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Livelihood and Food Security Strategies

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Livelihood and Food Security Strategies

  1. 1. CHAPTER FIVE 5. LIVELIHOOD AND FOOD SECURITY STRATEGIES AND PROGRAMS OF ETHIOPIA
  2. 2. Definitions of famine • Famine refers to widespread food shortage leading to significant rise in regional death rates. • It also refers to sudden, sharp reduction in food supply resulting in widespread hunger. • Famine contains three elements: food shortage, starvation and excess mortality. • It has a greater effect on the most vulnerable in society. • Famine is caused by many complex factors including: poor climatic and environmental conditions, population growth, market failure or war.
  3. 3. (Food consumption-based) • It is sudden collapse in level of food consumption of large numbers of people. • It also means lack of food over large geographical areas sufficiently long and severe to cause widespread disease and death from starvation. (Mortality based) • It refers to unusually high mortality with unusually severe threat to food intake of some segments of a population. (Food consumption based) • It refers to a set of conditions that occur when large numbers of people in a region cannot obtain sufficient food, resulting in widespread, acute malnutrition.
  4. 4. 5.2 History of Famine in Ethiopia • Ethiopia has been and remains one of those areas that account for a sizeable proportion of the famine vulnerable groups. • This problem has not only been recurrent but also particularly severe in the case-study country so much so that the name "Ethiopia" does not fail to conjure up images of suffering famine victims that has at various times been so dramatized by the Western media.
  5. 5. • The literature gives ample indication regarding the frequency of historical famines in Ethiopia. • Pankhurst, who relies mainly upon royal chronicles written in the local language and which enable the rather precise dating of events, has established that during the period of 1540 to 1750 no less than eleven major famines occurred. • The famines for which the most detailed information is available occurred in the last century, with the famine of 1888-1892 described as perhaps the most terrible natural disaster still remembered in that part of Africa.
  6. 6. • Yet another writer, in a study on the chronology of Ethiopian droughts, concludes that on the basis of the droughts documented over the last 200 years, seven droughts per century can be expected in Ethiopia, while "... • extremely destructive droughts, such as those of 1973-5, 1957, 1913, 1888-92, 1560-2 and 1543-4 average two occurrences per century based upon these incomplete statistic“ • In recent years, famine has unfortunately become Ethiopia’s trademark and even now, despite changes in regimes, the threat of famine continues.
  7. 7. • In 1973, during the Imperial regime, almost three million Ethiopians were affected by food shortages and total excess mortality in the country hovered at around 250 000. • A decade later, during the ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Derg regime, approximately 7.8 million Ethiopians were caught struggling for survival, out of which excess mortality was conservatively estimated at 700,000. • And in the year 2000, amidst the ‘free-market’ orientation of the EPRDF regime, 8 million people required food aid, out of which excess mortality was estimated to be over 6000 in one district alone. • Three years later, the number of Ethiopians requiring food aid rose to 14 million.
  8. 8. • While there has been disagreement over the number of deaths that took place during the last two events, it appears quite clear that the number of people vulnerable to famine in the country has crossed 14 million in just three decades.
  9. 9. 5.3 Food Security Situation in Ethiopia • Ethiopia with an area of 1.016 million km2 and a population of about 105 million is the second most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa. • The majority of the Ethiopian population (about 84%) is living in rural areas and agriculture is the main stay of the Ethiopian economy as it commands the lion’s share in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment, export earnings and supply of raw materials.
  10. 10. • It accounts for about – 50% of the GDP, – 84% of the employment for of the population, – 90% of the export earnings, – 70% of the country’s raw material requirement for agro-based large and medium sized industries.
  11. 11. • As per the National Accounts estimates of agriculture, – crop production is estimated to contribute on average 60%, – livestock accounts for around 27% and – forestry and other sub- sectors around 13% of the total agricultural value added. • Agriculture is the foundation of the country’s food production and hence, the major contributing sector to food security.
  12. 12. • Endowed with considerable agricultural potential, Ethiopia had been self-sufficient in staple food and was classified as a net exporter of food grain till the late 1950s. • It was reported that annual export of grain to the world market amounted to 150,000 tons in 1947/48. • The performance of the Ethiopian economy very much depends on the performance of the agricultural sector. • Unfortunately, increase in agricultural production has consistently failed to keep pace with population growth.
  13. 13. • Ethiopia’s agricultural sector is not even able to fulfil its most basic and important function: the provision of food to a large and expanding population. • Both food production and per capita food availability have been declining, particularly in the 1980s. • Total domestic food production decreased on average by 1.1% per annum while the level of per capita food production dropped by 4.3% and 2%for the 1980s and mid of 1990s respectively. • The per capita food production, which was 200 kg in 1979/80, dropped to 150 kg in the early and mid 1990s.
  14. 14. • Both chronic and transitory problems of food insecurity are severe in Ethiopia. • Food insecurity currently covers a large area and a significant number of people, as high as 40 to 50 %over the last decade. • The recommended minimum per capita food intake for Ethiopia is 2,100 KCal per day, which is 225.5 kg. in cereal equivalent per capita per year. • In the period 1980-1989, domestic food production was on average about 70%, which is 1477.6 KCal. per capita per day. • For the periods 1980-1989 and 1990s, including imported cereals, average food availability was still 1590.5 and 1600-1700 KCal. per capita per day respectively.
  15. 15. • More disturbing is that food availability has not only been very low, but has also been declining over years. • The deteriorating condition is best reflected in the high level of malnutrition (stunting and wasting of children less than five years of age), increasing number of people in need of food assistance and the amount of grain imported. • For the period 1985-1996, the country received 8.97 million metric tons of food aid, the highest being in 1985, where food aid reached 1.3 million metric tons making the proportion of food aid to total production 26.2 percent.
  16. 16. • In 1990, the amount of grain imported and aid to Ethiopia amounted to 680,000 and 657,000 metric tons respectively. • There are now millions of rural people who have become dependent on food aid for over a decade and half.
  17. 17. • The bulk of the Ethiopian population lives in rural areas where incomes, largely derived from agriculture, are very low and subject to the vagaries of nature. • The intensity of poverty is so rampant in rural areas that, even during relatively better years, incomes are very low to go round the year and as a result, households usually suffer from malnutrition, particularly in pre-harvest season.
  18. 18. 5.3.1 Who are Food Insecure in Rural Ethiopia? • Food insecurity in rural areas of Ethiopia is largely associated with: – weather, – resource, – asset ownership, – headship of the household, – age of the household head and disability. • Food insecure groups are depicted in table 5.1.
  19. 19. • Table 5.1: Classification of Food Insecure Groups in RURAL ETHIOPIA Classification Group Chronic Food Insecurity  Resource poor households  Landless or land-scarce  Ox-less  Poor pastoralists  Female-headed households  Elderly  Disabled  Poor non-agricultural households  Newly established settlers Transitory Food Insecurity  Less resource poor households vulnerable to shocks, especially drought  Farmers and others in drought-prone areas  Pastoralists  Those vulnerable to economic shocks Example. in low potential areas
  20. 20. • In view of its relatively recent on set in epidemic proportions, another groups of households who have become food insecure as a result of HIV and AIDS (loss of potential income as a result of death of a family member, a growing incidence of female-headed households and increasing number of orphans, breakup of families) in the country are not much studied and put in the above classification. • These groups of households are likely to be found everywhere in the country.
  21. 21. Causes of Low food production and food insecurity in Ethiopia • The principal causes of inadequate food production and increasing food insecurity in Ethiopia among others include: – inadequate and variable rainfall, – soil degradation, – conflict, – transport and infrastructure, – poor nutrition and health, and – high population growth
  22. 22. 1. Inadequate and Variable Rainfall • The major cause for food insecurity in Ethiopia is highly correlated with the decline in food production. • Because of persistent dominance of rain-fed traditional agriculture, the economy is prone to sharp and frequent fluctuations due to changes in weather condition.
  23. 23. • Decline in agricultural output due to unfavourable climatic conditions often affect millions and drives them to the brink of death from starvation. • Lack of adequate rainfall, in association with the changing pattern of rainfall, has been a major contributing factor to increasing risk of experiencing food crop shortfalls and food insecurity. • Drought also causes substantial loss of animals, which are the source of livelihood for pastoralists in the lowland. • When drought occurs and results to animal lose, pastoralist will be in a tremendous problem to re- build their food base.
  24. 24. 2. Soil Degradation • The combination of high plateaus, deep river valleys, sporadic torrential rainfall, centuries of deforestation and poor cultivating techniques have resulted in serious to severe soil loss in some parts of Ethiopia. • So as to feed large number of families in a subsistence economy, farmers are compelled to practice over cultivation, overgrazing, and expansion of cultivable land at the expense of the forest and pasture. • These eventually cause degradation of the natural resource base and declined productivity thus exacerbating poverty and food insecurity.
  25. 25. • The soil, in some parts of Ethiopia, has lost some biological productivity and physical properties needed for optimal plant growth, and in particular moisture retention has been adversely affected. • Use of manure for fuel, instead of putting it back on land, has exacerbated the situation.
  26. 26. 3. Conflict • For decades, Ethiopia has suffered from internal conflicts, which have caused large number of people to flee their lands or, in some cases, to be forcefully relocated. • Loss of life was high. • Furthermore, the conflict diverted the scarce financial resources to the war rather than being available for socio-economic development efforts.
  27. 27. 4. Transport and Infrastructure • An estimated 75% of farms are more than a half day walk from an all weather road. • The average road density is estimated to be about 21 km per 1000 km2 of land, which is about 0.43 km per 1000 population. • The very low proportion of villages that can be reached by all weather roads compel farmers to transport their products by pack animals or by themselves to market their products. • This severely constrains the total farm production that can be physically marketed, and adds substantially to the costs of farm inputs. • Furthermore, it makes delivery of food aid to drought plagued areas extremely difficult.
  28. 28. 5. Poor Nutrition and Health • Ethiopia’s population is among the most nutritionally deprived in the world as a result of chronic under nutrition combined with health and sanitation problems. • This leads to reduced ability to work, early fatigue and increased susceptibility to disease. 6. High Population Growth • The rate at which agricultural food production grows is far behind the rate at which population grows. • As a result, the agricultural sector is not playing its basic role, the role of supplying food to the population.
  29. 29. Food Security Strategy of Ethiopia • The food insecurity challenge facing Ethiopia requires an all-round and systematic approach. • It requires identifying the problems in the food system, which involves production, distribution, marketing and consumption. • The overall objective of the strategy is to address both the supply and demand sides of the food equation: availability and entitlement respectively • While the rural development policies and strategies would focus on ensuring national food self-sufficiency, the overall objective of the food security strategy is to ensure food security at household level
  30. 30. – increasing the availability of food through domestic production; – ensuring access to food for food deficit households; and – Strengthening emergency response capabilities.
  31. 31. 1. Increasing Domestic Production (Supply Side Actions) • Domestic production is the first and main source of food entitlement for most of the Ethiopian farming community in terms of direct consumption of food. • The surplus is sold to the non-farming and even to the farming community. • This implies that increasing the production and productivity of food in a sustainable manner could address the problem of food shortages in Ethiopia. • The increase in production would be made to provide employment generally for the landless and unemployed rural communities.
  32. 32. • This increase in agricultural production will also benefit the domestic agricultural processing enterprises by supplying raw materials and serve as source of additional employment. • For food insecure areas, production based entitlement of food will be encouraged through augmenting the supply increases to be obtained from both crop and livestock production. • Utmost attention is given to increasing agricultural production (crop and livestock) in all agro-ecological zones of the country.
  33. 33. • The on-going extension program is being re- oriented to address the specific problems of moisture adequate, moisture deficit and pastoral areas. • There is also a need to sustain and deepen the yield increase obtained through the extension program which points to strengthening of agricultural research. • Increasing attention will be paid to promoting irrigation schemes to create a condition for year round agricultural activity and diversifying much higher value added enterprises even in adequate moisture areas.
  34. 34. • To compliment this, efforts are geared through the extension system to identify and promote appropriate technologies to undertake for household-based water harvesting and management. • Conservation based agriculture and irrigation development would be the critical elements of the strategy. • Researching and supplying appropriate crop and livestock production inputs and technologies for moisture deficit areas: short cycle livestock like poultry, sheep and goats as well as development of drought tolerant, short cycle and relatively high yielding varieties that fit to the farmers' requirements, will be the priority
  35. 35. • Another aspect of the strategy for dealing with problems of moisture deficit food insecure and degraded high lands is effecting resettlement in suitable and uncultivated areas voluntarily within each regional state. • Animal disease, drought and unfavorable terms of trade are at the heart of threats of the livelihoods of pastoral communities. • Thus, improving their livestock production and marketing system, water and pasture development, developing schemes towards diversifying income sources would help strengthen their economic base and thereby reduce vulnerability.
  36. 36. 2. Ensuring Access to Food (Demand Side) • Food insecure farming households as well as the non-farming community get some and/or all of their food from the market. • The former need it to supplement its own production while the later use it as the only source. • To purchase food from the market, households need sufficient income that can cover at least their minimum food and non-food requirements. • However, many households in the drought prone and moisture deficit as well as urban areas lack sufficient income to meet their basic needs. • The demand side measures outlined in the Ethiopian food security strategy are discussed below.
  37. 37. a. Micro and Small Scale Enterprises • The envisaged market led agricultural development is expected to lead to large-scale direct and indirect growth in non-farm incomes and employment. • To this effect, utmost efforts will be exerted to initiate, promote and strengthen micro-and small-scale enterprise development through industrial extension services. • These developments are believed to create additional employment opportunities in the private sector.
  38. 38. b. Improving the Food Marketing System • The policy of the government regarding agricultural marketing and distribution is to encourage the participation of the private sector and cooperatives to improve the efficiency of the system. • On the marketing front, business enterprises are expected to play significant roles in stabilizing prices as well as reaching farmers who are far from agricultural input market. • To benefit from all these policy measures, the food security strategy emphasizes on measures related to establishment of market stabilization schemes (for prices of strategic food crops) along with agricultural price and market information system.
  39. 39. • This will facilitate the distribution of food from surplus to deficit areas and thereby improve trade- based entitlement and reduce food cost (increase purchasing power). • The government will perform only regulatory and supporting functions to create a conducive business environment through appropriate fiscal incentives. • Substantial improvements in the provision of market information would be sought to improve integration of markets, which help reduce costs of food marketing and distribution.
  40. 40. • The on-going effort in the construction of main and rural roads, the rural travel and transport programs coupled with promotion of competition in the transportation, trade, processing and distribution of food would help further reduce costs of marketing and distribution. • This would also help reduce input costs, which are key to enhancing agricultural productivity. Strengthening farmers' cooperatives would also be an important element of the food security strategy in improving the rural marketing and credit system.
  41. 41. c) Supplementary Employment and Income Generating Schemes • Off-farm income generating activities would help supplement own production for a considerable number of farmers as coping up mechanism during periods of food shortages. • The public Employment Generation Schemes (EGS) and Food For Work could be initiated by public or private operators or even jointly and will be linked with development priorities of rural areas. • This would in turn help contribute to soil conservation, construction of roads, small-scale irrigation, water supply and sanitation.
  42. 42. • This would contribute to increase food production, reduce real rural food prices and improve health conditions. • It would also help improve environmental protection and natural resource conservation. • These schemes may help create conducive environment towards linking relief assistance to long-term developmental efforts.
  43. 43. d) Targeted programs • Targeted programs are primarily aimed at transferring resources aimed at both developing capacity for self-provisioning and support vulnerable groups, who would not be capable of self-provisioning during the short and medium term. • Developing capacity is aimed at providing inputs (seed and fertilizer), small agricultural tools and implements to resource poor farmers (food insecure) and extending small loans to destitute women to help them develop sustainable livelihood. • The later scheme evolves cash transfers to orphans, the aged and handicapped or self-targeting food subsidies for particular vulnerable groups.
  44. 44. Credit Services • Improved credit services for food insecure rural and urban households are envisaged in order to address both supply and demand side problems. • The Food security strategy also envisaged improving rural financing systems aimed at catering the needs of micro and small-scale enterprises as well as small resource poor farmers. • Measures will be taken to strengthen and expand rural micro financing institutions and cooperatives to provide banking services especially in those food insecure areas. • Cooperatives are also expected to play significant role in this respect.
  45. 45. Nutrition and Health Intervention • Along side the government's initiatives towards developing alternative income generating and price support schemes, targeted interventions are also envisaged in areas of health and nutrition in rural areas.
  46. 46. 5.5.2 Emergency Capabilities • Efforts to strengthen the emergency capabilities of the government including monitoring, surveillance, and early warning arrangement, building the capacity of food and relief distribution, strategic reserves of food grains, and its analysis of the international food trade and aid situation will continue. • The methods used to judge the on set of food insecurity will be articulated and further fine- tuned.
  47. 47. • A strategy for strengthening response capability in case of emergency would build on the successful experience gained while implementing safety net programs, which was intended to help thousands of poor, food insecure, and highly vulnerable households during a period of high economic and political stress coupled with drought incidences. • The purpose and size of strategic reserve under favorable conditions would also be re- assessed, depending upon the cost of holding stock and the possibility of exports.
  48. 48. Institutional Strengthening, Networking, and Capacity Building • Building the capacity of regional governments in general and Woreda administration in particular is high on the agenda. • This would help regional governments modernize their communities for development, provide support to development projects and programs, create conductive environment for the private sector to contribute to the development of the regions, as well as completely providing economic and social services to communities. • District level decentralization capacity building component of the National Capacity Building Program is meant to address this.
  49. 49. Food Security Assistance • It is planned to switch from food aid in kind towards cash to purchase food grains from the domestic market and augment the stocks of food security reserve at good times. • This would help create effective demand via stabilization of prices during years of bumper harvest (price decline) in surplus areas.

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