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Participatory Development of Soil Conservation Measures at the Debre-Mewi Watershed in the Upper Catchment of the Blue Nile Basin, Northwest Ethiopia

Getachew Fisseha, Heluf Gebrekidan, Kibebew Kibret, Bobe Bedadi, Birru Yitaferu

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.1(6), 199-213, December 2011


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This study was carried out to assess the magnitude of soil erosion by water under different management practices [Fanyajuu with elephant grass (FEG), Fanyajuu with vetiver grass (FVG), sole Fanyajuu (SF) and non-conserved (NC) soil], evaluate response of crop yields, and develop appropriate soil conservation (SC) techniques through participatory approach. The experiment was conducted on farmers’ fields in 2009 and 2010 at the Debre-Mewi Watershed (DMW) in northwest Ethiopia. The overall reductions in soil loss due to the FEG, FVG and SF were 75.1, 80.3 and 63.6%, respectively, as compared to the NC. The increments in grain yields due to the FEG, FVG and SF as compared to the yield on the NC soil were 51.5, 48.9 and 37.7%, respectively. It was observed that the SC measures were effective in the tested plots of the DMW in increasing yield and net return as compared to the control plot. Since the structural conservation measure (Fanyajuu) accompanied by grass species (Vetiver and Elephant grasses) were found to be more effective in reducing soil erosion and increasing crop production, they were selected as promising SC techniques by all stakeholders and recommended for promotion in the DMW and areas with similar agro-climatic and socioeconomic conditions.


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