The study examines linkages among rural poverty, land management practices and agricultural productivity. In separate chapters, the book covers several issues. In the introductory part, it touches upon the magnitude of poverty, land degradation and low agricultural productivity both at international and local levels. The book deals with theories concerning poverty-land degradation linkages. A major emphasis is also placed on rural development policies and land tenure systems in Ethiopia, in general and the study area, in particular. Using data collected from 254 randomly selected farm households, the book considered three agro-ecological zones. It then analyzes poverty incidence and major triggering factors. It also analyzes the major factors affecting the use of sustainable land management practices. Last but not least, the study gauges technical efficiency level of farmers and identify factors causing inefficiency.
The book explicates that the above-mentioned problems are in a quagmire of causality as far as the study area is concerned. This implies that poverty, land management practices, and low agricultural productivity influence one another and are jointly influenced by several independent factors. Findings in this book suggest that the usual assumption of targeting poverty per se does not help much. Instead, efforts should be made to target both land management issues and agricultural productivity simultaneously. In fact, given the bulk of the population dwelling in rural areas (earning incomes directly from agriculture), agriculture is an essential component in the fight against poverty. In this regard, both short-term productivity gains and long-term transformation issues need to be considered.