Fruit Based Farming System and Threatened Landscape in the Wetlands of Abaya Chamo Basin, Southern Ethiopia

Fruit Based Farming System and Threatened Landscape in the Wetlands of Abaya Chamo Basin, Southern Ethiopia

Teshome Yirgu, PhD

Associate Professor in Environmental Geography
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Arba Minch University

International Journal of social research

Ethiopia has diverse climate and altitude conditions, which are suitable for growing both tropical and temperate fruits. To this regard, wetlands in Abaya Chamo Basin have a promising potential for fruits and horticulture farming. But due to human induced constraints, the study wetlands are under immense pressure of degradation. The objective of the research was to examine the economic and environmental effect of fruit –based farming system in the wetlands of Abaya Chamo Basin. In the study mixed research approaches, specifically concurrent triangulation strategy was utilized. Data was collected both from primary and secondary sources. Using purposeful sampling technique three kebeles were selected as sample kebeles. From these kebeles, 180 sample household heads were proportionally selected as sample size using systematic random sampling technique. Finally collected data was analyzed using statistical package for Social Sciences, SPSS and Geographic Information Techniques, GIS. Furthermore, qualitative data was also elaborated using narration.The study findings revealed progressive transformation of land use types from traditional cropping system (sorghum, cotton and sweet potatoes) into more market oriented fruits and horticulture system. The survey data showed that mixed agriculture, (49.4%), cereals (18.9%) and fruit and horticulture (14.4%) are the three top reported household income sources in the area. The analysis of two period (1985 to 2016) satellite data showed that wetlands are dwindled by 663 hectare (20.7 ha per year) at the expense of cropland, which was increased by 506 hectares (15.8 ha per year). In Lake Abaya Chamo Basin, among others farmland encroachment into buffer areas (43.9%), deforestation of wetland (7.8 %), over-grazing (7.8%) and awareness related constraints (6%), development of saline soil (5.6%) and weed infestation (water hyacinth) are the top mentioned environmental challenges. Thus, to revert wetland degradation upland management, Lake buffer protection and increased institutional commitments are areas of intervention, which requires due attention.

Keywords:  Geographic Information System, Satellite image, wetland conservation, Wetland policy, Smallholder farmer.

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Teshome Yirgu Fruit Based Farming System and Threatened Landscape in the Wetlands of Abaya Chamo Basin, Southern Ethiopia. International Journal of Social Research, 2018; 2:18. DOI: 10.28933/xxxxxx


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