Indirect contributions of forests to dietary diversity in Southern Ethiopia

Baudron, Frédéric, Duriaux Chavarria, Jean-Yves, Remans, Roseline, Yang, Kevin, and Sunderland, Terry (2017) Indirect contributions of forests to dietary diversity in Southern Ethiopia. Ecology and Society, 22 (2). 28.

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We assess whether forests contribute indirectly to the dietary diversity of rural households by supporting diverse agricultural production systems. We applied our study in a landscape mosaic in Southern Ethiopia that was divided into three zones of increasing distance to Munesa Forest—“near,” “intermediate,” and “distant.” A variety of research tools and methods, including remote sensing, participatory methods, farm survey, and yield assessment, were employed. Diets of households were more diverse in the near zone than in the other two zones (6.58 ± 1.21, 5.38 ± 1.02, and 4.41 ± 0.77 food groups consumed daily in the near, intermediate, and distant zones, respectively). This difference was not explained by food items collected from Munesa Forest but by biomass flows from the forest to farmlands. Munesa Forest contributed an average of 6.13 ± 2.90 tons of biomass per farm and per year to the farms in the near zone, in the form of feed and fuelwood. Feed from the forest allowed for larger livestock herds in the near zone compared with the other two zones, and fuelwood from the forest reduced the need to use cattle dung as fuel in the near zone compared with the two other zones. These two biomass flows contributed to the availability of more manure to farmers closer to the forest (908 ± 853 kg farm -1 , 771 ± 717 kg farm -1 , and 261 ± 487 kg farm -1 in the near, intermediate, and distant zones, respectively). In turn, increased manure enabled a larger percentage of farms to cultivate a diversified homegarden (87, 64, and 39% of farms in the near, intermediate, and distant zones, respectively). Homegardens and livestock products provided the greater contribution to household dietary diversity closer to the forest.

Item ID: 54090
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1708-3087
Keywords: fuelwood; homegarden; landscape mosaic; livestock; nontimber forest products; nutrition; nutrition-sensitive agriculture
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This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Funders: Department for International Development (DFID), United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Projects and Grants: USAID The New Agrarian Change
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2018 02:46
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079999 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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