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«Dispute or Residing Together in Harmony? Bean Cultivation and Theft in Rural Ethiopia Tesfanesh Zekiwos Gichamo Uppsala 2011 EX0681 Master Thesis 30 ...»

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Earlier studies indicated that, in the past farmers were practicing crop rotations such as wheat, maize, sorghum including legumes especially the Faba bean (Vicia faba2) (Chiwona-Karltun et al 2009; Lemenih 2004). However, over time the cultivation of Faba bean had been abandoned. This has had a negative impact not only on soil fertility, but also on household livelihoods and food security, as shown in Fig.1.2. The studies also cited that the possible reason for the refusal of the farmers in this area to grow bean was due to the widespread practice of Faba bean theft (before it is ready for harvest) and the potential conflict that arose from this (Karltun et al 2008).

In order to curb bean theft, the people who were living in the area formulated collective (agreed upon by all) by-laws and identified the Iddir (a local form of Research project, „„Making soil quality last – participatory soil fertility 1 management in the highlands of Ethiopia‟‟ funded by SIDA-SAREC.

2 Scientific name of Faba bean 3 institution well-established in the area) as a means of enforcing the by-laws. People chose to work with Iddir because it is inclusive; nearly all of the local people are members of at least in one Iddir. No one wants to be excluded from this local institution as it plays substantial role in their day-to-day lives.

To support the community‟s collective initiative the project worked as a facilitator, initially, by providing bean seed free of charge as a trial. In the second round, the project played its role by subsidizing the transportation cost and allowing farmers to purchase improved seeds.

However, there were indications that although most of the farmers were once again growing the bean, one of the areas had refused to reintroduce it (Karltun et al 2008). The aim of this study, then, was to evaluate bean reintroduction activities and to assess the factors that affected reintroduction. In addition to this, the study examined the cause of changing crop patterns, which was the absence of leguminous, nitrogen fixing plants.

–  –  –

1. To clarify people‟s perceptions and attitudes towards bean theft

2. To compare inter-village differences in adopting and enforcing the collective by-laws, and

3. To determine the reasons for the lack of adoption of bean reintroduction

1. What are people‟s perceptions and attitudes toward bean theft?

2. What are the factors that affect adoption of Faba bean reintroduction in the study area?

This study identified factors that affected the reintroduction of bean in the South Central part of Ethiopia. The study serves as a reference for students and researchers who may wish to conduct research related to local institutions, livelihoods and crop theft. The study will also contribute to the current efforts in scaling-up the reintroduction of bean cultivation to other areas surrounding the Arsi Negelle district. The findings may also be important to local level administrators working with socio-economic development planning and rural development issues.

The thesis has six chapters. Chapter one presents an introduction, statement of the problem, objectives and significance of the study. Chapter two covers the empirical literature on agriculture, food security, institutions and theft. In the third chapter, background information about Ethiopia, location and socio-economic activities of the study area are described. In addition to this, materials and methods that were used to collect data are presented. Chapter four is devoted to the results of the study. Finally in chapters five and six discussions and conclusions are presented, respectively.

6 Agriculture is the major source of livelihood in Ethiopia i.e. employment, revenue and export earnings. More than 80% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood (DFID 2004, MoARD 2010). Agriculture accounts for 90 percent of export earnings and 43 percent of GDP (CIA 2008 and MoARD 2010).

However, even though the Ethiopian economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, the country is still food insecure. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) statistical year book 2009 report indicates that food import accounted for 87.9% of the total agricultural import in 2007 (Food and Agriculture Organisation 2009).

Over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture, political instability and many violent conflicts that were prevalent in the country have been the major factors that aggravated the chronic famine and drought in the past decades (Kiros 2005).

Moreover, being land locked with bad neighbours (Collier 2007, p.5) which were at war and politically unstable (e.g. Somalia and Eritrea) puts the country in the so called poverty trap where the country‟s economy were caught in a vicious cycle.

According to the World Development Report (2008) classification, Ethiopia is agricultural based country where it‟s economic activities predominantly dependent on agriculture. Smallholder farming activities have been the sole means of livelihood for most Ethiopians for decades (Devereux and Guenther 2007). In order to promote food security and to increase agricultural productivity, different policies have been framed in different regimes. Land reforms including resettlement and Villagization were framed in Derge regime, the former Ethiopian government from 1974 to 1991 (the Mengistu Haile Mariam regime) (Zewdu 2002; Ofcansky, T and Berry, L., 1991). Land settlement was moving rural inhabitants from drought prone areas to fertile ones and distributing land to landless peasants. Villagization was the clustering of villages and the moving of farmers to other areas (Ofcansky, T and Berry, L., 1991).





7 Based on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP)3, the current government has prepared Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Program to achieve Millennium development goals (Woldehanna 2006). The main aim of the Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Program in Ethiopia is to ensure food security and increase economic growth. It mainly has focused on agriculture and rural development, an increase performance of education, health, infrastructures, good governance, decentralization and the empowerment process.

This program puts agriculture at the centre.

The government has focused on the agricultural sector in order to reduce the poverty in rural areas by framing Agriculture Development Led Industrialisation policy (ADLI). The Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction program has been carried out within three years from 2002/03 to 2004/05. The Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End poverty (PASDEP) was another strategic framework for the five-year period 2005/06 to 2009/10. It was the second phase of poverty reduction strategy paper.

However, the empirical results show that the growth rate of agricultural sectors is decreasing within the course of time (MoARD 2009; Kiros 2005). According to Kiros (2005), increasing population, natural calamities, crop failures, technological retardation and negative agro-ecological process are among the different factors that contribute to low and declining agricultural productivity in Ethiopia. MoARD (2009) indicated that food security deteriorated in most part of Ethiopia due to failure of seasonal rains, shortage of resources and high price of food items in the world market.

Since 1974 world food conference, the issue of food security has got world attention (Maxwell 1996). Yet the question of food security has no clear answer in most low-income countries. The World Development Report (2008) states that even if world had a sufficient food supply that could feed the entire world population, still 850 million people are in need of food (World Development Report 2008, p. 94). Food security is defined as a condition “when all people, at all 3 According to World Bank „„Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) describes a country‟s macroeconomic, structural and social policies and programs to promote growth and reduce poverty, as well as associated external financing needs‟‟.

8 times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (FAO 2003, p.29). On the other hand, food insecurity refers to „low food intake, variable access to food, and vulnerability - a livelihood strategy that generates adequate food in good times but is not resilient against shocks‟ (Devereux 2000). In addition to this, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has given the definition of food insecurity as “when people do not have adequate physical, social or economic access to food” (FAO 2003, p.29).

However, scholars like Amartya Sen have advanced the definition of food security and included issues of access and entitlement. Entitlement includes endowment and exchange entitlement mapping (Sen 1982). Sen finds them to be equally important in food security. Endowment refers to ownership or command over resources to produce food. On the other hand, exchange entitlement mapping refers to the possibility of generating income through different sources such as employment, crop sales and remittances that can be used to exchange food (Sen 1982; Ellis 2000).

Based on a world development report, food security includes quantity and quality of food (World Development Report 2008). Food quality refers to the nutrient density of the food. Besides availability, accessibility, quality and food diversity is also a measure of food security. Unless and otherwise, it leads to ´hidden hunger‟ which is lack of energy and micronutrients (Ibid 1986).

Like other Sub-Saharan African countries, the problem of food security has been a challenging issue in Ethiopia and for years Ethiopia has been known for food shortage and hunger in the public image. In his book titled „„Enough with Famines in Ethiopia: a Clarion Call‟‟ Kiros mentioned that the beginning of Ethiopian food insecurity and famine goes back many years (Kiros 2005). The famines in Ethiopia were not only related to shortage of food but lack of access to the market for both producers and consumers (MoARD 2010). While there was surplus of food in the southern part of Ethiopia, due to transaction cost and transport constraints the food could not reach the people who were starving during famine of late 1970‟s.

Moreover, failure of entitlement was a cause of the great famine that prevailed in Ethiopia in and around 1984 (Sen 1982; Kiros 2005).

9 According to Devereux 2000, due to drought, war, seasonality, poverty, fragile natural resources base, weak institutions and government policies, transitory, cyclical and chronic food insecurities have prevailed for several years. Devereux (2000) lists some problems that are leading to food insecurity in Ethiopia; these are population growth, small landholdings, natural resource competition, low soil fertility due to intensive cultivation and limited application of yield enhancing inputs and small food production (Devereux 2000).

Ethiopian farmers grow different types of crops such as cereals, pulses, oilseeds, stimulants, fibers, fruits, vegetables, roots and tuber and sugarcane (USDA 2003).

Among cereals teff (Eragrostis tef), wheat, maize, barley, sorghum and millet are the most important in the diet of most Ethiopians. Indigenous to Ethiopia, teff occupies the largest cultivated land area of all the aforementioned crops and is the main staple food for many Ethiopians in the highlands of Ethiopia. Teff is used to make Enjera (a flat fermented pancake). Corn, sorghum and millet are also the staple food for large number of population especially for the pastoralists. Being rich in protein content pulses such as Faba bean, chick peas and lentils are considered as milk and meat substitutes in most parts of Ethiopia (CIAT 2008).

They are used to make „wat‟ (Ethiopian sauce) to eat with Enjera or bread. They are also export commodity for the country.

Table 2.1 Cereals and pulses production (tonnes) (2005-2009)

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Pulses(Total) 1319928 A 1373951 A 1572816 A 1774338 A 1840026 A * = Unofficial figure A = May include official, semi-official or estimated data Source:

- FAOSTAT 10 In addition to crop production, rural people are engaged in livestock rearing as a means of livelihood diversification (FAO 2009; Tschopp et al 2010). Lowland pastoralist society is dependent on livestock production as the main source of their livelihood, means of food and income generation. In fact, Ethiopia has the largest population of livestock in Africa (CSA 2008; Halderman 2004). It accounts 15 percent of the total GDP (Ofcansky, T and Berry, L., 1991). A mixed farming, crop and livestock production is typical farming activity in the highlands of Ethiopia. As there is no mechanized farming, oxen is used as draught power for crop production (Tschopp et al 2010). Moreover, as in other developing countries, livestock are considered valuable assets in Ethiopia which serve as a sign of wealth and risk mitigation (FAO 2009). However, due to shrinking grazing land, diseases and limited movement in search of water and food, the numbers of livestock holding has been decreasing (Tolera and Abebe 2007).

In most low-income countries, formal institutional frameworks are weak in providing social welfare. As a result, most people are insecure in terms of social, economic and political aspects. Wood and Gough (2006) use the term „„security regime‟‟ to categorize countries in to three groups based on socio-cultural conditions, institutional performance, welfare outcomes and path dependence.

These are welfare state regimes, informal security regimes and insecurity regimes.

Most developing countries like Ethiopia fall into informal security regimes where people depend on informal institutions for their security.

In Ethiopia, local institutions such as family and kinship structures, customs, traditions and social norms are very important (Adal 1999; Mammo 1999;



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