East Africa

A growing population and the increasing use of marginal lands have led to land and ecosystem degradation in many parts of the Blue Nile Basin in East Africa. The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems works to achieve green, resilient and equitable growth in the region by promoting an agenda of sustainability for existing and emerging national and regional processes and investments. Out research promotes improved governance for equitable and sustainable management of infrastructure and ecosystems; healthy landscapes and ecosystem services for productive economies and food security; and capacity enhancement and professional development.

Woman Ethiopian Farmer
Woman in her farm in Ethiopia. 
Tadesse Desalegne/IWMI.

More than the sum of their parts

Collectively managing and controlling resources can produce benefits that are greater than if individuals were acting on their own. In Meki, Ethiopia, a seedling group is working with farmers who produce hybrid fruit trees. The group will buy back cuttings from farmers, thereby diversifying their income while encouraging grafting which leads to more nutritious fruit varieties. [read more]

Aregash Bacha puts compost on her mango seedling. 
Apollo Habtamu/IWMI

Land degradation due to unsustainable farming practices is a well established problem in Ethiopia that threatens food security, especially for the rural poor. In recent years, the government has implemented programs to try and reduce the rate of degradation, and our researchers are helping to determine the sustainability and effectiveness of these programs. One example is a government led cut-and-carry system for fodder which grows on communal lands in the Birakat watershed. By reducing grazing on communal lands, the overall yield of fodder increases while collateral damage by animals on infrastructure decreases. [read more]