Ethiopia’s economy is dependent on agriculture, which contributes 43 percent of the GDP and 90 percent of exports. However, just 6 percent of land is irrigated, and crop yields from small farms are below regional averages. Market linkages are weak, and the use of improved seeds, fertilizers and pesticides remains limited. Despite these challenges, agriculture-led economic growth that is linked to improved livelihoods and nutrition can become a long-lasting solution to Ethiopia’s chronic poverty and food insecurity.
Through Feed the Future, USAID is helping vulnerable households participate in economic activities and generate demand for products. Agricultural investments improve the competitiveness of value chains such as maize, wheat, coffee, livestock and dairy. These activities bring jobs and income opportunities for rural households. USAID also strengthens small- and medium-sized enterprises by providing access to credit and technical support.
USAID also contributes to the Productive Safety Net Program, which is a partnership between the Government of Ethiopia and international donors to reduce the causes of chronic food insecurity among 7.5 million Ethiopians. The program assists some of the country’s most vulnerable households with building diversified and viable livelihoods and better access to markets and credit. As a result, they achieve better health, improved living conditions and greater resilience to disasters such as drought.
Last updated: May 10, 2013