The basis of the physico-social pattern in Ethiopia, indicated above, may be summarized as:
(a) The main features of the country are formed by volcanic activity;
(b) There exist a lot of fragmented highlands with a great range of altitude, climate, and vegetation;
(c) The content of organic matter in the soils is very low on the eroded lands, greatly limiting their ability to retain water;
(d) There exist a wide variety of cultural patterns and numerous spoken languages;
(e) There are very severe erosion hazards and continuous deforestation activities;
(f) There is a custom of uncontrolled grazing, and livestock are not limited according to the carrying capacity of the land;
(g) There are constraints in the distribution and quality of water that is available for domestic supplies, livestock, and crops;
(h) From ancient times there has been no substantial improvement in farming tools and implements;
(i) There is little government investment in development work in general;
(j) The importance of a conservation programme for a wide range of natural resources is not felt/realized by the government;
(k) There is no emphasis on erosion control and forestry management—even by the regional development projects of the minimum and maximum package projects financed by the World Bank and other bilateral international cooperations;
(l) There are big constraints in matters of education and agricultural extension services; and
(m) The mountainous terrain and deep gorges have made communication difficult and expensive.
As a result of the above, the overall development network does not at present provide an adequate access to support a productive and continuous agriculture.