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«STUDENT RESEARCH SERIES No. 1 Baseline description of project area: Summary of participatory appraisal data at Kebele and Got level Wageningen ...»

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Non Timber Forest Products Research and Development Project in S-W Ethiopia


Baseline description of project area:

Summary of participatory appraisal data

at Kebele and Got level

Wageningen December 2004

The project is implemented with financial contributions from the European Union’s Tropical Forests Budget Line and with additional funding from the Embassies of Norway and Canada in Ethiopia. The authors are solely responsible for the opinions expressed in this document, and they do not necessarily reflect those of the donor organizations


This study was produced through the collaboration of Wageningen University and the Non-Timber Forest Products Research and Development Project in South-west Ethiopia.

The following students were involved in the production of this study concerning the

baseline assessments in the project area:

Jonah van Beijnen Ivo Mostertman Greetje Renkema Jenneke van Vliet The Project is very grateful to the students from Wageningen University and their staff supervisors for their involvement in this study which is assisting the project in achieving its goals of reducing poverty and implementing sustainable management of the forests of southwest Ethiopia. The Project hopes that the students involved in this study will have gained from this experience and that it will assist their progress toward their career goals.

Prof. Adrian Wood Project Manager.

Contents Executive summary

1. Introduction 5

1.1 Background and objective of report 5

1.2 Structure of report 6

2. General description of the project area 6

3. Description of project areas in Sheka and Kefa zones 10

3.1 Introduction 10

3.2 Resource base 10

3.3 Livelihood strategies 12

3.4 Socio-economic stratification

3.5 Local institutional arrangements for forest management 20

3.6 Potentials and constrains for NTFP development 22

4. Description of the project areas in Bench-Maji zone 26

4.1 Introduction 26

4.2 Resource base 27

4.3 Livelihood strategies

–  –  –

Executive summary

1. Introduction

1.1 Background and objective of report The south-west highlands of Ethiopia are one of the main forest areas in Ethiopia.

These forests form an important source for several rivers draining the surrounding (semi)arid lowlands. They also form an important source of several non-timber forest products (NTFPs), such as wild coffee (Coffea arabica), different spices and honey.

Recently concern has been voiced over the degradation of the remaining forests in this region, this as a result of an increasing pressure due to immigration and expanding commercial commercial cultivation, which causes a conversion of forests into agricultural land. Beside this, changed governmental strategies to develop the region led to agricultural investments and selective timber felling.

This process of deforestation has not only caused concern about the loss of forest resources, but also about its impact on the local communities. Due to the poor socioeconomic conditions many people still (partly) depend on forest resources in their daily livelihoods, and the deforestation may therefore negatively affect the local livelihoods.

In order to rectify these negative developments, in 2003 the EU decided to fund a new project on Poverty alleviation through NTFP Research and Development in SouthWest Ethiopia. The aim of this project is to search for opportunities to create the conditions for sustainable development of the rural poor through improving the use and management of non-timber forest products. The project has as goal to stimulate local institution building, as well as capacity building of interested community members, both men and women, in respect to improved NTFP-use and sustainable natural resource management.

At the start of the project, the project ream, with support from other collaborating local institutions and implementing partners, conducted a two stage PRA (Participatory Rural Assessment) study about the NTFP products in relation with the livelihoods of the local communities. The aim of these studies was to familiarize the project staff with the research area and local community organizations, as well as to produce a baseline overview which could be used as a basis for the designing and implementing of poverty reduction strategies in the project area. The outcome of the studies have been reported in two internal project documents: PRA study findings at Kebele Level (Part-I) and at the lower administrative Got level (Part-II). These documents provide a detailed overview of the project area, but due to their detail the data from the various communities are not easily comparable.

This report consolidates the data of the rural assessments and provide a systematic summary of the collected information and thus serve as a comprehensive baseline description of the project area. This baseline description will consist of a comparative assessment of the resource base, livelihood conditions and institutional arrangements regarding natural resource use and management in the different intervention areas, as well as a summary of the main potentials and constraints for NTFP development in the various zones.

1.2 Structure of the report

In the first chapter background information about the NTFP project in south-western Ethiopia is given. Chapter 2 gives a short description of the region in which the project is working and shortly describes the two main project areas located in the high and mid region areas respectively. Next, Chapters 3 and 4 provide a systematic overview at both sub-district (Kebele) and community (Got) level of the characteristics regarding the resource base, livelihood strategies, forest management, and institutional arrangements. Chapter 3 describes the project area located in the upper regions, while chapter 4 reports the characteristics of the project area in the lower part of the project region. In Chapter 5 both areas compared.

2. General description of the project area The project area is located in South-Western Ethiopia. It is bounded from the south and west by Sudan, in the north and northwest by Oromia Regional State, and in the west and southeast by the SNNP Regional State. The project region covers three administrative zones; Bench Maji, Kefa and Sheka Zones (fig. 2.1).

The project region is part of the south west Ethiopian Highlands, with an average altitude of 1500 m. The highest altitude, which is about 2200 meters in Masha Woreda, declines toward the south to the Sudan border. The region includes the upper catchments of several important rivers, such as the Baro, the Akobo and the Omo. The rainfall is high ( …mm/year); it is distributed in a bimodal rainfall pattern, the wet season being between April/May and October/November. Temperature ranges from 12 degrees (in cold season) to 40 degrees (in dry season) the average being around 25 degrees. A large amount of the region is still covered with its natural vegetation consisting of tropical montane humid forest; some of these forests are in different degrees of degradation.

The population in the project region consists of several ethnic groups who have lived here for centuries, as well as immigrants, mostly from Oromia and Amhara regions.

Bench Maji Zone has a relatively low population density of 22 persons/km2, whereas Kefa and Sheka Zone have a much higher density of approximately 77/km2. The number of households is approximately 190.000, with an average household size of

5.7 persons. Based on 2003 CSA statistics, about 49% of the population is male and 51% is female. About 92% of the population is living in rural areas around the dense natural forests, while the rest (8%) lives in small urban centers.

Within the region the project selected two zones to work in, i.e. the Kefa and Sheka zones located in the high mountains, and the Bench-Maji zone located in the midmountain region. Within the upper mountain region 7 sub-districts (Kebele’s) located in four districts (Woreda’s) were selected as the location for project activities, and in the mid-mountain region 4 Kebele’s located in two Woreda’s ((Figure 2.2). In order to obtain information on the socio-economic and land-use conditions in each Kebele a Rapid Rural Appraisal was carried out. The collected data were subsequently further refined through an additional Rapid Appraisal at the level of individual communities (Got’s).

Figure 2.1: Map of the project area Figure 2.

2. Map with location of Kebeles

–  –  –

3. Description of the project areas in Sheka and Kefa zones

3.1 Introduction This chapter gives a description of the land-use and socio-economic conditions in the high mountain project area located in the Sheka zone (Masha and Anderacha Woredas) and Kefa zone (Gesha Woreda). In this project area the altitude ranges from 1700 – 2600 m: Masha and Gesha Woreda are located in the higher parts and Anderacha Woreda in the lower part. Anderacha Woreda is more or less a transitional zone between the higher and lower regions of south-west Ethiopia. Information on the demographic conditions in the selected project areas is summarized in Table 3.1.

Table 3.1: Demographic information on Woredas, Kebeles and Gots.

–  –  –

3.2 Resource base All Woredas are situated in the same agro-ecological zone (Dega zone). A large amount of the area is still covered with its natural vegetation, a tropical montane humid forest. Nevertheless, there are within the area several degrees of degradation.

The main causes of degradation are the increasing population pressure, the ongoing degradation and accelerated expansion of agricultural lands, the construction of new access roads, the recent fall in coffee prices, the non-sustainable use of NTFPs, and the coming of big agro-industrial investors. Beside a severe pressure on the remaining forests in the area, these causes have also created a strong decline in the livelihood conditions of the population.

The major land use/ land cover types are natural high forest, bamboo forest, grazing lands, farmlands and settlement areas. Most of the areas above 2400 meter are covered by pure stands of bamboo with only some scattered trees. The natural high forests cover the steep slope areas and river valleys within all altitudinal ranges below the bamboo zone. Flat to moderately slope areas are converted to grazing land, agricultural lands and home gardens (see tables 3.2 and 3.3 and Fig. 3.1 for contribution of the different land uses to livelihoods in each Kebele).

The forest vegetation is rich in NTFPs, including wild coffee (which is probably introduced from the forests in the lower parts of Oromia), climbers/ lianas, bamboos, tree ferns, palm tree, medicinal plants, honey, and spices like Korerima (Ethiopian cardamom), and timiz (long pepper). Furthermore the forest is used for the collection of fire wood, construction materials, and is home to wild animals. The distribution of some of these resources is localized, like wild coffee, Korerima, bamboo, and palm tree, while others are found everywhere.

Table 3.2: Land use conditions in different Kebeles.

–  –  –

There are grazing lands in Uwa Kebele, only no statistics available This includes also annual crops, perennial crops, grazing land, and infrastructure

–  –  –

30% 20% 10% 0% Chegecha Kebele Uwa Kebele Yokichichi Kebele Beto Kebele Anderacha Kebele Wachito Kebele Fig 3.1: Relative importance of different land use types in different Kebeles

3.3 Livelihood strategies In this paragraph the role of different resources in the local livelihoods is described.

Attention is given both to the overall contribution of different resources to local livelihoods and to the importance of NTFP in cultivation and marketing.

NTFP and crop resources and their contribution to local livelihoods There are many factors, which determine access to use the resources. Proximity to the resource is one of the most determinant factors. For instance, Kibi Got is the only one within its Kebele which is highly involved in honey production and Korerima collection. This Got is located very close to the forest resources. Awareness of the benefits, long experience of production system and knowledge of the exact location of the resources also determine this variation in NTFP production/use.

Within the overall region, the rural livelihoods depend almost exclusively on forest product collection and agriculture. Table 4.3 and Figure 3.2 give an overview of the different crops and NTFPs and their contribution to the livelihood of the people in the different Kebeles3.

Due to limited information the data do not include information from Wachito Yeri Kebele and Gadda Kebele NTFPs play a very important roles in the local livelihoods. The benefits of NTFPs are multiple: firewood, lianas, wood for beehive making, bee hive placing (honey production site), habitat for wildlife (such as wild pig, bush buck), construction materials (poles for house and fence construction), collection of splices (piper capons). NTFPs extraction is a mostly subsistence-oriented activity that is complementary to farming. The forests are also important for providing ecological stability in the form of regulation of hydrological conditions and protection against surface run-off and erosion, and maintenance of micro-climatic conditions (shade).

In the region more than a quarter to the farmers’ livelihoods depends on NTFPs. The lion share is provided by honey, while others contribute around ten percent altogether. Although the majority of local people were of the opinion that honey has the highest contribution to their livelihood, some argued that enset is more important.

This crop is used for many purposes: food, fiber production, bedding and cash earning.

Table 3.4: Resources and their relative contribution to local livelihoods in the different Kebeles.

–  –  –

Fig 3.2: Relative importance of different resources in different Kebeles.

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