Mapping natural resources in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, like in many other sub-Saharan countries, agricultural productivity in dryland areas is low.

For a cereal like for example wheat (Triticum spp.)the average yield was estimated 1379 kg/ha in the period 2000-2005. Production is clearly not covering domestic demands since in the years 2001-2003 about 12 % of the total cereal consumption was imported whereas at the same time 46% of the population was undernourished and agricultural GDP was only 56 dollar (FAO, 2007). The study area, Tigray, is located in northern Ethiopia on the border with Eritrea. Like many other parts of Ethiopia it can be considered as highland area, with altitudes ranging from 1500 to over 2600 m asl. The landscape mainly consists of strongly dissected sandstone, limestone and basalt plateaus resulting in a very rugged topography. Main soil types found are cambisols, luvisols, vertisols and leptosols. Most of the northern highlands suffer from a lack of moisture: in Tigray average annual precipitation is about 600 mm and highly variable. Most of Tigray can be considered as semi-arid drylands.  In this project, you will prepare and carry out a field survey of soil- and landscape properties in the Tigray region. This will be part of an ongoing Phd project aimed at studying farm strategies for improving crop productivity.

Students: preferably 2

Required: SGL 31806, SGL-33306

Duration: minimum of 24 ECTS

Location: Wageningen (SGL), Fieldwork in Ethiopia

Period: In mutual consultation

Please contact first Jetse SToorvogel

Supervision: Richard Kraaijvanger, Marthijn Sonneveld, Gerard Heuvelink

Theme: 1 and 2