23 research outputs found

    Modelling soil erosion response to sustainable landscape management scenarios in the Mo River Basin (Togo,West Africa)

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    The rural landscapes in Central Togo are experiencing severe land degradation, including soil erosion. However, spatially distributed information has scarcely been produced to identify the effects of landscape pattern dynamics on ecosystem services, especially the soil erosion control. In addition, relevant information for sustainable land and soil conservation is still lacking at watershed level. On this basis, using the LAndscape Management and Planning Tool for the Mo River basin (LAMPT_Mo), we (1) modelled soil erosion patterns in relation with land use/cover change (LUCC), land protection regime, and landforms, and (2) examined the efficiency of landscape redesign options on soil erosion amounts at basin scale. We found that Simulated historical net soil loss (NSL) for the Mo basin were approximately 26, 23, 27, and 44 t/ha/yr, for 1972, 1987, 2000, and 2014, respectively. These simulated NSLs were higher than the tolerable soil loss limits for the Tropics. Steep slopes (≥ 15°), poorly covered lands (croplands and savannas), and riversides (distances ≤ 100 m) are critical areas of sediment sources. The local appraisal of soil loss was in line with the simulated outputs even though quantification was not accounted for when dealing with rural illiterate people. Furthermore, results showed that the examined management measures, such as controlling the identified erosion hotspots through land protective measures, could help reduce the NSL up to 70%, to values closer to the tolerable limits for the Tropics. The model implementation in the basin showed insights for identifying erosion hotspots and targeting soil conservation planning and landscape restoration measures

    National Ag-Data Hub project technical report - phase one

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    This document is a technical progress report of a work aimed to develop a national ag data hub in Ethiopia. The document is not a full technical implementation report of the national ag data hub. It is the technical report of the first phase as per the agreement entered between CIAT and ACATECH TECHNOLOGY PLC to implement the system in a phase by phase approach. This report has two main parts. The first part provides background information about the project which includes a brief introduction about the first phase deliverables. This shows the scope of the project to be completed in the first phase (i.e. in the last three months). The second part describes the project activities and progress in contrast to the plan set at the beginning. This part clearly showed the progress achieved so far

    Assessing the application of gender perspectives in land restoration studies in Ethiopia using text mining

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    Restoration of degraded land is key to enhancing land productivity and farmers' wellbeing in sub-Saharan Africa. Evidence shows that the benefits of land restoration are tremendous, ranging from biophysical benefits in soil health, agricultural productivity, ecosystem services, to socio-economic dimensions such as improving farmers’ income and livelihoods. Yet one issue that is rarely considered is how the outcomes of restoration initiatives affect different social groups, specifically women, men, and the marginalized. Our study aims to understand the extent of gender and social inclusion in land restoration studies in Ethiopia. Through analyzing 314 peer-reviewed scientific articles on land restoration initiatives and studies for Ethiopia published between 1985 and 2020, we aimed to: i) develop a novel approach that would allow for the semi-automatization of analyzing gender aspects in a large set of scientific documents using machine learning techniques, ii) assessed the current evidence on gender integration in peer-reviewed studies related to RDL, and iii) identified what gender issues are discussed in RDL literature. We employed text mining techniques to analyze the literature for keywords and to classify articles into three main classes: gender blind, gender sensitive, and gender transformative, based on the extent to which gender and social inclusion keywords appeared in the studies. Our analysis showed that gender and social inclusion are rarely considered in landscape restoration studies in Ethiopia, as most studies and interventions are heavily focused on the biophysical and environmental aspects of restoration. Despite an exponential increase in the use of gender and social inclusion keywords after 2005, most of the research (58 percent of articles) remains gender blind. The most frequently used related terms remained generic, e.g. community, access, participatory, and tenure. Only 38% of the studies could be classified as gender sensitive to a certain degree, and a strikingly low number of articles (4 percent) ― which consider the systematic challenges women face ― could be defined as gender transformative. This implies that scientific evidence about how land restoration has benefited men and women, and to what extent it could transform gender and power dynamics, is lacking. Our findings demonstrate the urgent need to consider gender and social inclusion to ensure associated benefits of land restoration practices

    Total elemental composition of soils in Sub-Saharan Africa and relationship with soil forming factors

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    AbstractA thorough understanding of the variation in total soil element concentrations is important especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) soil contexts for agricultural and environmental management at large scale. Fingerprinting of soil elemental composition may form a useful basis for evaluating soils in a way that relates to soil-forming factors and inherent soil functional properties. The objectives of this paper are to quantify the proportion of variability in total elemental composition by total X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) method of 1074 soil samples from the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) Project baseline and to determine the relationships with soil forming factors. The samples were from 34 sentinel sites measuring 10×10km, randomized within major climate zones in SSA. Within each sentinel site there were sixteen spatially stratified 1km2 clusters, within which there were ten 100m2 plots. The within and between site patterns of variation in total element composition of 17 elements; Al, P, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, Sr, Y, Ta, and Pb, were explored. Total element concentration values were within the range reported globally for soil Cr, Mn, Zn, Ni, V, Sr, and Y and higher than reported range for Al, Cu, Ta, Pb, and Ga. There were significant variations (P<0.05) in total element composition within and between the sites for all the elements analyzed with the greatest proportion of total variance and number of significant variance components occurring at the site (55–88%) followed by the cluster nested within site (10–40%) levels. The explorations of the relationships between element composition data and site factors using Random Forest regression demonstrated that soil-forming factors have important influence on total elemental composition in the soil. The fact that the soil-forming factors are related to the concentration of naturally occurring elements in the soil gives rise to the notion that they might be predicted from the soils' element composition. Results implied that >70% of variation in soil element composition patterns can be predicted using information in existing databases or readily observable features. Successful use of TXRF technique would open up possibilities for using total soil elemental composition fingerprints as a useful basis for characterizing soils in a way that relates to soil-forming factors and inherent soil functional properties

    The effect of climate-smart agriculture on soil fertility, crop yield, and soil carbon in Southern Ethiopia

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    It is critical to develop technologies that simultaneously improve agricultural production,offset impacts of climate change, and ensure food security in a changing climate. Within this context,considerable attention has been given to climate-smart agricultural practices (CSA). This study wasconducted to investigate the effects of integrating different CSA practices on crop production, soilfertility, and carbon sequestration after being practiced continuously for up to 10 years. The CSApractices include use of soil and water conservation (SWC) structures combined with biologicalmeasures, hedgerow planting, crop residue management, grazing management, crop rotation, andperennial crop-based agroforestry systems. The landscapes with CSA interventions were comparedto farmers’ business-as-usual practices (i.e., control). Wheat (Triticumsp.) yield was quantified from245 households.The results demonstrated that yield was 30–45% higher under CSA practices than thecontrol (p< 0.05). The total carbon stored at a soil depth of 1 m was three- to seven-fold higher underCSA landscapes than the control. CSA interventions slightly increased the soil pH and exhibited2.2–2.6 and 1.7–2.7 times more total nitrogen and plant-available phosphorus content, respectively,than the control. The time series Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) revealed higher soilmoisture content under CSA. The findings illustrated the substantial opportunity of integrating CSApractices to build climate change resilience of resource-poor farmers through improving crop yield,reducing nutrient depletion, and mitigating GHG emissions through soil carbon sequestratiom

    Characterizing and evaluating the impacts of national land restoration initiatives on ecosystem services in Ethiopia

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    Land restoration is considered to be the remedy for 21st century global challenges of land degradation. As a result, various land restoration and conservation efforts are underway at different scales. Ethiopia is one of the countries with huge investments in land restoration. Tremendous land management practices have been implemented across the country since the 1970s. However, the spatial distribution of the interventions has not been documented, and there is no systematic, quantitative evidence on whether land restoration efforts have achieved the restoration of desired ecosystem services. Therefore, we carried out a meta‐analysis of peer‐reviewed scientific literature related to land restoration efforts and their impacts in Ethiopia. Results show that most of the large‐scale projects have been implemented in the highlands, specifically in Tigray and Amhara regions covering about 24 agro‐ecological zones, and land restoration impact studies are mostly focused in the highlands but restricted in about 11 agro‐ecological zones. The highest mean effect on agricultural productivity is obtained from the combination of bunds and biological interventions followed by conservation agriculture practices with 170 % and 18% increases, respectively. However, bunds alone, biological intervention alone, and terracing (Fanya Juu) reveal negative effects on productivity. The mean effect of all land restoration interventions on soil organic carbon is positive, the highest effect being from “bunds + biological” (139%) followed by exclosure (90%). Reduced soil erosion and runoff are the dominant impacts of all interventions. The results can be used to improve existing guidelines to better match land restoration options with specific desired ecosystem functions and services. While the focus of this study was on the evaluation of the impacts of land restoration efforts on selected ecosystem services, impacts on livelihood and national socio‐economy have not been examined. Thus, strengthening socio‐economic studies at national scale to assess the sustainability of land restoration initiatives are an essential next step