Characterization and productivity assessment of the farming systems in the upper part of the Nile Basin uri icon


  • Rainfed agriculutre in Ethiopia is constrained by temporal and spatial variations in climate and severe land degradation caused by soil erosion that is exacerbated by lack of appropriate technologies. The continued shrinking per capita agriculutral land due to population growth and diminishing land quality challenges the livelihood of the communities. This requires multifaceted and targeted interventions. Testing and scalling up of interventions require a relatively uniform system, but the basinĂ¢??s potential and constraints for crop and livestock productivity is hetrogenous. Farming systems are often taken as important entry point for scaling up of agricultural technolgies. Based on secondary data on climate, soil, crop and livestock, and the master plan of the subbasins, this study clustered and mapped the major farming systems and subsystems in the Nile Basin. Two major systems, the mixed crop-livestock farming and the pastoral/agropastoral livelihoods have been identified. The former was sub-grouped into the cereal based, coffee-tree crops complex and the enset-root crops complex subsystems. The cereal based system was further classified into the single cropping, double cropping and shifting cultivation subsystems, each of which was subdivided based on the dominant crop. The current productivity of the major crops in each farming systems was analysed and found to be lower than not only their potential but also their national average. However, some selected soil, water and crop management technologies have shown substantial yield increase. Thereore, it is believed scaling up of proven tachnologies within a farming system can substantially enhance crop yield and imrpove livelhood

publication date

  • 2009