Evaluation of new farming technologies in Ethiopia using the Integrated Decision Support System (IDSS)
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This study investigates multi-dimensional impacts of adopting new technology in agriculture at the farm/village and watershed scale in sub-Saharan Africa using the Integrated Decision Support System (IDSS). Application of IDSS as an integrated modeling tool helps solve complex issues in agricultural systems by simultaneously assessing production, environmental, economic, and nutritional consequences of adopting agricultural technologies for sustainable increases in food production and use of scarce natural resources. The IDSS approach was applied to the Amhara region of Ethiopia, where the scarcity of resources and agro-environmental consequences are critical to agricultural productivity of small farm, to analyze the impacts of alternative agricultural technology interventions. Results show significant improvements in family income and nutrition, achieved through the adoption of irrigation technologies, proper use of fertilizer, and improved seed varieties while preserving environmental indicators in terms of soil erosion and sediment loadings. These pilot studies demonstrate the usefulness of the IDSS approach as a tool that can be used to predict and evaluate the economic and environmental consequences of adopting new agricultural technologies that aim to improve the livelihoods of subsistence farmers.
author list (cited authors)
Clarke, N., Bizimana, J., Dile, Y., Worqlul, A., Osorio, J., Herbst, B., ... Jeong, J.