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Farming practices and patterns in coffee-growing midlands of Sidama-Ethiopia

by Ghirotti, M.
Publisher: Ene-Mar 1995Subject(s): COFFEA | METODOS DE CULTIVO | PRODUCCION ANIMAL | TAMAÑO DE LA PARCELA | HUERTOS FAMILIARES | INGRESOS | SEGURIDAD ALIMENTARIA | ETIOPIA | COFFEA | CULTURAL METHODS | ANIMAL PRODUCTION | DOMESTIC GARDENS | FOOD SECURITY | ETHIOPIA | COFFEA | MODE DE CULTURE | PRODUCTION ANIMALE | JARDIN FAMILIAL | SECURITE ALIMENTAIRE | ETHIOPIE In: Rivista di Agricoltura Subtropicale e Tropicale (Italia) v. 89(1) p. 5-28Summary: The results of a household study carried out in the coffee-growing midlands of Sidama, Southern Ethiophia, are discussed. Because of land scarcity, due to population pressure, mixed cropping is gradually replacing livestock pasture land. An average household of 6.5 people owns 0.4 ha of land where Ensete ventricosum (false banana) is cultivated together with coffee, chat, kale, pumpkin, yam and fruit trees. In order to meet increasing cash needs, farmers grow more coffee and chat trees instead of ensete plants (the local staple food) and food is nowadays the main expenditure of the family. Livestock are still a major investment and scarcity of grazing land is the main limiting factor in the enterprise. Cattle, whose ownership is an indicator of the household income level, are bred not only for prestige but also for calf and milk production. Morever, the high fertility of land is maintained by the regular application of manure. Small ruminants and poultry are sold when cash is needed or they are slaughtered and consumed on special occasions. Some measures to improve household food production and security are discussed, bearing in mind the vulnerability of the system.
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The results of a household study carried out in the coffee-growing midlands of Sidama, Southern Ethiophia, are discussed. Because of land scarcity, due to population pressure, mixed cropping is gradually replacing livestock pasture land. An average household of 6.5 people owns 0.4 ha of land where Ensete ventricosum (false banana) is cultivated together with coffee, chat, kale, pumpkin, yam and fruit trees. In order to meet increasing cash needs, farmers grow more coffee and chat trees instead of ensete plants (the local staple food) and food is nowadays the main expenditure of the family. Livestock are still a major investment and scarcity of grazing land is the main limiting factor in the enterprise. Cattle, whose ownership is an indicator of the household income level, are bred not only for prestige but also for calf and milk production. Morever, the high fertility of land is maintained by the regular application of manure. Small ruminants and poultry are sold when cash is needed or they are slaughtered and consumed on special occasions. Some measures to improve household food production and security are discussed, bearing in mind the vulnerability of the system.

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