The study was conducted in Borana zone, which is located at about 570 km from Addis Ababa with the objective of understanding the farming system of Borana pastoral area. The primary data was collected using survey questionnaires from 160 households selected using multistage sampling design. The study confirmed that the farming system in Borana pastoral area has been increasingly diluted, unlike the earlier decades where livestock were used to stand as the backbone of their economy. The inference from the sample household indicated larger portion of their livelihood is crop-livestock integration dependent, unlike the conventional account. Even though the livelihood diversification is possible to reduce the risk agriculture, in the study area the diversification into crop farming could intensify further devastation of nature by diverting attention to other livelihood option resource if care is not in place. Practically, owned to decline in livestock productivity, it enforced the pastoralists to enhance the trade-off between crops-livestock production or its integration. The survey result also displayed that about 85% of the respondent has been producing at least one crop besides the livestock production. This induces a critical question on the existents of the pastoralists if sustainable livelihood of the pastoralism is not in concern. However, owned to the critical importance of the pastoral system, interventions to enhance the pastoral livelihood need urgent measures. Furthermore, this study recommends for further deep analysis on optimization of the livelihood diversification in pastoral area for enhancing sustainable livelihood.
Key words: Borana, crop pastoral, diversification, farming system, livestock.
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