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Farmers Perception on SWC practices, and its Implication on Land Degradation in Guduru District, Western Ethiopia
  • Getachew Zeleke,
  • Mengistu Welemariam
Getachew Zeleke
Wollega University

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Mengistu Welemariam
Aksum University
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Ethiopia is one of the well-endowed countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of natural resources. However, land degradation is a major problem in the country. The objective of this study was to assess farmers’ perception on soil and water conservation (SWC) practices and its implication on land degradation. Data were collected using questionnaires, interviews, and focus group discussions from 117 randomly selected households. The result indicated that the perception of farmers on SWC practices was significantly influenced by age, sex, marital status, household size, educational qualification, farm-size (ha), farmers’ experience, distance from the homestead, and household income. Besides, greater than 50% of the respondents were aware of the causes of land degradation by indicating population growth, over-cultivation, overgrazing; soil erosion, poor farming practices, and poverty as the major causes. Furthermore, most of the respondents (>75%) were aware of the consequences of land degradation by pointing out the loss of agricultural productivity, the difficulty of farming, and loss in livestock productivity as the major ones. Moreover, about 72.5% of the respondents indicated that land degradation on their farm-field was severe. The SWC measures practiced in the study area include cutoff drains, contour farming, waterways, check dams, fallowing, application of manures, and soil bunds. Thus, it can be concluded that the perception of SWC practices is affected by many factors. Besides, land degradation in the study area can be deceased first by creating awareness in the society on the consequences of land degradation and then implementing SWC measures.