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					                                    Livelihood Profile
                                 Oromiya Region, Ethiopia
    Shirka – Ticho Spices and Teff Livelihood Zone                                                           June 20081
Zone Description

The Shirka – Ticho Spices and Teff Livelihood Zone is
located in Tena and Shirka woredas of Arsi zone. Most
parts of the livelihood zone are midlands or woinadega
though there are some highland or dega parts as well. This
is an area dependent on mixed farming, mainly crop and
livestock production. The main types of crops are wheat,
teff, barley, maize, sorghum, peas, haricot beans, lentils,
black cumin, peppers, onions, fenugreek and garlic.
Livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, chickens and horses
along with beekeeping support the livelihoods of the
people living in this zone. The main rivers are the Sirba,
Gumello, Antote, Chelle, Welkesa and Harergie. The
main towns are Ticho, Kela, Gobesa and Tereta. The
topography is varied, with plains, hills and rugged terrain.
The vegetation coverage includes bush, and indigenous
trees and eucalyptus plantations.



The STS livelihood zone is sparsely populated. Rainfall is evenly distributed over most part of the zone and annual
rainfall ranges from 800mm - 2000mm. The Meher rainfall season starts in mid June and ends in mid September. The
Belg rainfall season starts in February and ends in April. The maximum temperature ranges from 25-30◦ c (January to
February) and minimum 5-15◦c in October. Most part of the area is dominated by vertisol and some parts by sandy
loam soil (fertile). The area is potentially highly productive and considered as a surplus producing area. The
inhabitants depend mainly on crop production and livestock rearing. Agriculture is rainfed, however some pocket areas
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use traditional irrigation. The main rainy season is Meher (June- September). Land preparation is done by plow oxen.
The zone is well known for its teff, wheat and spices production. Teff is the main crop sold to make cash income to
cover household expenses followed by spices (peppers, onions, black cumin, fenugreek and garlic), wheat and pulses.
Labor is needed for land preparation, weeding and harvesting. Men prepare the land, while both men and women do all
other labor. The better-off and middle hire laborers to do the weeding and harvesting. Rust, Aphids, Root rot and
Worqeshe (local name) are the main types of diseases that affect crop production. The most important inputs used for
crop production are DAP and urea. The sources for these inputs are MoARD and the market.
Cattle, sheep and goats are the main livestock reared. The method of feeding for all livestock types is free grazing of
grass, crop residue or browsing. The sources of water for livestock during dry and wet seasons are major and minor
rivers within the livelihood zone.
Oxen are important for land preparation. Cows are the only animals that are milked. Livestock and livestock products
are important income sources in the area. Shoats and chickens are the main types of animals that are sold at a younger
age to support household livelihoods during hunger season. In addition to livestock, butter, eggs and skins are livestock
products that are sold. Shoats are occasionally slaughtered during holidays (September, December and April) by better-
off households. Oxen and milking cows are replaced within the herd and through purchase from local markets. The
main types of livestock diseases that are prevalent in the area are: blackleg, pasteurellosis and sheep pox. Blackleg
mainly affects cattle and sheep; Pasteurellosis affects cattle, sheep and goats; and sheep pox affects sheep and goats. In
general, the prevalence of livestock diseases is less in this livelihood zone compared to others in the region and feed
availability is also better. Treatment and vaccines are provided by BoARD and also available on the market.


1
 Fieldwork for the current profile was undertaken from April -May 2008. The information presented refers to November 2006-
October 2007 (EC 1999 to 2000), a normal year by local standards. Provided there are no fundamental and rapid shifts in the
economy, the information in this profile is expected to remain valid for approximately five years (i.e. until 2012). The reference year
exchange rate: 1USD = 8.88 ETB.

                                                                                  Shirka-Ticho Spices and Teff Livelihood Zone
In most cases, humans and animals share the same water sources. In some pocket areas, the source of water for humans
is tap water. In some parts of the zone there is payment of water for humans.
Local labor, petty trade and migrant labor are quite important activities in generating cash income particularly for the
poorer wealth groups. Local labor is predominantly agricultural weeding and harvesting that is carried out from July to
December. Petty trade is practiced throughout the year in nearby towns. There is no relief food distribution in the STS
livelihood zone.
Markets
Generally, market access is good in the zone. There is good access to large towns including Asela and Adama. There
are also telephones in each kebele and public transport that contribute to the proper functioning of the market. The
main crops sold in the market are teff, wheat and spices. Teff and wheat are traded from Ticho to Robe, Adama, Sagure
and Asela; and from Gobessa to Assela and Adama in the months of December and January. Spices are traded from
Ticho and Gobessa to Robe, Assela and Adama from March to May and June to July. The main livestock sold in the
market are sheep, goats and cattle. Sheep and goats are traded from Gobessa to Asela, Adama and Addis Ababa and
from Ticho to Robe and Adama in the months of September, December and April. Cattle are traded off from Gobessa
to Assela, Adama and Addis Ababa; from Ticho to Robe and Adama in December and April.
The main grains purchased are wheat, maize and sorghum. These grains are bought from July to September. The trade
route for wheat is from Adama to Ticho and from Bale and Assela to Gobessa. The trade route for maize is from
Shashemene and Adama to Gobessa. Sorghum is traded within the local market.

Seasonal Calendar
There are three seasons in the STS livelihood zone. These are the long rains (Ganna), short rains (Arfasas) and Dry
(Bira) seasons. Ganna is the long rain that extends from June to September. Arfasas is the short rain that extends from
February to May. The dry season extends from October to January. The consumption year runs from November to
October.
Barley (grown March to June) and haricot beans (grown March to June) are the main short cycle crops. Haricot beans
are intercropped with maize and sorghum. In addition to these, teff (July – December), wheat (Mid June to December)
and black Cumin (July to January) are grown.
The main types of livestock are cattle, sheep and goats. There are no a regular seasonal or different patterns of
livestock migration. Cattle in-heat in the months of September and October, which is the time where there is adequate
pasture, crop residue and water for livestock consumption and give birth in June and July. As a result, cow’s milk is
available following the births from July up to October.
Local labour starts from August to September and from November to December. The source of most casual labor
(70%) is locally in the rural area. This is mainly to carry out the agricultural activities required to weed and harvest
crops planted by middle and better-off households. Households purchase food commodities to fill their food gaps in the
months of July, August, September and October by drawing income from sale of livestock and activities related to local
labor and labor migration. August and September are the months of the hunger season in the zone.




                                                                         Shirka-Ticho Spices and Teff Livelihood Zone
Wealth Breakdown




Wealth in the livelihood zone is determined by the ownership of livestock (oxen, cattle, sheep, horses, donkeys, mules),
land cultivated and beehives and eucalyptus trees owned. The poorer groups do not possess plow oxen or pack animals.
The poor and very poor cultivate teff and wheat, while the middle and better off cultivate teff, wheat and spices. As a
result, the middle and better off have diversified options to satisfy their needs during crisis period.
The poorer groups keep less livestock than the better-off. The main constraints for not keeping more livestock are
related to lack of livestock feed, lack of money to buy improved breeds and the prevalence of livestock diseases. The
better-off and middle reasons for not keeping more livestock are related to lack of livestock feed, daily labor and
prevalence of livestock diseases. The middle and better-off households overcome these problems through the use of
crop residues during dry season, hiring labor from the poorer household groups and the use of vaccines and drugs to
treat the most prevalent livestock diseases.
The middle and better-off do not expand crop production because of a lack of adequate labor, small land holding size,
lack of inputs and high cost and limited irrigation facilities. Better-off households overcome these constraints by hiring
local labor from the market, efficiently utilizing family labor, renting agricultural land from the poorer groups,
diversifying agricultural activities, purchasing inputs with high price, using farm yard manure, compost and
intercropping, as well as timely planting and use of traditional irrigation.
Other than crop and livestock production, some poorer groups of households engage themselves in petty trade
activities. But, the petty trade activity is also constrained by lack of money, lack of knowledge about market and lack of
pack animals for transportation activities. The middle and better-off are also constrained by labor shortages, limited
knowledge about market and time shortage to engage themselves in petty trade activities. But, they have the capacity to
hire local labour from the poor households and update their knowledge through information exchange with colleagues.
Sources of Food – A normal year (2006-07)
The main crops which are              120%
consumed by poor households
are wheat, maize, barley and          100%                                                               gifts, other

sorghum while the main crops           80%                                                               food aid
which are consumed by better-
                                                                                                         purchase
off households are wheat, teff         60%
and sorghum. The source of food        40%
                                                                                                         payment in kind

for the majority of better-off                                                                           livestock prod.
households are own crops. They         20%
                                                                                                         crops
rely for a small proportion on          0%
purchase. The contribution of                   V.Poor         Poor         Middle      Better-off
livestock is small.
                                    In the graph, food access is expressed as a percentage of minimum food
                                    requirements, taken as an average food energy intake of 2100 kcals per person per
                                    day.

                                                                          Shirka-Ticho Spices and Teff Livelihood Zone
The sources of food for poorer group of households are from own crop production and purchase. The proportion of
purchase for poor groups is much wider (35-40%) than the better-off (10-15%) households. The poor depend on food
purchase after consuming their own crop production.

Sources of Cash – A normal year (2006-07)
                                                                                              The main crops sold by poorer
       100%
                                                                                              households are peppers, wheat
                                                             other
                                                                                              and teff. The better-off
                                                                                              households also sell crops such
        80%
                                                             petty trade                      as pepper, wheat and black
                                                                                              cumin. In addition to these, the
        60%                                                  self-employment
                                                                                              middle      and       better-off
                                                             employment (ag                   households sell livestock and
        40%                                                  labor)                           livestock products such as
                                                             liv estock sales
                                                                                              shoats, chickens, butter, eggs
        20%                                                                                   and honey while the poorer
                                                             l/stock prod. sales
                                                                                              groups only sell shoats,
         0%                                                  crop sales                       chickens and eggs.
                V.Poor     Poor       Middle    Better-off
                                                                                              There is difference between the
                                                                                              wealth groups in prices
The graph provides a breakdown of total cash income according to income source.               obtained for crops, livestock
 Annual income                                                                                and/or other products.
                    2500-3500      4500-5500      9000-11000      17000-19000
     (ETB)

The main reason for the difference is that the poor wealth groups sell their crops and livestock for their immediate use
without waiting for good prices while the middle and better-off sell their crops and livestock products when the market
prices are highest.

There are two types of employment undertaken: local labor, usually weeding and harvesting undertaken on a daily basis
by poorer households and self-employment, mainly the collection of firewood which is undertaken only by very poor
households.

Middle and better-off households draw higher income from selling of crops, livestock and livestock products than the
very poor and poor households. On the other hand, the very poor and poor households draw higher income by engaging
themselves in local labor and self-employment activities. Petty trade is concentrated on activities such as grain,
sugarcane, fruit retailing and local brewing. The very poor are the only wealth group that do not participate in petty
trade activities.


Expenditure Patterns – A normal year (2006-07)
The main staple foods purchased          100%                                                                   other
are wheat, sorghum, beans and
maize. The expenditure on staple          80%                                                                   clothes
food declines as it moves from the
very poor and poor to middle and          60%                                                                   social
better-off households. This means,                                                                              serv.
the very poor and poor households
                                          40%                                                                   inputs
heavily depend on spending their
income for purchasing staple food
                                          20%                                                                   w ater
crops. The expenditure on
agricultural inputs is the highest
                                           0%                                                                   HH items
for    middle     and    better-off
                                                    V.Poor           Poor          Middle     Better-off
households. The expenditure on
households’ items, clothes and                                                                                  non-
                                      The graph provides a breakdown of total cash expenditure according to category of
                                                                                                         staple
social services (health/education)    expenditure.                                                       food
also increases as the wealth status                                                                             staple
                                                                                                                food
gets higher.




                                                                                Shirka-Ticho Spices and Teff Livelihood Zone
Hazards
The main hazards in the STS livelihood zone are crop diseases, crop pests and livestock diseases. Almost all hazards
are prevalent each year. Rust, Aphids, Root rot and Worqeshe (local name) are the main types of diseases that affect
crop production. The main livestock diseases are blackleg, pasteurellosis, sheep pox and anthrax.


Coping Strategies
Coping strategies employed by households to deal with the effects of hazards include labor migration, increased sale of
livestock and livestock products, reduction in the sale of own crops, and increasing petty trade. Labor migration and
urban labor are the main strategies used by poorer wealth groups to cope with hazards. They will increase the number
of household members who migrate and extend the period of migration by leaving earlier than normal and staying
longer. All wealth groups will increase the sale of livestock and livestock product sale as a coping strategy. The middle
and better-off wealth groups also reduce the sale of crops and increase engagement in petty trade activities as coping
strategies.
Summary
The economy of the STS livelihood zone is predominantly crop production which is supplemented by livestock
production. Most parts of the livelihood zone are midlands and some parts are highlands. The major crops grown are
wheat, teff and spices. But, crops such as barley, maize, sorghum, peas, haricot beans and lentils are also produced.
The area is potentially highly productive and considered as a food surplus area. The inhabitants depend mainly on crop
production and livestock rearing. Agriculture is rain fed, however some pocket areas use traditional irrigation. Wealth
in the livelihood zone is determined by the ownership of livestock (oxen, cattle, sheep, horses, donkeys, mules), land
cultivated and beehives and eucalyptus trees owned. The poorer wealth groups do not possess plow oxen or pack
animals. The poor and very poor cultivate teff and wheat, while the middle and better off cultivate teff, wheat and
spices. As a result, the middle and better off have diversified options to satisfy their needs during crisis period.
The main livestock in the livelihood zone are cattle, sheep and goats. Shoats are sold during the months of April and
December. The main source of food for the middle and the better off wealth group come from their own harvest. The
main crops which are consumed by poor households are wheat, maize, barley and sorghum while the main crops which
are consumed by better-off households are wheat, teff and sorghum. The sale of livestock and livestock products make
an important contribution to income for all wealth groups. The poor and very poor also access income through
agricultural labor and firewood collection. Crop disease, crop pest and livestock diseases are the major hazards in the
LZ. Households increase the sale of labor and livestock and switch the expenditure during bad times.




                                                                         Shirka-Ticho Spices and Teff Livelihood Zone

				
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