Agricultural Landscape Features and Farmers' Traditional Classification of Their Agricultural Soils in KedidaGamela, Kachabira and Damboya Woredas (Administrative Districts) in Southern Ethiopia

Alemu Lelago


Ethiopia has extremely varied topography and agro-ecology which is basis for variability of soil properties even in smaller administrative units. The objective of this research was to   characterize the agricultural landscape features of Kedida Gamela, kecha Bira and Damboya woredas by identifying landscape positions, textural classes of soil at different landscape positions and local knowledge of farmers in soil classification. Totally 463 geo referenced farm of small holder farmers was survived by using grid based survey and composite soil samples were collected from each site. The elevation and slopes were measured by ODK collectors and clinometers, respectively. The local name of the soil on each plot was identified by interviewing the owner farmers.  The particle size distribution was analyzed by laser diffraction spectroscopy.  The altitudes and slopes of the study area ranged between 1689 and 2637 m.a.s.l. and 0.9 and 35%, respectively. Farmers in the study area classify soil by using physical properties in to ten classes such as key, tikur, lam, marare, balaleco, shafa, darak, dora, bona and kota. The clay, silt and sand particles ranged from 20.28 to 79.33, 6.23 to 44.51 and 8.47 to 51.46%, respectively. The textural classes of the soil vary through clay, clay loam, loam and sandy loam. In order to improve the agricultural production in study area, relating farmers local knowledge of soil with scientific knowledge and site specific soil fertility management are highly recommended.

Keywords: Altitude, slope, texture and local knowledge of farmers

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

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