African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848

Article in Press

Trends in Major Cereal Crop Production and Utilization of Extension Packages by Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia

Mohammed Ahmed and Truayinet Mekuriaw

  •  Received: 22 August 2023
  •  Accepted: 22 February 2024
This article analyses the trends in the production and utilization of extension packages for major cereal crops, including maize, barley, wheat, tef, and sorghum, by smallholder farmers in Ethiopia between the 2003/04 and 2020/21 Meher cropping seasons. Data from the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA) published in the past two decades were utilized to analyze the growth rate of major cereal crops, the number of extension package users and the area covered by these packages for each crop. The study found a significant increase in the number of households engaged in the cultivation of major cereal crops, especially maize, wheat, and tef, in Amhara, Tigray, and Oromia regions, which experienced respective increases of 8.3%, 21.7%, and 25.4% over the past two decades. The study also shows a significant increase in the area coverage for major cereal crop production in Ethiopia during the same period, with maize, wheat, and tef being the main contributors to this growth. Moreover, the users of extension packages for cereals have increased from 23.9% in 2004 to 62.7% in 2021, this indicated that an increasing adoption of modern agricultural practices by smallholder farmers. The SNNP, Oromia, and Amhara regions showed the highest proportion of extension package users, while the Tigray region consistently had the lowest. Notably, maize (9.8%) and sorghum (9.1%) exhibited the highest compounded annual growth rate (CAGR), signifying their increasing popularity among farmers. However, the users of extension packages (-2.0) and the area coverage (-1.9) for barley in the Tigray region experienced a decline. Thus, further efforts should be made to promote the use of extension packages for barley in Tigray region.

Keywords: CSA, Cereal crops, Extension packages, Meher, Smallholder farmers