The Impact of Agro-Fuel Investment on Livelihoods of The Local Community: The Case of Midhega Tolla Woreda, Eastern Hararghe Zone, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababauniversity


Agro-fuels investment in Ethiopia is a recent phenomenon initiated not only as a response for the current increasing energlj demand, but also to decrease the expense for petroleum import and as a potential of job creation for the local economies thereby as a means to income generations particularly where labour intensive feedstock can be utilized. Hence, the countnj designed a strateglj for developing alternative energlj source and allowed inventors to produce agro-fuel from which Flora Eco-Power is one. The study was conducted to assess the impact of the agro-fuel investment of the Flora EcoPower project on the livelihoods of the local communihj in Midhega Tolla woreda. Data were collected from 200 randomly selected farmers through structured interview questionnaire. Focus group discussions and key informants interviews were also used as techniques of data collection. Descriptive statistics such as mean, percentages, and t-tests were used to analyze the data. The study identified that the Flora Eco-Power project has negatively affected the crop and livestock production in the study area due to the fact that castor bean production competed the farm and grazing lands. As far as employment is concerned it has created job opportunities to the local people which slightly helped them to cope up the recurrent drought which is common in the study area. The study also indicated that the project did not bring a positive impact on basic social services of the study communihj which projects are expected to do so. The overall positive impact of the Flora Eco-power castor bean production project is minimal and fanners in the study area are facing economic loss due to the low price of the castor bean fixed by the Company. The results suggest that pOliClj aimed to accelerate agro-fuel development in the study area could be successful and to ripe the benefits from the agro-fuel investments, if the key stakeholders in general and the local communihj in particular participate actively in all aspects



Case of Midhega Tolla Woreda, Eastern Hararghe Zone, Ethiopia Aregawi Ragos