ifoam96.gif (1141 bytes)
Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index


The Ethiopian small-scale farmer S30

Getachew, Yilma.

World Vision of Ethiopia. P.O.Box 3330, Addis Ababa.

See also:
News from:


The indigenous agricultural practices of Ethiopia which is characterized as a low input, low output option have it's own merits and demerits. One thing is clear. however, that the small-scale resources-poor farmers (about 95% of the 5 million farming community in the country prefer it for reasons of risk aversion and because the practices are »farm tested« and »time tested«. These farmers prefer a »sure« low output than a »risky''high output. The conventional modern agriculture production methods on the other-hand are the high external input high output alternative in the short term perspective.These same farmers refute such undertakings for several reasons amongst which affordability is the most important.They doubt if the practices can be productive in their down-stream condition - moisture stressed, disease/pest infested and soil fertility mined/washed away - after indulging in enormous debt. A cheaper, local resource based alternative capable of higher productivity is in desperate need by these farmers. This paper identifies the bio-dynamic farming and bio-intensive gardening techniques to address the option. Several techniques geared towards water harvesting, organic farming and organic fertilization are identified and examples of production modules that incorporates the techniques for different ecological, financial and cultural setting designed.

DrinkWater, M.(1994): Knowledge consciencsness and prejudice: adaptive agricultural research in Zambia. Beyond farmers first, Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd., London, P. 32-41.

Getachew, Y. (1994): Intensive Organic Farming: Most Likely Alternative to Feed the Most Food Deficit Nation (Ethiopia). Paper presented at 10th IFOAM conference, New Zealand, December 1994.

Pretty, J.N. (1994b): Regenerating Agriculture:policies and practice for sustainable growth and self-reliance - Earthscan Publications Ltd., London.