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Income diversification through improved irrigation in Ethiopia: impacts, constraints and prospects for poverty reduction

Working papers

Written by Josephine Tucker

This study examined the role of water investments (specifically

irrigation) in increasing the resilience of small-scale farmers through income diversification in different agro-ecological settings, and sought to understand the constraints faced by households in generating income from productive water use.

Three study sites were selected from Goro Gutu Wereda in East Hararghe Zone, representing different agro-ecological settings (highlands, mid altitudes and lowlands). In all three sites irrigation schemes are present which contribute to support households in diversifying their income sources.

The aims of the study were to (i) assess the existing income diversification patterns and changes that happened as a result of improving access to water for productive uses; (ii) investigate how income diversification affects different livelihoods in different agroecological settings; and (iii) identify opportunities and constraints for improved water-based income diversification to support households to move from vulnerability to secure livelihoods, in a context of frequent droughts and the prospect of increased water scarcity under climate change.

Samson Eshetu, Belayneh Belete, Degeye Goshu, Belay Kassa, Demeksa Tamiru, Estifanos Worku, Zelalem Lema,Addisu Delelegn, Josephine Tucker, Zemede Abebe