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Agriculture is the largest sector in Ethiopia's economy, it accounts for about two-thirds of the gross domestic product, employs about nine-tenths of the labor force and provides nearly all the export earnings. The smallholder farms, on which 90 percent of the nation's population depends for its food supply, have been unable to raise their productivity due to many persisting problems. Unlike many developing Asian countries, Ethiopia does not face shortages in cultivable land. During the past twenty years, many strategies have been developed to modernize Ethiopia's agriculture and bring her economy up the ladder of development. Ethiopia is now in the third year of the Third Five-Year Development Plan. However, the pace of development has not accelerated as fast as it might have. This paper argues that the Third Five-Year Development Plan for Ethiopia's agriculture is rather ambitious for the present resource endowments of the country. And, in order to have a solid base for development, a more realistic and moderate approach which would have attacked the grass-root problems first, should have been taken.


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