Effects of Land Use Types and Conservation Practices on Selected Soil Physico-Chemical Properties in Anjeni Micro Watershed, Dembecha District, EthiopiaAuthor(s): Asefa Berelie*
Rapid increase in population demands more production of food, fodder, fiber and fuel from the land. Highlands of Ethiopia, with altitude above 1500 Meters Above Sea Level (MASL) are the dominant sources of water, crop and fodder production. They are densely populated and hold about 90% human and about two-thirds of livestock population. The highlands cover about 50% of the land area with 95% of the cropping land accounting for over 90% of the country’s economy. To meet these needs, vast tracts of land are being put under intensive cropping and large areas of grasslands are being overgrazed and degraded in Ethiopia. Additionally, new and often marginal lands are being brought into production. Soil resources are finite, non-renewable and prone to degradation through misuse and mismanagement . In Ethiopia, natural resources are under great pressure. Land degradation, including deforestation, soil erosion and biological soil degradation had been reported to be very rampant throughout the country . Reported that because of its topographic nature, the removal of land cover leads to soil degradation. Environmental degradation, high population growth in developing countries, and the need to enhance sustainable agricultural productivity are interlocked issues that constitute a triple global challenge currently. For combating and minimizing the rate of soil degradation and to improve the land productivity through sustainable use of soil resources, understanding the soil physicochemical characteristics of land use systems and management practices are required. Moreover, understanding the effect of land use types and conservation practices on soil properties is useful for developing land management strategies and for sustainable agriculture .