Sustainable land management

lessons from the East African Highlands

John L. Pender, Frank M. Place, Simeon Ehui
issue brief

As population density increases and agriculture intensifies in Africa in the future, policymakers, development practitioners, and farmers may find useful lessons in the experiences of the East African highlands. The highlands of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda face complex problems of severe poverty, low productivity, and poor natural resource management. These highlands contain some of the most densely populated areas in all of Africa, as well as a wide variety of agroclimatic conditions and market opportunities. Despite facing many problems, the highlands have also seen some real successes, where farmers invest in agriculture and improved resource management and generate significant profits. The book Strategies for Sustainable Land Management in the East African Highlands, edited by John Pender, Frank Place, and Simeon Ehui, presents studies of income strategies, land use, and agricultural dynamics and their impacts on welfare and natural resources in the East African highlands. It shows how different conditions tend to lead to different intensification pathways, as well as which factors have been most critical in enabling some communities and farmers to prosper.