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Local dynamics and external drivers of agro-ecological change in Southwestern Ethiopia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

While previous research on African smallholder agriculture has been criticized of focusing on the sole factor of population pressure as driver of agricultural degradation or intensification, the present study tries to nuance this debate by providing empirically grounded research, exploring the dynamics behind local agro-ecological change. The thesis specifically studies the dynamics behind small-scale farmers’ crop choices in relation to their management of trees in cropland in Gera District, Ethiopia. Drawing on situated landscape interviews and focus group discussions with farmers combined with observations and interviews with agriculture officials, a contextual understanding of local agro-ecological processes emerged. While political ecology was used as an overarching framework, the concept of landesque capital served as an analytical tool to explore how external and local forces interact at the point of the land management decision. It was found that external factors sometimes have a reinforcing effect at the local scale, but when top-down interventions are incoherent with bottom-up priorities, a conflict occurs. In this way, local dynamics and external drivers constitute an interacting dialectic, with a set of unintentional synergies and trade-offs eventually forming agro-ecological landscape change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 78 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethiopia, agricultural change, agroecology, top-down, bottom-up, political ecology, landesque capital, participatory rural appraisal
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82536OAI: diva2:570277
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Examining mismatches between management and the supply of ecosystem services in Ethiopian agroecosystems across scales in space and time
Available from: 2012-12-19 Created: 2012-11-18 Last updated: 2012-12-19Bibliographically approved

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