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Determinants of Agricultural Intensification by Smallholder Farmers in Northeast Ethiopia: The Case of Dessie Zuria District


Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries, where the agriculture sector is highly dominant both in the share of GDP and the labor force. However, this sector has not developed so far, leaving the country in serious food insecurity problem. The sector’s problem is manifested by low productivity, drought and other natural calamities. In a situation of increasing land scarcity agricultural intensification is the preferred agricultural development pathway in order to improve food security at national, local, and individual levels. This paper tries to explain factors influencing the decisions of smallholder farmers to intensify their subsistence agriculture. The research was conducted in Eastern part of the Amhara region,(where the problem is immense) Dessie Zuria district by selecting two sample kebeles out of which 100 farmers(50 from each kebele) were selected randomly. We used descriptive statistics and a regression model to analyze the data. Nine explanatory variables (out of fifteen) were found important to explain the decision of farmers to intensify. These variables were, experience in agricultural extension package participation, ownership of land that has access to irrigation water, education level of the HH head, income from sale of crop products, number of livestock owned, administrative responsibility of the HH head, participation in agricultural trainings, access to credit for agricultural purpose, and primary level cooperative membership. All of these factors have positive impacts on the decision of farmers to intensify. Therefore, they should be taken on board in local decision making and beyond to enhance intensification among smallholder farmers.

Corporate Author: 
Demirew Getachew; Getenet Alemu; Worku Gebeyehu (Editors) and Ethiopian Economic Association
Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA)
Primary Descriptors: 

food insecurity

Secondary Descriptor: 

smallholder farmers

Geographic Descriptors: 
Northeast Ethiopia
Cataloge Date: 
Broad Subject heading: 
Call Number: 
330.963 PRO 2013
Serial Key Title: 
Proceeding of the Tenth International Conference on the Ethiopian EconomyEconomy
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Publication date: 
2013-06-03 00:00:00
Conference Place: 
EEA Multi-Purpose Building Conference Hall, Addis Ababa
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: 
Current frequency: 
Conference date: 
July 19 - 21, 2012