Inside Ethiopia’s agricultural success story

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Ethiopia’s rapid economic and agricultural growth over the past two decades is a well-known African success story. In 2000, Ethiopia ranked as the second-poorest country in the world, according to Oxford University’s Global Multidimensional Poverty Index. Then, thanks in large part to sustained investments in the agricultural sector, the economy grew and poverty fell. Ethiopia was the third-fastest growing country in the world from 2000 to 2018 based on GDP per capita, according to World Bank data.

The agrifood system has emerged as the backbone of this growing economy, with approximately three quarters of the labor force working in agriculture and related sectors. Ethiopia’s era of rapid agricultural transformation, however, has also presented challenges. For example, the economy is so reliant on wide scale agricultural production that the country risks overexploiting its natural resources.

Photo credit: Stephan Bachenheimer/World Bank

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