The Ethiopian small-scale farmer S30
World Vision of Ethiopia. P.O.Box 3330, Addis Ababa.
|The indigenous agricultural practices of
Ethiopia which is characterized as a low input, low output option have it's own merits and
demerits. One thing is clear. however, that the small-scale resources-poor farmers (about
95% of the 5 million farming community in the country prefer it for reasons of risk
aversion and because the practices are »farm tested« and »time tested«. These farmers
prefer a »sure« low output than a »risky''high output. The conventional modern
agriculture production methods on the other-hand are the high external input high output
alternative in the short term perspective.These same farmers refute such undertakings for
several reasons amongst which affordability is the most important.They doubt if the
practices can be productive in their down-stream condition - moisture stressed,
disease/pest infested and soil fertility mined/washed away - after indulging in enormous
debt. A cheaper, local resource based alternative capable of higher productivity is in
desperate need by these farmers. This paper identifies the bio-dynamic farming and
bio-intensive gardening techniques to address the option. Several techniques geared
towards water harvesting, organic farming and organic fertilization are identified and
examples of production modules that incorporates the techniques for different ecological,
financial and cultural setting designed.
DrinkWater, M.(1994): Knowledge consciencsness and prejudice: adaptive agricultural research in Zambia. Beyond farmers first, Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd., London, P. 32-41.
Getachew, Y. (1994): Intensive Organic Farming: Most Likely Alternative to Feed the Most Food Deficit Nation (Ethiopia). Paper presented at 10th IFOAM conference, New Zealand, December 1994.
Pretty, J.N. (1994b): Regenerating Agriculture:policies and practice for sustainable growth and self-reliance - Earthscan Publications Ltd., London.