Lessons From Watershed-Based Climate Smart Agricultural Practices In Jogo-Gudedo Watershed, Ethiopia
Abera Assefa, Fitih Ademe
Key words: Watershed management, climate smart agriculture, stakeholders, soil erosion, conservation tillage, Action research
Abstract: Land degradation is the most chronic problem in the Ethiopia. Soil erosion and denudation of vegetation covers are tending to enlarge the area of degraded and west land in semi-arid watersheds. It is, therefore, watershed management is believed as a holistic approach to create a climate smart landscape that integrate forestry, agriculture, pasture and soil water management, with an objective of sustainable management of natural resources to improve livelihood. This approach pursues to promote interactions among multiple stakeholders and their interests within and between the upstream and downstream locations of a watershed. Melkassa Agricultural Research Centre (MARC) has been implementing integrated watershed management research project in the Jogo-gudedo watershed from 2010-2014 and lessons from Jogo-gudedo watershed are presented in this research report. Participatory action research (PAR) was implemented on Soil and Water Conservation (SWC), area enclosure, Agroforestry (AF), Conservation Tillage (CT), energy saving stove, drought resistance crop varieties in the Jogo-gudedo watershed. Empirical research and action research at plot level and evaluation of introduced technologies with farmers through experimental learning approach and documentation were employed. The participatory evaluation and collective action of SWC and improved practices brought high degree of acceptance of the practices and technologies. This had been ratified by the implementation of comprehensive watershed management action research which in turn enabled to taste and exploit benefits of climate-smart agricultural practices. Eventually, significant reduction on soil loss and fuel wood consumption, improvements on vegetation cover and crop production were quantitatively recorded as a good indicator and success. Field visit, meetings, trainings and frequent dialogues between practitioners and communities at watershed level have had a help in promoting the climate smart agriculture practices and improving productivity that could help to improve the livelihoods of the local people and sustainable watershed resource management.
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