Agriculture and the Economic Transformation of Ethiopia
"This paper examines the implications of this commitment to both growth and reduction in poverty, analyzes the progress underway, and diagnoses the critical elements of change in policy required to reach the objectives. Combining a review of experiences of other developing countries with an analysis of growth multipliers for Ethiopia, the paper argues that a high rate of agricultural growth has far-reaching positive implications for increasing employment and accelerating poverty reduction. High agricultural growth also helps avoid the creation of megacities with large slum populations. In order to achieve this rapid agricultural growth with positive economy-wide linkages, however, it is necessary to engage “middle farmers”, large enough to adopt new technologies and produce significant marketed surpluses, but small and numerous enough to have spending patterns that drive a vibrant rural non-farm sector. Finally, public and private investments in road, electricity and telecommunications are also needed to reduce marketing costs and enable growth in rural market towns and secondary cities, and provide social services to rural people."