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Karlsson, Sofia (2006) Reducing farming household vulnerability in connection to khat cultivation. Other thesis, SLU.

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Abstract

This master thesis study was carried out in the area of Wondo Genet in Ethiopia from October 2005 to February 2006. The study is connected to the DOIT-AR project which is an interdisciplinary, action research project which aims at making local communities to primary clients of the research done within the Wondo Genet College of Forestry. The objective of the study was to better understand how farmers' livelihoods could be understood in the context of khat and how the vulnerability of khat growing farmers could be reduced. The study was connected to the DOIT-AR sub-project "Reducing Farming Household Vulnerability to Hardships as a Basis for Improving Livelihood – A Case Study in Gotu Onoma, Wondo Genet". Khat is a perennial shrub which leaves are chewed on for their stimulating effect. The use of khat is traditional among Muslims in east Ethiopia, but cultivation and chewing is now spreading to other parts of the country and the use of khat is also wide spread in the world. This case study was performed with the use of qualitative methods and an action research approach was used. The research is based entirely on interviews and is seen as a participatory process together with three farming families. Beside the three participating farmers, other interviews were performed in order to better understand the farmers' situation. Sources of vulnerability in connection to khat were identified and possible changes to improve the situation were discussed with the farmers. It was found that khat is a high and steady source of income and secures the livelihood of the farmers throughout the year. In terms of reduced vulnerability together with khat was also mentioned the positive effects of chewing as well as the soil-conservation character of the khat plant. Sources of farmers' vulnerability in connection to khat are; the relation with traders where farmers have an inferior position, the big problem with thieves on khat in the area with breakdown of social ties and a high work-load with watching the khat as outcomes, the more or less haphazard use of pesticides on khat as well as the negative effects of chewing. It is recommended that more research is done on health effects in connection to khat. An open approach from the government towards khat cultivation and chewing could open up the discussion on the issue, both on social effects and issues of health. More agricultural support, foremost with advice on pesticides could make a considerable difference for the farmers. A common platform between the farmers to meet the problems of thieves, to strengthen the position towards the traders and to learn about pesticides would probably reduce their vulnerability.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Ethiopia, Wondo Genet, khat, DOIT-AR, vulnerability, action research
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Sofia Karlsson
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2006
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:42
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/1104

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