local knowledge Ethiopia_1sm Local knowledge is proving a valuable starting point in adapting Ethiopian farming systems to climate change and ensuring greater productivity to combat food insecurity. A new technical paper ...
The aim is to use this information to guide interventions that will build more intensive and climate-resilient systems. “Farming in Ethiopia is already severely affected by land degradation, a shortage of fodder for livestock and soil loss leading to lower productivity,” explains Aster Gebrekirstos, a scientist with the World Agroforestry Centre. “The future impacts of climate change will require these farming systems to be intensified but also sustainable.”
“For any future interventions to be successful, it will be vital to match the right components and management practices with current production systems and ecosystems.”
The researchers found distinct variation in farmers’ knowledge at different sites which was generally associated with the extent of land degradation, local management practices and constraints faced by the farmers.
Among the recommendations in the technical paper is to ensure that the valuable knowledge held within farming communities is taken into account when designing local interventions for sustainable intensification. “Farmers must be involved in decision-making when it comes to any interventions,” emphasizes Gebrekirstos. Because local knowledge can be location-specific and dependent on ecological and socio-economic situations, the authors of the technical paper advise against applying one intervention across a large area.