Ethiopia - Agriculture

It has been estimated that nearly 70% of Ethiopia's land mass is cultivable, yet only 11% of the land is under cultivation and permanent crops. Agricultural and pastoral pursuits supported over 80% of the population and formed 52% of the GDP in 2001. Subsistence farming and livestock grazing, both inefficient, are the rule. Field crops account for 40% of gross agricultural output, cash crops for 20%, and livestock for the rest.

The coffee variety known as arabica may have originated in Ethiopia, and the word coffee is derived from Kaffa (Kefa), the region in the southwest that is still the largest coffee-producing area of the country. Coffee is the most valuable cash export crop, accounting for 10% of foreign exchange earnings. Coffee production was an estimated at 226,000 tons in 2001–2002, the highest in Africa. Qat, the leaves from a shrub that are used to make tea and which have a mild narcotic effect, is another important cash export crop.

The most commonly produced cereal is teff (Eragrostis abyssinica), which is used to make the Ethiopian unleavened bread called injera. Corn and barley are the next most important grains, with an annual gross production of at least one million tons each. Sorghum, wheat, millet, peas, beans, lentils, and oilseeds are produced in substantial quantities; sugarcane and cotton are also grown. Production in 1999 included corn, 2,840,000 tons; wheat, 1,150,000 tons; sorghum, 1,340,000 tons; barley, 970,000 tons; dry beans, 102,000 tons; potatoes, 370,000 tons; yams, 267,000 tons; millet, 381,000 tons; and raw sugar, 275,000 tons.

The agricultural sector suffered severe damage from the civil war and its aftermath. Forced recruitment into the military led to a shortage of farm labor. Reforms aimed at introducing market-based incentives have been implemented, including freeing agricultural marketing and farm labor hiring practices. Emergency provisions of seeds, fertilizer, and other inputs have also been vital in rebuilding Ethiopia's agriculture. Since 1999, however, the border war with Eritrea and reduced harvests have caused Ethiopia to rely heavily on food donations from international organizations in order to ward off starvation.

Also read article about Ethiopia from Wikipedia

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Sep 14, 2008 @ 1:01 am
great information, nice length and very to the point and accurate. Would benifit me for some information on working conditions in the ethiopian agriculural industry.
Ephrem Fantaye
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Oct 27, 2008 @ 7:19 pm
This information gives me more confident for my idea and i am very interested to invest on agricultural bases and need more informations from where i start and what my my budget has to be...
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Feb 23, 2010 @ 12:12 pm
Its great informatoin would u give me more informatoin about farming in Ethiopia
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Jun 22, 2010 @ 10:10 am
i am a journalist and working in DWETIN TIGRAY. I got information regarding ethiopian agriculture. what you have started is good in announcing the ethiopian gricultural productivity. just continue to share as the necesary information in this way and in broadly.
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Feb 9, 2011 @ 10:10 am
This really helped me on my social studies project.!!
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Feb 17, 2011 @ 6:06 am
is it true that Ethiopian government is giving land for agriculture purpose to foreigners? is it safe to invest in it ? and how can we get to know more information. thankq
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Aug 2, 2011 @ 12:00 am
this is very good to know and gave me a know how to put myself one step ahead along the sector. but can i have some detail information about the following questions.
-who is needed to be within the sector.
-does this initiation have a capital limit.
-can someone exports his agricultural product from the farm. if this is possible, what are the opportunities available to do so.
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Nov 10, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
This is a good website it gives me a lot of information.
harpreet singh
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Dec 9, 2012 @ 11:23 pm
I want owner of a piece of farming land in ethiopia. Plz give me asuggetion which area is sutiable for farming.and what kind off farming is grown there
Semira Bedru
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Nov 8, 2014 @ 12:00 am
I want to engage on Exporting Agricultural Products. So what are the steps that i have to follow to fulfill to get License from The Government. And what are the rules and regulation Regarding Exports ?
Thank You in Advance

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