Soil and water conservation decision behavior of subsistence farmers in the Eastern Highlands of Ethiopia: A case study of the Hunde-Lafto area
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In this article, the researchers study elements that contribute to the acceptance of water and soil conservation measures in the Highlands of Eastern Ethiopia, specifically in Hunde-Lafto. The study area was chosen because within Ethiopia the Highlands have the most serious soil erosion issues, because of its location relative to major metropolitan areas and its topography, which includes steep hills, because most income for this area is generated by the selling of agricultural products and because it has been a study site for the Soil Conservation Research Project since 1982. Data was based on 145 surveys given to farms that encompassed 265 agricultural plots. A Multinomial logit analysis was applied to the data collected. The research shows that the adoption of conservation techniques at the plot level has a positive correlation with information access, support projects that advise farmers on initial investments, plot area and slope. There is a negative effect on soil conservation based on family size and amount of land in use for agricultural production. Factors that had no statistically significant effect on conservation decisions: female participation in agricultural activities, age of farmers, how long the plot has been used, credit for supplies, owning livestock, species of crop cultivated and variety of plot soil. These results demonstrate a need for the creation and implementation of programs and policies that will encourage farmers to introduce soil and water conservation practices in their everyday lives.