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The effect of production decline of Qoltso on food security in Gamo Highlands, South-west Ethiopia

  • Abera Uncha UtalloEmail author
  • Tarekegne Shado Shano
  • Degefa Tolosa Degaga


Qoltso is a seasonal crop that grows as weedy root crop where the land is cultivated for other cerials. The production and productivity of Qoltso is rapidly declining which resulted in food shortage in specific months in the Gamo Highland. The main objective of this research was to assess the impact of Qoltso production decline on food security of rural households in the Gamo Highland. Data were collected from 153 randomly selected rural households in the four sample sites using participatory rural appraisal, in-depth interview and questionnaire. The result indicate that Qoltso productivity declined primarily because agricultural extension workers discourage farmers who produce Qoltso. Secondly, farm households inappropriately manage Qoltso production. Thirdly, of manure/organic fertilizer were becoming scarce. Fourthly, framers were rather encouraged to focus on newly introduced crop varieties (improved seeds). Traditional management practices such as properly cutting and burring the root-top while harvesting the product, collecting and evenly burring small Qoltso (mare), and applying only homemade livestock manure were found to be the major mechanisms to enhance its productivity. However, the result indicated that 75.8% of the studied households faced food shortage between June to September due to the decline of Qoltso production and productivity. This period in fact was the harvest period for Qoltso and households were expected to safely pass the period if Qualso production were not declining. It was recommended that indigenous soil fertility management practices should be implemented to inhance the productivity of the crop. Attention should also be given to the crop by the agricultural extention workers.


Qoltso Food shortage Production decline Indigenous Gamo Highland 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental StudiesArba Minch UniversityArba MinchEthiopia
  2. 2.Center for Indigenous QuestionAddis AbabaEthiopia
  3. 3.College of Development StudiesAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia

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