Momona Ethiopian Journal of Science

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Measuring on Farm Diversity and Determinants of Barley Diversity in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

F Abay, A Bjørnstad, M Smale


Maintaining on-farm diversity of crop varieties has received increasing attention as a strategy for mitigating production risk and protecting food security in resource-poor farming systems with few opportunities for insurance or trade. Barley is grown under a wide range of environmental conditions and in marginal areas or seasons where the production of other cereals is limited. Food consumption preferences and variable tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses influence the mixture and number of varieties to be grown. Phenotypic diversity was determined using Shannon diversity index. An econometric approach has been applied to identify the social and economic factors that influence levels of diversity maintained on-farm.
A high phenotypic diversity index (0.79) was recorded from sampled barley varieties. Censored regression indicates that physical characteristics of the farm (land fragmentation index, farm size), agro climatic features of the site (altitude, rainfall, temperature) and household characteristics (only number of children) had a significant and positive impact on diversity and area allocation of barley. The significant negative relation of number of extension contact with barley diversity implies further attention and analysis.

Key words: On farm diversity, Determinants of diversity, On farm conservation, Diversity index
AJOL African Journals Online