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ASSESSMENT OF FACTORS AFFECTING THE ADOPTION OF SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES IN ASSOSA DISTRICT BENISHANGUL GUMUZ REGION, ETHIOPIA
Tkilil Wolde* and Sisay Mekonen
The agricultural sector in developing countries is particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. The Ethiopian economy is mainly agrarian; it employs 85% of the population and contributes 45% of the gross domestic product and 90% of the national export earnings. Given Ethiopia’s dependence on agriculture and natural resources, any adverse agricultural effects will pose serious risks to economic growth and livelihoods across the country. Soil and water conservation technologies have been suggested as a key adaptation strategy for developing countries, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa, in light of increased water shortages, drought, desertification, and worsening soil conditions. As a result, crops have severe moisture stress through their growth stages. Therefore, a survey research was conducted at Assosa district in the year 2015/16 to assess the adoption affecting factors of different soil and water conservation structures. The descriptive statistics shows that the major source of income for farmers in study area was agriculture in all case, this insure more than 80 % of Ethiopian people are agriculture based and this also implies the importance of agricultural management (conservation agriculture) for improving productivity and ensuring sustainable production. However, approximately 21% of individuals in Amba09 and Gambella do not have permanent source of income for non- adopter farmers in both category. The farmers mainly involve, as daily labourer for different works and participating in SWC practices was not significant. The majority of farmers perceived that SWC structures reduce surface run-off and erosion. Among eleven variables, the multiple regression test showed that farmer’s perception on erosion problem and SWC structure, educational level, frequency of contact with DA, gender participation and farming experience (P<0.1) were positively and significantly associated with each other to adopt and to maintain conservation structure in study area. Generally, the study revealed that socioeconomic and institutional factors influenced the adoption of SWC technologies, and should therefore be considered in planning such interventions.[Full Text Article]