Soil erosion is an environmental time bomb. Most agency reports and government publications highlight the degradation of the soils as a major development challenge. But soil and water conservation efforts in Africa have had a long history. Attempts have been made from the colonial era to present time to introduce soil and water conservation measures in a wide range of agro ecological settings, yet many have failed. Being one of the drought prone and famine affected African countries, Ethiopia started a program of soil and water conservation measures on the highlands but the result was far less than expectation. The most influential factors for less adoption of physical soil and water conservation measures, besides socio-political and environmental factors, are land lost by physical soil and water conservation measures and low return from such conservation measures. Application of organic matter is one of the cost effective method and very important in soil and water conservation for it has a capacity of improving soil chemical and physical properties to affect measured runoff, soil loss and crop yield.