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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3307

Advisors: Mekuria Argaw(Dr.)
Keywords: area enclosure
farmers’ perception
free grazing
soil degradation,
soil quality
Copyright: May-2011
Date Added: 5-Jul-2012
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: Land degradation, which includes degradation of vegetation cover, soil degradation and nutrient depletion, is a major ecological problem generally in Ethiopia and particularly in the study area. As a response of the ever expanding land degradation, rehabilitation of degraded lands through enclosure of areas has been practiced in the study area. Despite these efforts, there are no studies in the area, which would provide information on impact of enclosed areas to consider as one strategy to help prevent decline of soil degradation, improve soil quality and thereby increase agricultural productivity. The enclosure which was seven year old, and has a total area of 20 hectares was compared with adjacent free grazing land in similar landscape position. This study focuses on the impact of area enclosure establishment on soil quality, and assesses local farmers’ perceptions on the enclosure and benefits gained from it. The socioeconomic survey was carried out on the basis of a semi-structured questionnaire survey and focus group discussion. Farmers around the enclosure area were randomly selected for the interview. The impact of area enclosure on soil quality was assessed using soil physicochemical parameters such as soil organic matter, cation exchange capacity, total nitrogen, available potassium, available phosphorous, pH, electrical conductivity, texture and bulk density. Twelve soil samples were taken randomly from the two sites (6 from each), and analyzed. Soil laboratory analysis result revealed that the enclosure had significantly (p <0.05) higher levels for OM, CEC, TN and AvK compared to free grazing land. However, there was no statistically significant difference on the available phosphorous, pH and EC values between the two land uses. Regarding the soil physical properties, the enclosure area showed higher values of clay (%) while free grazing land showed higher values of sand (%) and bulk density than the enclosure area. This was probably due to the higher compaction effect of the grazing in the grazing land than the enclosure area. Socioeconomic survey result showed that the majority of the local farmers have a positive attitude towards enclosure and feel that they have gained benefits from it, especially in terms of fodder availability for their livestock. But they think that the benefit (fodder) is not satisfactory. The overall output from the research showed that chemical and physical soil properties in the enclosure are improving because of the establishment of the enclosure. The grazing land adjacent to the enclosure area is being degraded due to loss of top soil by erosion, and if immediate interventions are not implemented in the free grazing land, the degradation extent would be higher and reversing the process would become difficult.
Description: A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies of Addis Ababa University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3307
Appears in:Thesis - Environmental Sciences

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