INTRODUCTION The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) is a landlocked country in the horn of Africa, bounded to the north by Eritrea, to the west by Sudan, to the south by Kenya and to the east by Somalia and Djibouti; it lies within the tropics between 3°24` and 14°53` North; and 32°42` and 48°12` East (see figure 1).
It covers 1,120,000 square kilometres in nine regional states, one City Council and one City Administration.
Within agriculture, some 60 percent of the output is from crops, with livestock and forestry producing 30 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
Land holdings are small and often fragmented into many parcels.
Farms of less than a hectare comprise more than 26 percent of agricultural land; almost 60 percent is in holdings of less than two hectares and the rest in holdings between 2-2.5 hectares.
Smallholder peasants farm eight percent (about 10,000,000 ha) of the national land area and about 3,100,000 hectares are fallow.
The total area of grazing and browse is estimated to be 61,000,000 –65,000,000 hectares, of which 12 percent is in mixed farming and the rest in pastoral areas (Alemayehu, 1998a; Mo A, 2000). Source Mo A, 2000 Ethiopia is culturally and biologically diverse, among the four most diverse countries in Africa for endemic vertebrates; fifteen percent of the estimated 7,000 vascular plants are thought to be endemic.
Medium and large-scale schemes are of more recent origin, particularly in the Rift Valley.