Soil and Water Conservation Practices on Crop Productivity and its Economic Implications in Ethiopia: A Review
Soil erosion is a serious problem in Ethiopia. Appraisal on soil and water conservation and its implication on food security are crucial. The aim of this study was to assess farmers’ perception on soil and water conservation practices on crop productivity and its economic implications and identify major constraints on soil and water conservation in Ethiopia. Physical and biological soil and water conservation practices are important to improve crop yield by enhancing soil moisture, conserving rainwater and controlling erosion occurred in the area. However, implementation of soil and water conservation is not an easy process, due to complex, mountainous, fragile ecosystem with inappropriate land management practices and intensive rainfall and steep slope resulting in big gullies, severe soil erosion and poor soil fertility. In Ethiopia, there are many soil and water conservation practices that are important to reduce the damaging effects in associated with erosion and water loss but, in most cases, farmers neglected from decision making during the selection, planning and implementation processes of soil and water conservation measures and most activities were undertaken without their interest. Determinants of farmers’ perception to invest in soil and water conservation practices are determined by the socio-economic, institutional, attitudinal and biophysical factors. Based on the overall consideration, lack of integrated bio-physical measures, absence of integrating indigenous practices, lack of considering socio-economic profile, low perception and participation of farmers, poor conservation design, improper land use, less maintenance, weak monitoring and evaluation of soil and water conservation practices are the major constraints that determine the implementation of soil and water conservation in Ethiopia.