Viewpoint: Ethiopia’s wheat yields are among the worst in Africa, this is what it is doing to change this
By Gashaw Tadesse Abate, Tanguy Bernard, Alan de Brauw and Nicholas Minot
Small-holder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa often experience lower yields, and efforts to increase them have sprouted throughout Africa. Many farmers fail to adopt modern inputs or farming techniques that would increase productivity due to several constraints, such as lack of available technology, limited liquidity, high perceived risk, constrained access to information, and poorly functioning output markets. Initiating reforms given this background is a slow process. Any new intervention to address these concerns, however, dramatically raises the expectation of national governments, and undervalues modest but significant gains from such interventions.
To help address these shortcomings, Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency introduced the Wheat Initiative in 2013, a package intervention programme designed to boost wheat yields through improved inputs and procurement.
Photo courtesy of Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social.