twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

Boosting farm productivity is crucial to unlocking Ethiopia’s agricultural potential

Ethiopia’s agricultural sector is the bedrock of the economy, employing more than 70 per cent of the workforce, accounting for more than a third of GDP and serving as the country’s largest earner of foreign exchange

corteva 13dec3506 Farmer plot at Butagera. (Image source: Corteva)

Yet outdated farming practices and low productivity mean that agriculture in Ethiopia is far from reaching its potential.

Boosting output from this sector could help improve the security of local staple crops like teff and to unleash significant economic growth, especially through targeting the export market. Ethiopia is already a significant exporter of coffee, oilseeds, pulses, and flowers, but adopting more modern farming practices and improving productivity could elevate forex earnings dramatically.

With its Growth and Transformation Plan for 2015–2020, the Government has recognised that the commercialisation of the agricultural sector is a major opportunity for the country. A successful commercial farming drive could vastly increase agricultural production and create many rural employment opportunities. But there are many roadblocks on the way.

From small-scale farming to commercialisation

The Ethiopian agricultural sector is largely driven by small-scale and subsistence farming. Productivity and yields are low because farmers don’t have easy access to quality inputs like seeds and pesticide and because small scale farmers are not applying the latest technologies and best practices for farm management.

Ethiopia is wrestling with a range of challenges, including limited arable land, changing weather patterns, land degradation, short fallow periods, poorly developed transport links and shortages of key skills. To thrive against the backdrop of these challenges, the country’s agricultural sector will become more precise, more resilient and adaptive.

New-age agricultural companies can support these efforts with new technologies and practices around seeds, crop protection and digital farming technology. For example, continuous improvement to herbicides and insecticides can help farmers stay ahead of threats to their crops and protect their yields.

Precision farming

Precision agriculture is about using real-time information to ensure that crops, water, fertiliser, pesticides and soil are managed in a manner that produces the optimal yield while ensuring environmental sustainability. The tools of this trade – satellite imaging, drones, Internet of Things sensors, data analytics – are becoming more accessible to small-scale commercial farmers all the time.

Even though Ethiopia has successfully diversified its economy over the past decade with a fast-growing services sector, growing and modernising agriculture is important to sustaining Ethiopia’s economic wellbeing. There is an opportunity for the country to adopt the latest technology and techniques to elevate agricultural production and become a major global player in agriculture in the years to come.


LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

African food imports bill predicted to double by 2030

African food imports bill predicted to d…

Experts have warned that the cost of Africa’s yearly food imports could increase from US$50bn to US$110bn by 2030 if immediate measures aren’t taken to increase food production

Wildlife and forestry sector in the spotlight

Wildlife and forestry sector in the spot…

On August 22, the 23rd session of the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, hosted by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo opened in Kinshasa, putting the future...

Boosting investment for Africa-made cotton

Boosting investment for Africa-made cott…

At a partner’s conference on cotton, jointly organised with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), donors were urged to mobilise resources for new partnerships.   

Nature-based solutions help farmers in Ghana

Nature-based solutions help farmers in G…

Organic pesticides, waste-based fertilisers and forest regeneration are just a few of the green initiatives being employed in Ghana to boost farming communities’ resilience to the impacts of climate...

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Saharan Africa

Boosting soil nutrient mapping in sub-Sa…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is set to fast track an impact-oriented project in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America for digital soil nutrient mapping, after...

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double rice production to curb food insecurity

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double…

President Adama Barrow has received a delegation led by the Korean Ambassador to The Gambia, HE Kim Ji-Joon, at the State House in Banjul to announce the delivery of sample rice...

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Agriculture

US$33 million AfDB grant approved for Côte d’Ivoire

US$33 million AfDB grant approved for Cô…

The African Development Bank Board of Directors (AfDB) has approved a US$33 million grant to Côte d’Ivoire to finance an agricultural infrastructure support project

AGRA project in Ghana begins to bear fruit

AGRA project in Ghana begins to bear fru…

Farmers in Tagale, Northern Ghana are beginning to enjoy the fruits of a three-year breadbasket initiative launched in 2010

UAE and FAO to support rural women in Liberia

UAE and FAO to support rural women in Li…

As part of the UAE’songoing humanitarian works across the world, the UAE has initiated a project in Liberia to help rural women achieve sustainable income, food security and nutrition opportunities

Adesina named as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate

Adesina named as the 2017 World Food Pri…

Being named as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), pledged to devote the US$250,000 prize money to support young African farmers...

Ethiopia commences construction of agro-industrial park

Ethiopia commences construction of agro-…

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn has laid the cornerstone for Baeker Integrated Agro-Industrial Park yesterday in Humera, town of western Tigray State

Chinese firm to spend US$5bn to improve Angolan agri output

Chinese firm to spend US$5bn to improve …

China-based CITIC Construction would invest US$5bn next year in an Angolan agricultural project to help increase food production in the country

Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire farmers plan to hike cocoa prices

Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire farmers plan to …

Stakeholders in the cocoa industry from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have succeeded in convincing international processors, manufacturers and traders of cocoa beans to accept to pay US$2,600 for a tonne...

Cambishi farmers to receive compensation

Cambishi farmers to receive compensation

Farmers in the Cambishi region of Zambia are set to receive compensation packages following crop damage caused by sulphur-dioxide emissions from Chinese-owned Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS)

TerraMetric and Euroconsult partner for Earth Observation for Agriculture research report

TerraMetric and Euroconsult partner for …

The USA-based global business development firm TerraMetric has teamed up with international consulting and research firm Euroconsult to produce a new study titled, “EO4AG – Earth Observation for Agriculture”

Nigeria to target five million farmers for GES programme

Nigeria to target five million farmers f…

The Nigerian minister of agriculture has said that his ministry is to enrol more than five million farmers in its Gross Enhancement Support (GES) programme

Origin of deadly wheat pathogen discovered by academic researchers

Origin of deadly wheat pathogen discover…

The origin of a deadly wheat pathogen which threatens a vital global food source has been identified by an international team of academic researchers including two professors from the University...

Zambia is required to manage adverse climate and livestock diseases to boost agricultural yield: World Bank

Zambia is required to manage adverse cli…

Zambia need to better manage agricultural risks such as drought, floods, disease and commodity price volatility to minimise losses and put agriculture on a stronger footing in the country, according...

Prev Next