for the growth of beneficial soil microbes. Such improvements in structure, microbial composition and chemistry reduce erosion and also help to prevent nutrients from leaching. Therefore, the application of residues can also show variations in the yield of food crop production in small holder farming systems. A report by the United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), (2008) found that organic agriculture increases yields in African countries. 2.1.4 Use of vegetal waste (compost) Techane (2002) reported that, using organic manure to the required level will probably reduce the chemical fertilizer adoption. While the use of animal droppings may be seen as insufficient with limited access to chemical fertilizers, the use of plant residues in terms of compost is even lower. Farmers have 5

the potential of generating appreciable amounts of vegetal waste products that can serve as inputs to farming activities through a variety of means. Vegetal matter with potential use as farm inputs can be derived from accumulated household kitchen debris and from farms after weeding and harvesting of crops. By converting these products into compost and using it on farms, farmers may reduce and in some cases even provide all of their fertilization needs so efforts by local authorities and local farming organizations at promoting the production and use of compost as a source of farm fertilizer brings in yield difference in small holder food crop farming Yengoh, (2012). 2.1.5 Forms of residue management and effects on yields I. Burying of plant material below crop-bearing ridges

In this case, cleared vegetation is allowed to partially decompose at the surface of the farm. The decomposed vegetation is then gathered and laid in lines that eventually serve as ridges for seasonal crops. Soil from between these lines of decomposing vegetation is used to cover them, thereby forming the ridges. The vegetation continues to decay within these ridges for another 1 to 2 months before crops are planted on them. The lines of furrows from where the soil has been taken to form ridges for one season become ridges in the next planting season when crop residues are placed in them and soil from previous ridges is used to cover the residue. II. Localized surface burning of plant material

This is a localized process of burning plant residue on the farm with the goal of temporarily increasing fertility on a small patch and exploiting it for particular crops. Surface burning is more predominant where plant residue is plentiful and the process of burying all of it before burning is time and labour demanding. This is the case among small-scale farmers in the equatorial regions and its fringes, where above-ground biomass is usually plentiful. Burning is also the preferred choice for clearing the farm when farmers have limited time to prepare the farms for planting before impending rains. III. Burying and burning of plant

It is the process of burning dry plant residue under a thin layer of soil. It is a localized process practiced mainly among small-scale farmers and may involve either one ridge or a few ridges of a farm. Farmers see it as a process of concentrating plant nutrients on limited spots to optimize their use in high nutrient-demanding crops. The burning of plant residue 6

underground resulted in significantly higher yields when compared with other methods of residue management at all fertilizer levels 2.1.6 Choice of crops to cultivate and intercropping implications on yields Mixed cropping is the practice of growing more than one crop in a field at a given time. Intercropping is the practice of growing more than one crop simultaneously in alternating rows of the same field (Jonathan & Carlson, 2008). Intercropping is therefore a type of mixed cropping. It explains that intercropping in Ethiopian is a way to grow crops while obtaining several benefits from the additional crop. One of the main benefits of intercropping is an increase in yield per area of land. It is a common feature of smallholder agriculture in Ethiopia. While the crop combinations with which intercropping are practiced differ from one agro-ecological zone to the next, many characteristics of this practice are the same nationwide. Most intercrop mixes contain one leguminous crop. Crops within an intercrop are selected based on their importance for household consumption; the more market-oriented the farming, the less the variety of crops in the intercrop. While there are cases where food crops are intercropped with cash crops, the practice is predominantly carried out by food crop farmers. 2.1.7 The use of Agro-Chemicals According to the FAO, some 20 to 40 percent of the world's potential crop production is already lost annually because of the effects of weeds, pests and diseases. Even after harvest, crops are subject to attack by pests or diseases. Bugs, rodents or molds can harm grains. In addition to increasing crop yields, crop protection used in stored products can also prolong the viable life of produce, prevent huge post-harvest losses from pests and diseases, and protect food so it is safe to eat. Tools such as herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides reduce crop losses both before and after harvest, and increase crop yields. The use of herbicides and other agro-chemicals is still very low in Ethiopia. According to AISE (2009), the total sales of 2,4D, the main herbicide, by the AISE in 2009 were 340 013 liters, while sales of Malathion and Endosulfan were only 1 917 and 7 384 liters, respectively. Among the benefits of using pesticides for crop protection is that these products are vital to increasing food production.

7

2.1.8 Impact of access to credit According to the Ethiopian Journal of Economics Vol. 15 (1) 2006, credit constraint in agriculture affects not only the purchasing power of producers to procure farm inputs and to cover operating costs in the short run, but also their capacity to make farm-related investments as well as risk behavior in technology choice and adoption. These, in turn, influence technical efficiencies of the farmers. By estimating technical efficiency of creditconstrained (CCFHs) and unconstrained farm households (CUFHs) by employing a stochastic frontier technique on farm household survey data from Southeastern Ethiopia; the Credit Constrained Farm Households had mean technical efficiency score of 12% less than that of the Credit unconstrained farm households. Given the largest proportion of CCFHs in Ethiopian farming population, this gap implies considerable potential loss in output due to inefficient production. Improving technical efficiency of all farm households in general but more of particularly the CCFHs is desirable. 2.1.9 Constraints facing agricultural extension in Ethiopia A recent report from the FAO (1996) indicated that many small-scale farmers were not being reached by agricultural extension, although approximately 75% of the worlds' farmers are small-scale, resource poor farmers. The report suggested that in some instances agricultural extension services reported reaching one out of three farmers in Africa. In other areas such as the Near East, the report stated that one out of seven farmers had been reached by the extension services. According to Biratu, Gizachew Kebede (2008), a good agricultural extension system accepts and incorporates farmers’ traditional knowledge in research processes and sees farmers as partners during decision making. However, in most cases the problem with science in agriculture and extension is that it has a poor understanding of the knowledge from very poor, indigenous rural people. For many scientists, in order to develop those rural people, formal research and extension has to transform their knowledge into another knowledge system, because their knowledge is considered as unscientific and primitive. This is true when it comes to the case of agricultural extension in Ethiopia (Roling and Pretty, 1997). Agricultural research in Ethiopia is poorly linked to extension (Belay, 2003; EEA, 2006; Wale and Yalew, 2007) because of the fact that extension and research activities have been

8

carried out under different institutions with zero or minimal coordination between them (Belay, 2002). Agricultural extension agents in Ethiopia are involved in different activities which are not necessarily related to their normal work such as collection of fertilizer credit, being government spokesmen, or agents for other government bureaus and this will highly affect their relation with the farmers. When agricultural extension is in place in one area, more or less there are some basic elements that come together for agricultural development. Some of these are marketing, agricultural credits, and extension advices (Belay, 2003). Therefore such elements of agricultural extension directly or indirectly benefit the local communities in increasing the yield if properly applied. 2.2 Change in Rain Fall Amount and Patterns Climate changes affects crop production through direct impacts on the biophysical factors such as plant and animal growth and the physical infrastructure associated with food processing and distribution (Schmidhuber and Tubiello, 2007). Accordingly some impacts of climate change are occurring more rapidly than previously anticipated (Parry et al., 2007 as cited by Oyiga Benedict Chijioke et al., 2011). Ethiopian agriculture is mostly rain-fed, whereas inter-annual and seasonal rainfall variability is high and droughts are frequent in many parts of the country. According to Svein Ege, et al., (2009), inter-annual and seasonal variability of rainfall are a major cause of difference in production of cereals in the small-holder farming system of Ethiopian agriculture. The patterns of inter-annual variability in productions of the six major cereals (teff, barley, wheat, maize, sorghum and millet) cultivated in the region show similar patterns of inter-annual variability in the seasonal or annual rainfall amounts. Productions of teff, barley and wheat show stronger correlations with the kiremt rainfall while sorghum production is more strongly correlated with belg rainfall. Maize appears to require a more even distribution of rainfall throughout the belg and kiremt seasons. Sorghum shows the largest year-to-year variability as it is cultivated in semi-arid and arid parts of the region where rainfall variability is high. Productions of the cereals also showed statistically significant correlations with each other, suggesting that rainfall is the common yield-limiting factor as use of chemical fertilizers and other agricultural inputs is limited. The fact that there are high correlations between cereal production and rainfall suggest that farmers are vulnerable to food insecurity related to rainfall variability. Thus there is a need for water resources development including household 9

level rainwater harvesting for crop production. In 2009, due to poor belg rains, it proved difficult to maintain supplies of sweet potato vines in SNNPR, which reduced the amount of this high-yielding crop that could be planted. Enset or false banana is an important crop in Gurage and other areas south of Addis Ababa. Due to a succession of poor seasons, overharvesting of this staple food was reported. Sesame crops in Amhara and Tigray were generally good, as this crop has low rainfall requirements. Some wind damage was reported from the Humera area and this caused shelling of the crop close to harvest. The high quality of Ethiopian sesame is widely recognized on international markets (Woldeamlak, 2009). According to MoA (2000), rain-fed crop production is the basis of all subsistence farming in most parts of the country and accounts for more than 95% for the land area cultivated annually. In general the rain-fall variability causes a variation in the crop yield in small scale agriculture. 2.3 Associating Yield Difference with Irrigation Although Ethiopia has abundant rainfall and water resources, its agricultural system does not yet fully benefit from the technologies of water management and irrigation. According to (Demese, et al., 2009), the current yield levels by rural smallholders is not able to produce to fulfill their minimum food requirements since one-third of the rural household owns less than 0.5 ha of farming land that are dependent on rain fed agriculture system. The international Water Management Institute explains that the development of irrigation and agricultural water management holds significant potential to improve productivity and reduce vulnerability to climactic volatility in any country. Therefore, improved water management for agriculture has many potential benefits in efforts to reduce vulnerability and improve productivity (Sileshi & Awulachew, 2010). 2.4 The Impact of Agro-Ecological Variation Ethiopia has diverse agro-ecological environments in which that are defined based on temperature and moisture regimes (MoA, 2000). Accordingly, Ethiopia has 30 agro ecological zones. Around 55 percent of the total land area constitutes moisture-stressed arid, semi-arid and submoist areas with less than 120 days of crop growing period. These drier areas are commonly 10

low in soil fertility and high in rainfall variability and drought risk. Areas with a longer and dependable period with minimum of 120 crop growing days are found in the remaining 45 percent of the total land area, particularly in the highlands (ADBG, 2008). Though the diverse agro-ecological setting permits diverse farming and livelihood systems, crop production is by far the largest component of the agricultural economy. Out of the total arable land of 50.5 million hectares, close to 16.4 million hectares are suitable for producing annual and perennial crops. Of this estimated land area about 8 million hectares (nearly 50%) are used annually for rain-fed small holders crops (Tadesse et al, 2009). According to this report the existence of diverse agro-ecological conditions enables Ethiopia to grow a large variety of crops including cereals (teff , maize, sorghum, wheat, barley, millet, oats, etc), pulses (horse beans, field peas, lentils, chick-peas, haricot beans, vetch, etc), oil seeds (linseed, Niger-seed, fenugreek, rapeseed, sunflower, castor bean, groundnuts, etc), spices & herbs (pepper, garlic, ginger, mustard, etc), stimulants (coffee, tea, chat, tobacco, etc), fruits(banana, orange, grape, papaya, lemon, menderin, apple, pineapple, mango, avocado, etc), sugarcane, fibers (cotton, sisal, etc), vegetables (onion, tomato, carrot, cabbage, etc), root and tuber crops (potato, inset, sweet- potatoes, beets, yams, etc). The 1994 agricultural sample survey, as cited in the report, indicates that the average yield of all crops at the national level was about 10 quintals per hectare while the average yield of cereals, pulses and other crops was about ten, nine and three quintals per hectare respectively (CSA, 1995). From this it can be revealed that agricultural crop production in the small holder farming varies across different agro-ecological settings. 2.5 Yields in Relation to Farm Ownership and Level of Farm Management Yield differences are mirrored in the system of farm ownership and management. Land, the most basic resource for peasant life, is under the hands of most government officials (land lords) and at the same time this officials directed development where they had a great deal of land. However, the majorities of the peasants were landless or use a small and fragmented farm lands. Most peasants cultivate an area of land that is too small, often less than one hectare. Even this small holding is fragmented in to two or four or even more plots. The small holdings are limited by either inheritance or the peasants’ capacity which in turn is determined by the available labour and oxen-power. Most of the households included in northern Ethiopia are small holder farmers who have on average less than two hectares of land. Land is of highly different quality in different districts of northern Ethiopia. Besides 11

land is state owned and farmers are not allowed to buy and sell land. They can only obtain land from the local peasant associations (Yezihalem, 2012). Therefore variation of the land ownership by small-holder farmers will bring a difference in the yield of the food crop production. 2.6 Impact of HIV/AIDS on Small-Holder Agriculture According to Lori Bollinger et.al, 2007 the impact of HIV/AIDS can also be seen on the agricultural sector. In Ethiopian economy, agriculture is the largest sector accounting for a large portion of production and a majority of employment. This study has shown that AIDS will have adverse effects on agriculture, including loss of labor supply and remittance income. The seriousness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ethiopia is widely acknowledged. The disease is taking its toll on life expectancy and is undermining the country’s efforts to reduce poverty. The impact of HIV/AIDS on the agricultural sector is quite visible in districts that have been hard hit by the epidemic. Since most agricultural activities take place in rural areas, where farmers mainly using labor intensive techniques live, and have been much vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, it has resulted into decline of agricultural production in general, and food production in particular. Many communities whose source of income, food and general livelihood is agriculture have registered negative growth due to HIV/AIDS (Yezihalem, 2012). 2.7 Yields and the Socio-Cultural Dimension of Households 2.7.1 Gender perspectives of yields Women form an important population among small-scale farmers and play an indispensable role in food crop production. Addressing constraints to their access to food production resources (physical, financial, cultural, legal) would be a vital step towards sustainably improving food production. There has been an encouragement for the inclusion of elements of gender into the framework of systems to support the development of Africa’s Green Revolution. The mean yield from male-managed farms was 1.8 tons/hectare of maize relative to just below 1 ton/hectare from female-managed farms Yengoh (2012). Accordingly, the mean yield of 1 ton/hectare for female-managed farms has to be appreciated within the context of the overall data spread: about 60% of female farmers have yields that are at or

12

below the 25th percentile. These lower yields on female managed farms are a reflection of the differences in factors of agricultural production (inputs and management) between genders. 2.7.2 Other socio-cultural factors There is an Ethiopian saying that: No crown without the poor, No food without the peasant. From this saying, one can simply understand that, in Ethiopia agriculture has been simply a way, for many the only way, of life and not a business enterprise. Ideally, the farmer is supposed to produce everything that he requires for himself and others (Mesfin, 1984). However, it should be borne in mind that farmers’ productivity is associated with a number of different factors. According to Yezihalem Tesfa (2012), the following are, therefore, the major critical religious factors that jeopardize agricultural productivity in Ethiopia. Strong and deep-rooted religious and cultural practices by the bulk of Ethiopian farmers are one of the serious factors for low agricultural productivity. These cultural and religious practices and institutions negatively affect the overall interactions of most of the small-holder farmers in a subsistence production system of Ethiopian agriculture. Variation in the educational level of farmers can also make a yield difference in small holder farming. Education that can have a meaningful impact on agricultural productivity may not necessarily be formal. Opportunities for learning and skills development can make a difference. Farmers that have undergone some informal training in farming will generally obtain significantly higher yields than those that have not. 2.8 Constraints to Agricultural Productivity in Ethiopia According to Leigh Anderson, Mary Kay Gugerty, (2010), Key constraints to agricultural productivity in Ethiopia include low availability of improved or hybrid seed, lack of seed multiplication capacity, low profitability and efficiency of fertilizer use due to the lack of complimentary improved practices and seed, and lack of irrigation and water constraints. In addition, lack of transport infrastructure and market access decrease the profitability of adopting improved practices. Investments in productivity increases higher up the food value chain, such as through marketing and transportation infrastructure, would increase prices farmers receive for output while also putting downward pressure on urban food prices. Higher producer prices would create incentives for farmers to invest in productivity increasing technologies since output increases would offer substantial gains. Lack of reliable data also poses a critical constraint to understanding the potential for productivity gains in Ethiopia. 13

3. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
At the local level, food crop yields in small-scale farming systems are determined by a number of factors. These include inputs to agriculture, techniques of crop cultivation and socio-cultural characteristics of farming households. These factors work in union to determine yield levels in a number of ways. Yield differences among farming households are associated with the use of some basic inputs and practices. By proliferating and optimizing these technologies, so that more farmers can use them more efficiently, the productivity of many farming households can be improved. Other technologies such as inorganic fertilizers and improved seeds are used in small-scale local settings, albeit neither widely nor optimally, and contribute to yield differences among farmers. The production of these technologies especially inorganic fertilizers and their market dynamics are beyond the control of smallscale farmers at local level. While the use of inorganic fertilizers can be essential in replenishing macro-nutrient deficiencies among many nutrient-poor soils, access to them is constrained by high financial costs for small-scale farmers. Being a human-managed system, the socioeconomic dimension of food crop production is as important as the management dimension. A key factor in this dimension is the place for and role of women in food crop production among small-scale farming communities. Achieving and sustaining food security in the long run will not be feasible without addressing the gender imbalance in access to land rights, agricultural inputs and investment opportunities. Such initiatives can be complemented by the import of agricultural production skills at the local scale through available technologies and tested processes.

14

4. RECOMMENDATION
In general, the following recommendations and/or policy implications are assumed to be helpful for improvement of Ethiopian small-scale food crop farmers. We would like to positively recommend to the concerned bodies the availability of improved seed, awareness about profitability and efficiency of fertilizer use, complimentary management practices, irrigation, transport infrastructure and market access which increase the profitability of adopting and application of local and improved technologies and avoiding those challenges of the agriculture sector in increasing the productivity of food crop production in the small-holder farming system. Therefore, agricultural extension services like marketing, agricultural credits, and extension advices should be given to the local farmers. Intensifying small-holder agriculture through the use of fertilizer and other inputs should be considered to be a strategic component of Ethiopian agriculture to boost crop production and productivity. Hence, increased and efficient use of fertilizer can be considered as a more plausible alternative in Ethiopia to bridge the wide gap of food shortage at least in the immediate future so that recognizing the role of fertilizer in increasing crop yield, the government of Ethiopia must give top priority to the fertilizer sub-sector and should distribute sufficient amount of fertilizer for the farmers on time with full awareness about how to use it through training.

15

5. REFERENCES
Abesha, D., Waktola, A. and Aune, J. B. (2000). Agricultural Extension in the Dry-lands of Ethiopia. Drylands Coordination Groups (DCG). Atsbaha Gebre-Selassie, Tessema Bekele 2011. A Review of Ethiopian Agriculture: Roles, Policy and Small-scale Farming Systems Belay, K. (2003). Agricultural Extension in Ethiopia: The Case of ParticipatoryDemonstration and Training Extension System. Journal of social Development inAfrica, 18(1): 49-83 Belay, K. (2002). Constraints to agricultural extension work in Ethiopia: the insiders’ view.South African Journal of Agricultural Extension 31 Biratu, Gizachew Kebede (2008). Agricultural Extension and Its Impact on Food Crop Diversity and the Livelihood of Farmers in Guduru, Eastern Wollega, Ethiopia. Birkhaeuser, D., Evenson, R. E., and Feder, G. (1991). The Economic Impact of Agricultural Extension: A Review. Economic Development and Cultural Change 39(3): 607-650. Degefa, T. (2006). Combining household qualitative data and quantitative data in food security research. Working paper on population and land use in central Ethiopia, no-5, 17p. Degefa, T. (2006). Household Food Insecurity Seasonality in Oromiya Zone in Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa, Research Report no.26 Demese, et al (2009). Comprehensive Africa AgricultureDevelopment Program Ethiopia Study. Addis Ababa: MoARD. EEA, (2006). Evaluation of the Ethiopian Agricultural Extension with Particular Emphasis on the Participatory Demonstration and Training Extension System (PADETS). Ethiopian Economic Association/Ethiopian Economic Policy research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. EEA, (2005). Transformation of Ethiopian Agriculture: Potentials, Constraints and Suggested in Measures. Report on the Ethiopian Economy. Ethiopian Economic Association, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. FAO, (2007). Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture World Food Programme. Special report on FAO/WFP crop and food supply assessment in Ethiopia. Accessed on 02/03/2007 fromftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/j9325e/j9325e00.pdf Genesis T Yengoh, (2012). Agriculture & Food Security Determinants of yield differences in small-scale food crop farming systems Getinet kebede (2011). Linking small-scale irrigation and household food Security in drought prone area of north east Ethiopia: a case study of Alawuha irrigation Scheme in Gubalafto woreda, north wollo zone. HH Komicha, B Öhlmer, (2006). the Ethiopian journal of economics Vol. 15 (1) effect of credit constraint on production efficiency of farm households in south-eastern Ethiopia Jennifer E. Taylor (1998). an Exploratory Literature Review of Efforts to Help the Smallscale, Resource Poor Farmer in International Agricultural Development J.F. Kirsten and J. Van Zyl1, (1998). defining small-scale farmers in the south African context

16

Jonathan D. Carlson (2008). Intercropping with Maize in Sub-arid Regions Community Planning & Analysis Technical Brief Leigb Anderson and Mary Kay Guerty (2o10), yield gap and productivity potential in Ethiopian agriculture. Lori Bollinger et.al. (September 1999E.C) “The Economic Impact of AIDS in Ethiopia”, The Futures Group International in collaboration with: Research Triangle Institute (RTI) the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CED). P,3 Ministry of Agriculture Department of Extension and Cooperatives, (September 1998), Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization. M.L. Parry, O.F. Canziani, J.P. Palutik of, Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change P.J. vander Linden and C.E. Hanson, Eds. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 976 pp Mertz et al. 2009; Hassan, Scholes, and Ash (2005). Giller and Palm 2004). small scale farming and shifting cultivation Oyiga Benedict Chijioke et al., (2011) implication of climate change on crop yield and food accessibility in sub Saharan Africa , interdisciplinary term paper, ZEF doctoral studies program Roling, N. and Pretty, J. N. (1997). Extension’s role in sustainable agricultural development: Emerging challenges for sustainable agriculture. In Swanson, B.E.,Bentz, R.P., and Sofranko, A.J.(eds). Improving agricultural extension. A reference manual. FAO, Rome, Italy. Schmidhuber, J., and F.N. Tubiello, (2007). Global food security under climate change. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 104, 19703-19708, doi:10.1073/pnas.0701976104 Shumet Asefa (June 2011). Mekelle University Online at http://mpra.ub.unimuenchen.de/40461/ MPRA Paper No. 40461 posted 6. August 2012 13:41 UTC Sileshi Bekele Awlachew (2010). the international water management institute, Irrigation potential in Ethiopia Constraints and opportunities for enhancing the system State University Sasakawa Global (2000). Grain Marketing Research Project/Michigan Svein Ege, et al (2009). Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies Volume 1 Printed in Norway by NTNU-trykk, Trondheim T.Tadesse et al., (March 2013). Impact of rainwater management on growth and yield of rainfed lowland rice Wale, E. and Yalew, A. 2007. Farmers’ Variety Attribute Preferences: Implication for Breeding Priority Settings and Agricultural Extension Policy in Ethiopia. African Development Bank, 379-396 Yezihalem Tesfa Dagnaw, (2012). Critical Factors Hampering Agricultural Productivity in Ethiopia: The Case of Northern Ethiopian Farmers

17

6. APPENDIX
Appendix 1 Expected production & distribution of improved seeds by ESE in 2010 (quintals) Amhara Oromia Crops Wheat 98 293 137 610 Maize (hybrid only) 19 029 12 115 Sorghum 554 680 Barley 3 927 11 227 Teff 7 214 8 160 Field peas 114 169 Faba bean 1 501 1 592 Haricot bean 147 720 Soya bean 187 826 Chick peas 3 008 2 557 Lentil 30 34 Source: Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE) SNNP 98 293 21 963 127 2 717 2 966 73 637 736 80 376 2 Tigray 39 317 56 206 1 482 4 302 87 773 25 240 1 429 18 Others 19 658 6 395 16 14 46 8 150 2 Total 393 172 59 558 1 583 19 365 22 642 4 4 549 1 636 1 333 7 520 86

Appendix 2 Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE) and its sales in the year 2006, 2007, and 2008 Crops 2006 Wheat 115 888 Maize (hybrid) 35 082 Maize (composite) 11 568 Maize total 46 650 Sorghum 139 Barley 10 023 Teff 3 527 Field peas 796 Faba bean 2 232 Haricot bean 4 369 Soya bean 812 Chick peas 2 208 Lentils 1 884 Source: Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE) 2007 75 602 50 554 4 194 54 748 279 6 355 5 816 1 388 2 720 2 238 1 705 1 346 664 2008 121 749 36 167 5 767 41 934 787 6 457 6 541 1 003 3 438 1 925 469 2 795 1 177

18

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful