Production and Ecological Potentials of Gedeo's Indigenous Agroforestry Practices in Southern Ethiopia

Getachew Mulugeta


The objectives of this paper were to review the production and ecological potentials  of Gedeo's indigenous agroforestry practices. The Gedeo indigenous agroforestry practices are the product of Gedeo indigenous knowledge and integral part of Gedeo culture and belief. The practices has the potential of carrying high population size per unit area without any natural resource and environmental degradation than any other traditional agricultural system throughout the world. Gedeos' indigenous agroforestry practices are self sufficient system and fully packaged with production and ecological services. Based on altitudinal ranges Gedeo agroforestry systems were classified into three categories: enset-tree based agroforestry, enset-coffee-tree based agroforestry and coffee-fruit crops-tree based agroforestry. Research result conducted in enset-coffee based home gardens of the Gedeo, Kochore Woreda revealed that totally, 165 plant species in 135 genera and 65 families were collected and identified as useful plants homegardens and the immediate surroundings. Useful plants recorded from home gardens were 45% herbaceous, 31% trees, 18% shrubs and 6% climbers. Cultivated plants make 92 species (56%) of which 54 (33% of the total) are edibles. Approximately 95% of coffee production in Ethiopia been considered organic. Gedeo's agroforestry practices provided 40% of Ethiopia’s premium grade coffee. Average simulated soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in Gedeo indigenous agroforestry systems (133–179 Mg Ce ha-1) were higher than those reported for other tropical agroforestry systems. Hence, Gedeo's indigenous agroforestry practices have rich potentials of production as well as ecological services.

Keywords: Agroforestry Practices; Ecological Potentials; Gedeo; Production Potentials

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