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Land Use Scenarios and Their Effect on Potential Crop Production: The Case of Gambella Region, Ethiopia

Department of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 80333 Munich, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(5), 105;
Received: 19 April 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
PDF [1727 KB, uploaded 10 May 2019]


Agricultural intensification and cropland expansion are the key policies to increase food production in Ethiopia. Gambella is one of the regions in Ethiopia which is highly suitable for agriculture; however, the local people still face food shortages. We therefore investigated the potential for intensification and cropland expansion. In this study, we developed land use scenarios of agricultural intensification and expansion and analysed their effect on potential crop production in the region and estimated the population that could be nourished as a result. We distinguished between different degrees of intensification, ranging from low input rainfed to high input irrigated agriculture and different degrees of expansion, considering the best 30% or 50% of land to be utilized for expansion. While the results reveal that irrigation had almost no effect on potential yields, they also show that the potential calorie production in all scenarios far exceeds the current and possible future caloric requirements of Gambella’s population. For example, for the top 50% expansion scenario, calorie production increased by +428% for the low input and by +1092% for the high input scenarios. Thus, Gambella could nourish up to 21 million people and serve as a bread basket for the entire country, which could improve national food security. View Full-Text
Keywords: cropland expansion; Gambella region; intensification; land use scenarios cropland expansion; Gambella region; intensification; land use scenarios

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Degife, A.W.; Zabel, F.; Mauser, W. Land Use Scenarios and Their Effect on Potential Crop Production: The Case of Gambella Region, Ethiopia. Agriculture 2019, 9, 105.

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