Unpicking the socioecological drivers and impacts of agricultural expansion in Ethiopia

Tagel Gebrehiwot, Hailemariam Teklewold, Adam Devenish, Nugun P Jellason, Adrienne Martin, Robel Seifemichael, Barbara Adolph
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In Ethiopia, a rapidly growing population, widespread poverty, unemployment, low agricultural productivity and a lack of alternative income sources mean that rural people often expand agricultural land into forested areas, leading to loss of ecosystem services. There is an urgent need for policymakers to strike a balance between increasing food production to meet rising food demand and reduce poverty while meeting conservation objectives. This includes addressing low agricultural productivity and increasing support for research, technological development, extension services and capacity building.

This policy brief is based on fieldwork findings from reconnaissance surveys in Ethiopia conducted in July 2019 as part of the Sentinel project. The surveys involved a rapid assessment of the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of agriculture across seven communities in Ethiopia.