Hiber News Analysis - Dr. Abiy And Current Political fever

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Hiber News Analysis - Dr. Abiy And Current Political fever


According to Stephen Devereux, who presented a paper on Food insecurity in Ethiopia for a DFID Ethiopia Seminar in 2000, in Ethiopia “farmers’ access to fertilizers was undermined by sharp increases in prices during the 1990s, firstly following the devaluation of the Birr in 1993, then by the elimination of fertilizer subsidies and pan-territorial pricing in 1996, and the decontrol of input prices and marketing in 1997.” Even worse, the domestic rentier elites extended credits to farmers to buy fertilizers and improved seeds through the state bank they control, and when farmers fail to make repayments on time due to droughts they force them to sell their produce at low post-harvest prices.

Moreover, the current government in Ethiopia maintains, through the technicalities of the constitution, a rural political economy arrangement in which land is under state ownership while assigning a mere usufruct right to farmers and pastoralists. According to Tom Lavers’ Food security and social protection in highland Ethiopia: linking the Productive Safety Net to the land question, such “land policy prevents land consolidation and the emergence of powerful economic actors who might threaten the ruling party, while ensuring the dependence of the rural population on the state for land access.”

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