Most of the agriculture in the Ethiopian part of the Nile Basin is rain-fed. Its low productivity can be explained to a large extent by the lack of appropriate rainwater management. Promoting rainwater management practices in Ethiopia is not new, but most have been promoted regardless of the bio-physical and socio-economic context and without considering local expertise.

This poster, prepared for the ILRI@40 series of events, gives an overview of efforts to improve rainwater management in Ethiopia using the Nile-Goblet tool in the Nile Basin Development Challenge (NBDC) project.

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Farmer explaning his experience with Desho grass to field day visitors at Kolugelan, Jeldu (Photo credit - ILRI / Adie)

Farmer explaining his experience with Desho grass to field day visitors at Kolugelan, Jeldu (Photo credit – ILRI / Aberra Adie)

Small-scale farmers face numerous challenges to invest in natural resource management practices.

The problems are interlinked, with such perverse economic problems as high transaction costs and risk rooted in the lack of comprehensive institutional and organizational services to farmers for risk reduction and incentive creation. Failure to address such a missing link undermines success in natural resource management.

This paper ponders the importance of such a missing link and proposes an analytic framework that explicitly integrates the economics of natural resource management into institutional and organizational analysis. The framework features the instrumentality of integrated institutional and organizational innovation to create opportunities and incentives to small-scale farmers to encourage investment in natural resource management practices.

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