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Family Farms

Family farms – Reducing food insecurity among family farming households by improved biomass-based value webs: potentials and limitations

Problem statement:

Fifty percent of all food-insecure people in sub-Saharan Africa depend on small-scale family farming. Family farms represent eighty percent of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa and constitute the backbone of many African countries’ economies. Family farms can be both, major driving forces for and impediments to agrarian transformation.

Objectives:

  1. To provide evidence on potentials and limitations to reduce food insecurity among family farming in two exemplary case studies (an extensive agro-forestry system in a protected area and an intensive maize-based farming system in an ‘agricultural food basket’) in Ethiopia by improving biomass-based value webs

Research questions:

  1. What are the food production characteristics in an extensive agro-forestry system in a protected area and an intensive maize-based farming system in an ‘agricultural food basket’ in Ethiopia?
  2. What are the particular roles and interests of local actors?
  3. Which state and non-state institutions influence actors’ decision-making in what way?
  4. What incentives and disincentives determine family farmers’ decisions to produce food or non-food products in the exemplified farming systems?
  5. What are the potentials and limitations of family farming households to contribute to and benefit from exemplified biomass-based value webs?
  6. How far can biomass-based value webs contribute to the reduction of risks and vulnerability of family farming households?

Methodology:

Focus group discussions, household surveys with semi-structured questionnaires, visual communication techniques, transect walks, expert interviews in local, regional and national level

Countries of field research:

Ethiopia

Involved partners:

  • Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn
  • Environment and Coffee Forest Forum (ECFF), Addis Ababa

Investigators:

  • Dr. Till Stellmacher
    Senior Researcher
    Center for Development Research (ZEFa)
    Email: t.stellmacher@uni-bonn.de
  • Dr. Girma Kelboro Mensuro
    Senior Researcher
    Center for Development Research (ZEF)
    Department: Political and Cultural Change (ZEFa)
  • Dr. Tadesse Woldemariam Gole
    Senior Researcher
    Environment and Coffee Forest Forum (ECFF)
  • Getachew Lgese Feye
    Junior Researcher
    Center for Development Research
    Department: Political and Cultural Change (ZEF A)

Associated partners in Ethiopia:

  • Addis Ababa University, PhD Program “Environmental Planning” at EiABC
  • The Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HoA-REC/N)
  • Ethiopian Economic Association/ Ethiopian Economic Policy Research Institute (EEA/EEPRI)
  • Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)
  • Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources