Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen from World Vision. Today I am going to discuss Ethiopia’s Food insecurity and explain how the nation can alleviate their food crisis for short and long term. I will discuss the country’s background information and then I will also discuss the solutions to make Ethiopia a better place.
Ethiopia is currently one of the fastest growing economies, but remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Its current population is 107,266,630 in 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates. The population has grown at a rate of nearly 10% for the past seven years and have been a contributing factor for food insecurity and human welfare (2012 Laurie Mazur). A third of the population still lives below the poverty line (2012 VOA News). Ethiopia’s agriculture produces about 47% of the country’s products for more than 70 million people, that is 85% of the population that depends on agriculture for their livelihoods (Index Mundi, 2014). Ethiopia is in the tropical latitudes and they experience climatic conditions such as in tropical savanna and desert, this makes farmers struggle to grow their crops because of frequent droughts and heavy rainfall in different parts of Ethiopia. This change in climate has directly affected the agriculture affecting food output. Armed conflict between other countries is another central factor contributing vulnerability of people in Ethiopia. A lot of people were displaced due to these armed conflicts resulting in loss of livelihood.
Some of short-term solutions to alleviate the food crisis are to raise awareness against deforestation and to preventing further deforestation. Deforestation in Ethiopia has gone for decades. Due to deforestation the total area of forests has drastically reduced from 40% to just 2.36% (Zeleke G, and Hurni H 2001). Deforestation results in climate change resulting in change of rainfall patterns and decrease in rainfall. This directly affects agriculture. Raising awareness against deforestation is important as this raises community awareness and helps people in understanding the effects of deforestation. Another short term solution is to food crisis is to have more food distribution centres.
The long-term solutions that will be required to prevent Ethiopia’s food insecurity, is to let the farmers use modern technology to enhance their knowledge. The benefits of this technique are that famers do not need to fertilize or our pour water to their fields with knowing where to be treated instead they can use less quantities and treat specific areas in the fields. There are other benefits that will contribute such as:
· Reducing impact to other natural ecosystems
· Reducing the amount of chemicals entering the water ways
· Enhanced work safety for the farmers
· Collecting climatic data
· Learning different skills to enhance their agricultural techniques
Other countries such as Uganda uses technologies for agriculture and now they have improved over 200,000 farmers over there. Famers are benefitting due to this change because they are receiving climate adaptation information in their local language and increasing agricultural productivity for communities that are vulnerable to climate change (Wayan Vota 2017). This could be helpful to Ethiopian farmers due to that they are vulnerable to series of climate change they can receive and think of a solution to prevent the upcoming event.
In conclusion, the only permanent solution to Ethiopia’s food crisis lies in reviving the agriculture thereby increasing food production. Since climate change is a global phenomenon, it is difficult to reverse its effects in a short term. Emphasis must be made to utilise modern technology and farming methods to revive agriculture. Adding to this, efforts must be made to restore peace such that people can return to their land and start the process of farming. Aid must be provided to farmers in terms of money as well as education and training to get them started.
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