This article examines land-use changes by large-scale plantations in Ethiopia and evaluates the impacts thereof on soil organic carbon, micronutrients and bulk density. Remote sensing analysis and field research activities were undertaken at four large-scale plantation projects in Benshanguel Gumuz, Gambella, and Oromia regional states. Results show that the projects largely involved the conversion of both closed and open to closed forests and grasslands, which in turn reduced soil carbon stock and micronutrient levels and increased soil compaction. We argue that unless appropriate soil management activities and impact mitigation strategies are adopted by plantation proponents, these land-use changes will pose a serious threat to the long-term economic viability and sustainability of plantation agriculture in Ethiopia. This could undermine long-term ecosystem health and national food security.
Topic: land use, land use change, plantations
Publication Year: 2015
Source: Agriculture and Human Values 33(3): 689-704