The Second EAS Public Lecture of the Year in a monthly series was held on December 08, 2016 at the Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) Auditorium. The Public Lecture was titled, “Substituting Imported Agricultural Products with Local Agricultural Products: Why we couldn’t attain the national food demand.” Dr. Amdissa Teshome, an agricultural Economist and private consultant, gave the Public Lecture.
Dr. Solomon Bekure, Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and Member of the Agricultural Working Group, chaired the lecture.
The main focus area of the Public Lecture was on imported agricultural products to Ethiopia and the challenge in substituting them with locally produced agricultural goods. Dr. Amdissa briefly introduced the commonly known agricultural practices and their major classifications.
Ethiopian import/export trade data indicate that imported agricultural products over the last several years are higher than the exported agricultural goods. Moreover, a wide range of commonly used agricultural practices result in low productivity. Hence, agriculture has been unable to meet the raw material demands of industries across the country. Despite the fact that the country is undergoing fast economic growth, it is still a daunting task to realize food security.
A number of reasons can be listed as to why Ethiopia could not satisfy the food demands of its people. Poor land management and technology, weak link between agricultural research and the extension programs across the country, and insufficient irrigation infrastructure and poor management are among the major factors.
In conclusion, Dr. Amdissa suggested various techniques that could increase productivity in the nation’s agricultural system. Educating the farmer and introducing best practices that have proved effective in other countries, engaging NGOs and the private sector in the agriculture extension programs and increasing production and applicability of fertilizers, proper land management, introducing improved seeds for farmers and working to reduce pre and post-harvest crop loss are among the suggestions forwarded by Dr. Amdissa Teshome for sustainable agricultural productivity.
Representatives of governmental and non-governmental agricultural organizations, university and high school students, agriculture researchers, EAS and EtYAS Fellows and members of the general public attended the Public Lecture.