Policy Response on Land Degradation Induced by Large-scale Commercial Farming in Benishangul-Gumuz Region, North Western Ethiopia

Temesgen Disassa Marru


Understanding the major causes of agricultural land degradation is a fundamental step for finding possible solutions to mitigate farmland degradation. This article is focused on studying the causes of agricultural land degradation and identifying possible policy responses as well as directions to overcome the farmland and related resources degradation challenges. This study employed multiple data sources and a combination of policy documents, spatial data and information from the field through structured observation were utilized. Based on the land policy analysis, the major bottlenecks on efficient and effective implementation of the policy directions and legal frameworks were lack of awareness and sense of ownership; specific land use policy; institution responsible for land administration and use, to support and coordinate stakeholders efforts; mechanisms to build the capacity of implementers, beneficiaries, and how to disseminate the information for the public; attention for research and development to prepare land use plan in line with the dynamism of land use and cover change. Rights to use of common-pool resources were also a neglected aspect of land policy. Particularly in the Benshangul-Gumuz region, the majority of the local communities depend on common-pool resources such as forest lands, rangelands and wetlands for their livelihoods. On top of this, there were some constraints in the legal frameworks of the region: enforcement mechanisms for violations of the provision on land management are referred to relevant institutions and bodies; customary land right is not properly recognized in proclamations; and the ceiling for holding size not determined based on the in-depth study of the agro-ecological conditions, farming practices and customary landholdings system in the region. Thus, policymakers need to consider these drivers and make sound decisions during decision makings.

Keywords: Land policy, legal framework, land degradation, and large-scale commercial farming

DOI: 10.7176/JNSR/12-18-02

Publication date:September 30th 2021

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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