Several constraints affect the performances of the farming system in Chencha suggesting the necessity of adjustments in the farm components. Therefore, an exploration was made to simultaneously optimize operating profit, labour and soil organic matter balances. Data from twelve farms and secondary data on improved technologies were used as bases for the exploration. Using the multi-objective model FarmDESIGN, the optimization was conducted for two scenarios for each farm, i.e., optimization based on the currently existing farm components and practices and by introducing new technologies and practices to amend the current farm management options. The results revealed that the farm operating profit, labour balance and organic matter balance were not yet optimized with the current farm configurations of all farms. But there is ample scope to improve and simultaneously optimize both the economic, social and environmental sustainability either through optimization of management within current farm resources, or through using improved technologies. The highest improvement could be made through combined optimization of management within current farm resources and improved technologies. The major important factor that influenced the optimization was the cropping plan, which might be associated with the management practices applied for a particular crop. However, adjusting areas of crops and implementation of some other optimized solutions may be difficult for individual farmers and requires advice through agricultural extension programmes. Therefore, there is a need to improve the awareness of farmers to wisely manage: crop area and associated crop and soil management practices, land use for eucalyptus, straw use and storage of farm yard manure. Moreover, it is important to diversify off-farm income sources, introduce alternative threshing machineries and improve market access for farm products.
|Ethiopian Journal of Agricultural Sciences
|Published - 31 Oct 2020