The socio economic potential of under utilized species to small holder farmers: the case of Khat (Catha edulis) in Ethiopia uri icon


  • 'Agriculture is an important part of Ethiopia's economy constituting a significant proportion of it's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and total export earnings. The method of agricultural production inEthiopia has led to increased deforestation and degradation. In order to reverse the trend, governmentof Ethiopia together with its development partners are in search of strategies to address the situation.Among others, Agroforestry has been considered as a potential strategy that can reduce the increasingdeforestation and degradation; whilst at the same time can enhance food production and increased theincome of small holder farmers. Khat (Catha edulis), an indigenous shrub species offers the potential tobe intercropped with other food crops in an Despite its potential, limited attention has been given to itin terms of assessing its potential and profitability. The aim of this article is to assess thecompetitiveness of khat production and commercialization as a complementary source of income forfarmers in the West Shewa and East Wollega zones in Ethiopia. Three focus group discussions (FGD)with khat producers were conducted in 3 villages to obtain data for the analysis. This wassupplemented with key informant interviews with traders in order to obtain further information about itsproduction and marketing. Porters' five forces was adopted as the conceptual framework for analysis.The results indicate that demand for khat exceeds its current supply and farmers have power todetermine the price. However, there is high level of competition among traders in sourcing from thefarmers leading to price competition among traders. The agro ecological suitability for khat productionin the area indicates that more farmers can produce it if the awareness of its market potential is created.The study concludes that khat can be promoted as a profitable crop for agroforestry practices inEthiopia

publication date

  • 2016