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Structural Soil and Water Conservation Practices in Farta District, North Western Ethiopia: An Investigation on Factors Influencing Continued Use

A Birhanu, D Meseret

Abstract


Soil degradation is one of the most serious environmental problems in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian highlands have been experiencing declining soil fertility and severe soil erosion due to intensive farming on steep and fragile lands and other factors attributed to population pressure. Although different soil and water conservation structures have extensively been  introduced over the past decades, sustained use of the measures was not
as expected. The limited success of those efforts highlights the need to better understand the factors that influence sustainable use of structural soil and water conservation measures. This study used logistic model to investigate the major factors influencing the continued use of structural soil and water conservation measures in Farta district. Both purposive and simple random sampling techniques were applied to select sample kebeles
and representative households respectively. Data collected from 162 sample households were used to estimate the logistic model. The result shows that only 47.2 percent of the respondents continually used the structural conservation measures and the remaining were not due to different determinant factors, of which perception of farmers on erosion and technology profitability was the major factor followed by institutional factors including tenure security, extension contact, access to training and membership in local organizations. Therefore, plan for intervention in soil conservation and sustainable use of measures should recognize these heterogeneous conditions and farmers’ preferences.



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