Thursday, April 27, 2017

Alternative incomes : giving land less people a chance

Because of the landholding system in Ethiopia, many people are so-called landless, i.e. they do not own certified farming land.

Landless people are often given other natural resources which they are required to administer sustainably. On our reconnaissance tour in Atsbi, we find out that there were 3 options.

1. irrigated rehabilitated land

Some of the governmental land get rehabilitated through mass mobilization. When it is possible, the government set up a small irrigation scheme, the newly gained land and offers landless people to crop.

a small scale irrigation scheme

2. maintain the a the forest

Some landless people can get a piece of forest, where they can collect the fruit sometime cut some branches to maintain the forest. In addition to that, the owner can keep beehives. Each beehive need to be kept 2 m from each other. We met a farmer that used his piece of land optimally, and was able to produce very pure white honey. He was producing about 300 kg a year. But when we wanted to buy some, we learned that he had sold it all. There is no market problem for the white Tigray honey.
The very successful honey producer
So in the end we bough from someone else for 350 birr per kg, this is 13.5 usd, the fair price for the top quality honey...  good business
the girl are packing our honey

 3. fisheries

 There is an fishery expert in the zone, quite astonishing for a region that is as dry as Tigray. But because of the long dry period, there are many dams to collect the water. The government is planning to have fish in these ponds and dams. This offer another profitable activity to landless people.
water in a dam

The is a clear push in the area to find new alternative incomes for people who do not have land. A great initiative. But will it be sufficient for this growing population?