I have joined ILRI, Ethiopia starting from September 2010 until January 2011 to do my internship and thesis. I was assigned in SLP (system-wide livestock program) under CR (crop residue) management project. The project title is “Optimizing livelihood and environmental benefits from crop residues in smallholder crop-livestock systems in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia: regional case studies”. The project is operational in south Asia and Africa. In Africa the project is under implementation at South Africa, West Africa and East Africa. Kenya and Ethiopia are the east Africa countries for the project. In Ethiopia there are two sites: Nekemte (western Ethiopia) and Kobo (northeastern Ethiopia); at each site 8 villages are selected by the project for the study. Parameters to select villages were access to market and access to road. Accordingly: two near-near, two near-far, two far-near and two far-far villages were selected.
My research focussed at one village from the 8 selected villages by the project at Kobo site. The name of the village is Chorie. It is among the near-near (near to marketnear to road access) villages.
In the village, farmers settled on higher slopes following the contour of the mountain. Their main arable plots are far from home. The major crops of the area are Teff, Sorghum and Maize with higher area covered by Teff followed by Sorghum. About 5 varieties of Teff and 4 varieties of Sorghum were planted in this production season (2010). Farmers plant Maize around homesteads and start to consume before the crop reaches harvest maturity (while the grain is wet). They give the stover for their livestock as green fodder. Due to this practice, data collection for maize yield quantification was not possible for my research.
I collected yield data for Teff and Sorghum crops from 16 pre-selected farmers during harvesting times (October and November depending on crop type) using quadrants as practiced by research institutes for each crop. Soil sampling and collection of socioeconomic data were done after the end of harvesting activity. This is scheduled to get convenient ways to pass along the plots to take soil samples and get farmers back from their peak harvesting and threshing operations to have better time for interviewing them.
My study focussed on characterizing the farming system (both crop and livestock production), quantifying the amount of CR produced from Teff and Sorghum, understanding farmers’ CR management strategies and limiting factors that affect their decision making processes.