The July 2021 report that surveyed 29,900 youths, 299 smallholder farmers, and 110 agriculture technology start-ups, innovation hubs, and technology organizations in #Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, identifies challenges faced by smallholder farming communities and potential areas for innovation and growth.

It demonstrates that African farmers are missing out on agritech breakthroughs that may accelerate the farming economy and create possibilities for youth. The major drawbacks identified are finance, capacity, and innovation.

Agriculture is the foundation and backbone of Ethiopia’s economy. Agricultures offers the highest rate of employment of 70% in Ethiopia. It accounts for half of the GDP and 90% of foreign exchange, with dependence largely on crop and pastoral farming. The Ministry of Agriculture in 2020 reports that agriculture contributes 27.5 billion dollars or 34.1% to the GDP, employs some 79% of the population, accounts for 79% of foreign earnings, and is the major source of raw material and capital for investment and market.

Ethiopia and Rwanda who have created the link between agricultural growth and productivity are rapidly reducing poverty in their regions. Livestock agriculture is highest in Ethiopia and Nigeria.

According to the study, Ethiopia Agriculture faced the following challenges; Periodic droughts, soil degradation due to overgrazing, deforestation, high taxation, and poor infrastructure plague Ethiopia’s agriculture (making it difficult and expensive to get goods to market). Subsistence farming, low productivity, inadequate infrastructure, and resources, as well as severe vulnerability to extreme rainfall constitute Ethiopian agriculture. Likewise, there is scarcity of modernized and hybrid seed for planting.

The favorable government policies encouraging the private sector and the favorable agro-climatic conditions will be two major drivers behind the growth of the market studied. The government also set up a plan to reach certain goals. Primarily, growth in the market should reach 8.1 percent per year during this time frame. This includes bolstering smallholder farmers’ productivity, enhancing marketing systems, upgrading participation of the private sector, increasing the volume of irrigated land, and curtailing the number of households with inadequate food. Besides, it is hoped that the number of key crops is doubled from 18.1m metric to 39.5m metric tonnes. These programmes should also result in Ethiopia getting to middle-income status by 2025.

Find the report here: https://cutt.ly/FYNw8cv

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