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Improving agricultural productivity on salt-affected soils in Ethiopia: Farmers’ perceptions and proposals

This paper presents the results of a baseline study carried out to understand farmers’ perceptions about the existence of salinity in their farmlands and its impact on agricultural production and household food security.‎ The strategies adopted by farmers to deal with the salinity and food insecurity problems are also discussed.‎ The survey data were collected from a total of 300 farmers from five districts of Ethiopia.‎ Farmers were selected using a random sampling from a household list.‎ Focus Group Discussions were conducted with farmers in each district to investigate their perceptions of the soil salinity, its impacts and their adaptive strategies.‎ Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS descriptive statistics and chi-square test.‎ Farmers’ responses showed that they were concerned about increasing soil salinity problems and its impact on their crop productivity and well-being.‎ The results show that observing white crust and dark brown color of the soil are the major indicators used by farmers to identify salinity on their fields.‎ Poor irrigation and drainage management problems are perceived as the main causes for salinity development.‎ Salinity directly effects crop productivity and household incomes, which leads to food insecurity.‎ The crop production losses due to soil salinity ranged from 10 to 70%.‎ Performing off-farm jobs, selling household assets and joining food aid programs are the common coping strategies adopted by farmers.‎ Farmers’ perceptions on salinity should be used as an entry point by different stakeholders to develop strategies for the salt-affected areas.‎

Authors: 
Asad S.‎ Qureshi, Mulugeta Mohammed, Ashenafi W.‎ Daba, Birhanu Hailu, Getinet Belay, Abeba Tesfaye and Tesfaye M.‎ Ertebo
Year: 
۲۰۱۹
Publication type: 
Scientific Paper
Publication Source: 
African Journal of Agricultural Research
Volume/Chapter/Issue: 
۱٤
Page Number: 
۸۹۷-۹۰٦
ISBN: 
۱۹۹۱-٦۳۷X