Book launch: Ethiopia’s evolving agrifood system faces new challenges

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Over the past two decades, Ethiopia’s economy has seen wide-ranging changes. Agricultural production has rapidly increased, urban populations have tripled, road infrastructure has expanded, and rural poverty rates have dropped.

Ethiopia’s Agrifood System: Past Trends, Present Challenges, and Future Scenarios, a new book edited by IFPRI’s Paul Dorosh and Bart Minten, analyzes these changes and looks forward, focusing on Ethiopia’s agriculture sector and its place in the country’s evolving economy. A Sept. 22 virtual book launch explored those themes—and the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on Ethiopia’s poverty and agricultural development programs.

One focus of the event was the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), a major part of Ethiopia’s poverty reduction efforts. The program supports Ethiopian households in rural areas during crises such as droughts, and now COVID-19. The PSNP has, on average, about 8 million beneficiaries per year, who receive support in the forms of public works jobs or direct payments.

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