Determinants of Land Use and Land Cover Change in Small Holder Crop-Livestock System: The Case of Quhar Michael, Fogera Woreda, Amhara Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The main objective of this thesis is to explore the determinants of LULCC in small holder mixed crop-livestock farming systems. To achieve this objective Quhar Michael kebele, which represent typical small holder mixed farming system in Ethiopian highlands, is selected for the case study. The study covers the period since 1972. The devised information for the study is gathered from satellite images, household survey, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, related literatures, and relevant legal documents. The results reveal that the kebele has gone through fundamental LULCCs in the past four decades. The major change is the expansion of crop land and the concomitant shrinking of other categories of LULe. In the period, crop land witnessed an increase of 34%, whereas grazing, forest and bare land show a decrease. Five major driving forces behind the observed LULCCs are identified. These are: population growth, irrigation intensification, consumption, land degradation, and rules and regulations. The study also finds that these driving forces are proximate causes in the sense that other factors which are deep rooted in the nature of production system that use land as a major resource are inherent determinants of these driving forces and their impact on LULCC as well. Tluee state intervention, market peneh'ation, and nature of social networks and institutions are the major determinants that operate interactively and shape drivers of LULCe. State intervention in terms of agricultural modernization, property right definition and surplus extraction shape both the intensity and direction of land use changes which directly transfer into changing land cover. Market peneh'ation aggravated demand land products. Notably, market driven demand for crop production interacted with prevalent social and political environment determined the intensity of crop land expansion. Social institutions play an intermediary role between pressure on land resources and availability of land resources. Specifically the diverse social institutions in the kebele determine the observed LULCC by their impact on resource use change tluough optimal allocation of factors of inputs over time. viii CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION This chapter gives an overview on the central theme of the research. It further presents a statement of the research problem, the research objective, research questions, and significance of the research, scope and organization of the thesis. 1.1 Introduction Currently about 840 million people in the world are estimated to be undernourished, of which some 210 million live in sub-Saharan Africa (McCartney, n.d). Problems of food availability as well as improving the living standard of the people have direct relationship with land utilization (Mandai, 1982). However, at present land use practices in many developing countries are resulting in land, water, and forest degradation, with significant repercussions for the counh·ies agriculture sectors, natural resource base and eco- environmental balances (World Bank; 2006).



Livestock System