In Ethiopia, soil degradation has been the cause of declining yields, especially on fragile lands from which the poorest farmers attempt to extract a living. It has also affected the quantity and quality of the water supplies, destroying water catchments and watersheds. Bamboo is a native plant in Ethiopia, and is already an important part of many people’s livelihoods. Its unique properties could also make it an important tool for binding degraded land and restoring soil health.
From 2016 to 2018, INBAR provided technical support to the World Bank-funded programme, Sustainable Land Management (phase II), which aims to tackle Ethiopia’s chronic land degradation. INBAR worked to scale up the use of bamboo for land restoration, by building capacity and providing training, and overseeing the implementation, monitoring and evaluating of the bamboo components of the programme.
Overall, over the course of the two-year project, 12 exotic bamboo species were introduced, 2 million seedlings were produced and some 400 hectares of bamboo were planted. Several training sessions, and two study tours to China, were carried out to build capacity in bamboo management and product creation. Over 1500 beneficiaries attended, and participants included representatives from relevant government ministries. As well as this, a training manual, value chain analysis and market assessment of bamboo products were produced.
For a more detailed summary of the project, please see here.