chapter  6
Harnessing Local and Outsiders’ Knowledge: Experiences of a Multi-Stakeholder Partnership to Promote Farmer Innovation in Ethiopia
ByTesfahun Fenta, Amanuel Assefa
Pages 15

Farmers in the Ethiopian highlands and pastoralists in the drier low-lands have long been challenged by food security problems. During recent decades, the situation has worsened, mainly because of human and naturally induced environmental problems (soil erosion and degradation) and population increase. In response, the Ethiopian government and international aid agencies have provided considerable support to these areas in the form of food aid, as well as development programmes aimed at reversing environmental damage and building sustainable livelihoods. Most of the interventions of government and aid agencies were externally driven, ignored the potential of local innovations and resources, and, in many cases, did not lead to sustainable development. Agricultural extension activities in Ethiopia, although o�en claiming to be participatory, remain delivery oriented rather than encouraging farmer innovation (Tesfaye, 2003).