|Book Series (76)||
|Biochemistry, molecular biology, gene technology||105|
|Domestic and nutritional science||39|
|Environmental research, ecology and landscape conservation||126|
|ISBN-13 (Hard Copy)||9783954049684|
|Place of Dissertation||Hohenheim|
Ethiopia is known for its crop and livestock diversity that is distributed across different agro-ecologies and socio-cultural settings. The country has the largest livestock population in Africa, with 52 million cattle, 25 million sheep, 21 million goats and 38 million chickens (CSA, 2010). Smallholder agriculture is the main economy of the country. More than 84% of the total 90 million people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. The mixed crop-livestock system, which prevails mostly in the highlands of the country, harbours more than 60% of the people and two thirds of the ruminant population (Dejene, 2003; Cecchi et al., 2010). Large areas of the mixed farming systems in Ethiopia experience high population pressure with spatial differences across the country. Particularly in the perennial crop-growing areas of the southern highlands, very high rural population densities per arable land exist (Yilma, 2001; Regassa and Yusufe, 2009). In addition to the spatial differences, a temporal trend shows a sharp decline in per capita farmland holdings in the country; from 0.5 ha to less than 0.2 ha between 1960 and 2000 (Jayne et al., 2003). Consequently, this population growth has implications on ownership and distribution of basic production assets in the agrarian society, notably farmland and livestock.