Role of Forest-Farm Interface Landscape Management Practices on Rural Households Livelihood: The Case of Gurafarda and Arsi-Negele District, Southern Ethiopia

Kefyalew kassa


In the Ethiopian context, forest-farm interface landscapes are areas created through encroachment, officially unclassified as either forest or agricultural lands, found under intensive economic activities (crop farming, grazing, and forest products exploitation) possibly un-sustainably by those without defined legal entitlement. As far as viewed, there are no adequate site specific empirical studies on use and management of forest and trees in an agricultural landscape in relation to local livelihoods and agricultural production in Ethiopia. Therefore, the overall objective of this study was to assess and document existing forest and on farm tree management practices livelihood contribution for rural small holder communities found at the forest-farm interface integrated landscape mosaics in Guraferda and Arsi Negele district.Data was collected using household survey taking a total of 218 randomly selected households from the two districts. The two study sites from each district were selected on the extent of deforestation i.e high deforestation and low deforestation sites. The data were analyzed using appropriate descriptive statistics and chi-square test. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for analyzing demographic and different socioeconomic characteristics of sample households. The comparisons of different households’ characteristics between the two contrasting sites were done using inferential statistics with χ2-test and t-test.The results of the study revealed that there is high forest product extraction and minimum forest management in high deforestation sites, while high crop and livestock production is low for low deforestation sites. In all sites of the study districts, the income share of activities in decreasing order  were crop, livestock , forest, and non-farm activity, However, comparatively, there is a significant difference in share of forest income 30%(218) and 13%(218) at p=0.000 in nearest zone to forest  and further zone, respectively. In addition to this, share of crop income 33 %(218) and 58%(218) at p=0.000 in nearest zone to forest  and further zone, respectively. In both districts there should be up dated policy intervention and better land use planning regarding forest resource conservation.

Keywords: livelihood assets, rural household income, forest income, dependence on forest income


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