Journal of
Agricultural Extension and Rural Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Agric. Ext. Rural Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2170
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAERD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 489


Land degradation and possible mitigation measures in Ethiopia: A review

Belay Asnake
  • Belay Asnake
  • Joint Emergency Operation (JEOP), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 15 March 2023
  •  Accepted: 17 September 2023
  •  Published: 31 January 2024


Land degradation is considered an important topic of the 21st century, associated with the decline in soil fertility, and has become a serious threat to agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa. Land degradation is widely recognized as reducing agricultural potential and contributing to ongoing food insecurity and rural poverty. The economy of Ethiopia is primarily based on agriculture, and Ethiopia has experienced significant land degradation. Land degradation refers to the temporary or permanent lowering of the productive capacity of land. Common forms of land degradation in Ethiopia include desertification, soil erosion, soil fertility decline, waterlogging, salinization, and a lowering of the water table. Causes of land degradation include population pressure, deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, overgrazing, climatic shocks, limited adoption of soil conservation practices, invasive alien species, fires, mining and poverty. The implementation of best management practices (BMP), such as agronomy measures, organic fertilizers, agroforestry practices, minimum soil disturbance, area closure, water management, hillside terraces, fanya-juu terraces, soil bunds, stone bunds, afforestation, and reforestation, are important mitigation measures for land degradation. The implementation of multilateral environmental agreements for achieving zero net land degradation may also be used as a mitigation strategy for addressing land degradation.

Key words: Land degradation, best management practices, multi-lateral environmental agreements, agricultural productivity.