Farmers’ Perceptions of Land Productivity and Degradation, and Major Practices of Land Management in Habru Woreda, North Wollo Zone, Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia
This study assesses farmers' perceptions of farmland productivity and land degradation, and land management practices in Habru woreda, north Wollo zone, Amhara national regional state, northern Ethiopia. The study employed survey research design. Data were gathered from 215 randomly selected sample respondents, 12 key informant interviewees, and 8 focus group discussion participants from 4 purposively selected representative kebeles based on agroecology and land degradation. Descriptive analysis was employed for the quantitative data using SPSS software version 17. Accordingly, about 36% and 34% of sample respondents perceived their farmlands' productivity as very good and good, respectively. Land degradation was perceived by about 62.3% of sample respondents as severe and by 32.1% of them as moderate. Farmers used traditional and introduced management practices namely check dams, stone/soil bunds, application of manure, tree planting, contour ploughing and fallowing either per se or in combinations. Recently, Participatory Safety Net Program was implemented being derived by self-motivation and by incentives of the program as reported by 65.1% of 32.1% of sample respondents in the study area, respectively. Despite these endeavours, rainfall variability, land degradation, weeds and pests, delay in agricultural inputs, and traditional farming practices are reported as among major challenges of agricultural production. Therefore, it calls for demand driven interventions not only to avert short term challenges encountered by the farming community but also towards sustainable land management, poverty reduction, food security and livelihood development.
Keywords: Farmers' Perceptions; Habru Woreda; Land Degradation; Land Management Practices; Land Productivity