Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia: Progress and Policy Challenges

Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia: Progress and Policy Challenges

Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia: Progress and Policy Challenges

Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia: Progress and Policy Challenges


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.

In Food 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.


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 foodinsecure households, improving its disaster food emergency response capabilities, and laying a foundation for future economic growth. Yet there is much to be done to reduce the still-high levels of food insecurity.

This book describes these past developments and the policies likely to shape future trends. the analysis it contains builds on and extends a long history of ifpri work in Ethiopia in collaboration with the Ethiopian Development Research Institute and researchers at Addis Ababa University, including work on causes of and responses to major famines in Ethiopia in the 1970s and 1980s, rural poverty dynamics, analyses of cereal markets that helped lead to the creation of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, and the impact of the Productive Safety Net Programme.

The analysis presented in this book shows the importance of continued investments in increasing agricultural productivity in order to promote both economic growth and poverty reduction. the book also highlights five major challenges Ethiopia must face to achieve high economic growth rates, reduce poverty, and enhance household food security: sustaining growth in crop and livestock production, increasing market efficiency, providing effective safety nets, maintaining macroeconomic incentives and stability, and managing the rural–urban transformation. If these challenges are met, there is good reason to expect that Ethiopia will enjoy further progress in reducing poverty and enhancing food security.

Shenggen Fan Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute . . .

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