Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia

Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia: Progress and Policy Challenges

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 376
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  • Book Info
    Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia
    Book Description:

    The perception of Ethiopia projected in the media is often one of chronic poverty and hunger, but this bleak assessment does not accurately reflect most of the country today. Ethiopia encompasses a wide variety of agroecologies and peoples. Its agriculture sector, economy, and food security status are equally complex. In fact, since 2001 the per capita income in certain rural areas has risen by more than 50 percent, and crop yields and availability have also increased. Higher investments in roads and mobile phone technology have led to improved infrastructure and thereby greater access to markets, commodities, services, and information.InFood and Agriculture in Ethiopia: Progress and Policy Challenges, Paul Dorosh and Shahidur Rashid, along with other experts, tell the story of Ethiopia's political, economic, and agricultural transformation. The book is designed to provide empirical evidence to shed light on the complexities of agricultural and food policy in today's Ethiopia, highlight major policies and interventions of the past decade, and provide insights into building resilience to natural disasters and food crises. It examines the key issues, constraints, and opportunities that are likely to shape a food-secure future in Ethiopia, focusing on land quality, crop production, adoption of high-quality seed and fertilizer, and household income.Students, researchers, policy analysts, and decisionmakers will find this book a useful overview of Ethiopia's political, economic, and agricultural transformation as well as a resource for major food policy issues in Ethiopia.Contributors:Dawit Alemu, Guush Berhane, Jordan Chamberlin, Sarah Coll-Black, Paul Dorosh, Berhanu Gebremedhin, Sinafikeh Asrat Gemessa, Daniel O. Gilligan, John Graham, Kibrom Tafere Hirfrfot, John Hoddinott, Adam Kennedy, Neha Kumar, Mehrab Malek, Linden McBride, Dawit Kelemework Mekonnen, Asfaw Negassa, Shahidur Rashid, Emily Schmidt, David Spielman, Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, Seneshaw Tamiru, James Thurlow, William Wiseman.

    eISBN: 978-0-8122-0861-0
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  5. List of Boxes
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. Foreword
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    Shenggen Fan

    Food security issues in Ethiopia are extremely complex because of large variations across space and over time related to agroecologies, weather shocks, government policies, and other factors. In this context, Ethiopia’s agricultural and food policies are crucially important, having profound effects on tens of millions of low-income people throughout the country.

    Following major famines in the 1970s and 1980s, the country has made huge strides in the past two decades—increasing food production, promoting market development, building an effective safety net for millions of food-insecure households, improving its disaster food emergency response capabilities, and laying a foundation for future economic...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  8. Acronyms and Abbreviations
    (pp. xxiii-xxvi)
  9. Glossary
    (pp. xxvii-xxx)
  10. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)

    Ethiopia is often perceived as a country of droughts, widespread poverty, and economic stagnation. Indeed the country experienced severe famines in both the 1970s and the 1980s, which resulted in a depletion of household assets and savings and caused excess mortality, estimated at 250,000 in 1972–74 and 590,000 in 1984–85 (Africa Watch 1991; de Waal 1997).¹ More localized food shortages have often been less documented, such as the one in Somali region during 1999–2000 whereby an estimated 100,000 people died following three consecutive years of drought (Hammond and Maxwell 2002). Other serious production shortfalls related to droughts,...

  11. PART I Overview and Analysis of Ethiopia’s Food Economy
    • 2 Ethiopian Agriculture: A Dynamic Geographic Perspective
      (pp. 21-52)

      The opportunities and constraints facing Ethiopian agriculture are strongly influenced by geographical location. Ethiopia’s diverse landscape defines certain agricultural production potentials, access to input and output markets, and local population densities, which determine both labor availability and local demand for food. Understanding the geographical expression of Ethiopia’s agricultural and rural development options provides greater information for more locally targeted policy options.

      These conditions not only vary over space but change over time as well. New and improved roads, greater telecommunications, improved access to electricity, and ongoing urban growth continue to lower transaction costs and improve market access. Evolving production opportunities...

    • 3 Crop Production in Ethiopia: Regional Patterns and Trends
      (pp. 53-83)

      Ethiopia’s crop agriculture is complex, involving substantial variation in crops grown across the country’s different regions and ecologies. Five major cereals (teff, wheat, maize, sorghum, and barley) are the core of Ethiopia’s agriculture and food economy, accounting for about three-fourths of the total area cultivated, 29 percent of agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) in 2005/06 (14 percent of total GDP), and 64 percent of calories consumed (FAO various years). There has been substantial growth in cereals in terms of area cultivated, yields, and production since 2000, but yields are low by international standards, and overall production is highly susceptible to...

    • 4 Seed, Fertilizer, and Agricultural Extension in Ethiopia
      (pp. 84-122)

      Over the past two decades, decisionmakers in Ethiopia have pursued a range of policies and investments to boost agricultural production and productivity, particularly with respect to the food staple crops that are critical to reducing poverty in the country. A central aim of this process has been to increase the availability of improved seed, chemical fertilizers, and extension services for small-scale, resource-poor farmers, particularly those cultivating food staple crops. Although there is some evidence to suggest that the process has led to improvements in both output and yields during this period, decisionmakers still recognize that there is extensive room for...

    • 5 Policies and Performance of Ethiopian Cereal Markets
      (pp. 123-158)

      Cereal is the single largest subsector of Ethiopia’s agriculture. It dominates in terms of its share in rural employment, agricultural land use, and calorie intake, as well as its contribution to national income. The subsector accounts for roughly 60 percent of rural employment, about 73 percent of total cultivated land, more than 40 percent of a typical household’s food expenditure, and more than 60 percent of total calorie intake.¹ The contribution of cereals to the national income is also large. According to available estimates, cereals’ contribution to agricultural value-added is 65 percent, which translates to about 30 percent of gross...

    • 6 Livestock Production and Marketing
      (pp. 159-189)

      The livestock sector is an important subsector of Ethiopia’s economy in terms of its contributions to both agricultural value-added and national gross domestic product (GDP). Between 1995/96 and 2005/06, the livestock subsector’s share averaged 24 percent of agricultural GDP and 11 percent of national GDP (Ethiopia, NBE 2006). The contribution of livestock and livestock product exports to foreign exchange earnings is also significant. The annual average revenue from livestock and livestock product exports is estimated to have been 13 percent of the annual national export earnings during the period 2000/01 to 2007/08 (Ethiopia, NBE 2008). Given Ethiopia’s long, porous border,...

    • 7 Patterns in Foodgrain Consumption and Calorie Intake
      (pp. 190-216)

      The quality, quantity, and composition of food consumption are major determinants of the nutritional well-being of individuals, which has, in turn, important implications for individual and household-level health, productivity, and income. An analysis of food consumption patterns is essential to understanding and projecting domestic demand for agricultural products, as well as for the development of national policies to promote food security.

      Food consumption patterns in Ethiopia are diverse, and, unlike in many other countries, no single crop dominates the national food basket (as, for example, rice does in most of East Asia, maize in Latin America, or cassava in Central...

  12. PART II Major Agricultural and Food Policy Interventions in Ethiopia
    • 8 Implications of Accelerated Agricultural Growth for Household Incomes and Poverty in Ethiopia: A General Equilibrium Analysis
      (pp. 219-255)

      Ethiopia’s economy has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Although growth in agricultural gross domestic product (GDP) from 1998 to 2007 was less rapid than in other parts of the economy, agriculture also performed well, growing faster than the rural population. However, poverty is still severe in Ethiopia and is concentrated in rural areas. To accelerate growth and poverty reduction, Ethiopia’s national strategy affords an important role to agriculture as a source of both growth and development for the broader economy. This is essential given that agriculture is an income source for most of the population. The sector accounts for...

    • 9 Disaster Response and Emergency Risk Management in Ethiopia
      (pp. 256-279)

      Agrarian communities dependent on rainfall are vulnerable to production shortfalls due to drought and other climatic shocks. The human suffering caused by such shocks is often amplified due to deficiencies in market fundamentals, such as roads, information, and risk management institutions. This has been the case in Ethiopia for several centuries, dating back to medieval chronicles of the ninth century (Pankhurst 1985; von Braun, Teklu, and Webb 1998), when droughts caused widespread food insecurities and, in extreme cases, famine.

      However, sharp reductions in food production need not cause famines, nor are they the only cause of famines. Entitlement failures (households’...

    • 10 Targeting Food Security Interventions in Ethiopia: The Productive Safety Net Programme
      (pp. 280-317)

      In Ethiopia, as in many other African countries, there is a pressing need to improve household food security. An emerging consensus suggests that this is most easily accomplished through two development strategies with two complementary dimensions: investments that facilitate income generation and asset accumulation, discussed elsewhere in this book, and interventions that protect the poorest from hunger, prevent asset depletion, and provide a platform for the growth interventions. Because resources for such interventions are limited, there needs to be a mechanism for allocating these.

      In this chapter we consider this issue in the context of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme...

    • 11 The Evolving Role of Agriculture in Ethiopia’s Economic Development
      (pp. 318-328)

      Ethiopia is changing at an accelerating pace. Major investments in roads are bringing tens of millions of people effectively closer to major urban centers and services. Expansion of telecommunications, especially through cellular phones, likewise has connected much of the country and vastly improved the spread of information. The average electricity generation capacity during 1990–99 was 334 megawatts, and by 2010 that capacity had more than quadrupled, to 1,498 megawatts. During the same period, the capacity per capita almost tripled (from 6.0 watts to 17.4 watts). These advances are providing new opportunities for industrial production and modern services.

      These changes...

  13. Contributors
    (pp. 329-334)
  14. Index
    (pp. 335-346)