Building Adaptation Strategies to Moisture Deficit on Farmer's Experience: Lessons from Rural Communities of Kobo District, Northeastern Ethiopia

Asnake Adane


The  study endeavors to explore the response of farmers to subsequent soil moisture stress on cultivated fields in Northeastern highlands of Ethiopia in general and Kobo wereda in particular. A microcosm of drought prone areas, Kobo wereda of North Wollo Zone, was selected for the study. The socio-economic as well as the biophysical data that have relevance to the study were collected and both the local adaptive mechanisms and the external interventions were explored using questionnaire surveys, focus group discussions, key informant interview and field observations. For purpose of household survey, 180 households were taken from the selected Kebeles. Seen in this way, the study divulges into the  pool of local  adaptive practices, backed up   by ‘megabytes’ of information, are /were practiced by farmers of the study Kebeles. These are agronomic, physical and biological measures. The measures are well adapted to local conditions and widely practiced by farmers. These on-farm adaptive mechanisms such as traditional ditches (feses), adjusting cropping calendar (early sowing, late sowing and response farming), weed heaping have been practiced and/or managed by the household. Other indigenous   practices such as traditional waterways, traditional cutoff drain, flood diversion and others are also important adaptive mechanisms.From the study it has also been unpacked that farmers’ decision to invest on adaptive activities and their choice of measures are challenged by several factors. Finally, the way forward of the study is that further studies should focus on adaptive mechanisms in the study area.

Keywords: Local Adaptive mechanisms, Soil Moisture Stress, Kobo Wereda.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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