Envisioning a Future for Ethiopian Small Farmer Involvement in Development and Food Security

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Cauffman, William H.
Smallholder Extension; Irrigation; Local Sovereignty; Ethiopia; Food Security; Global Food Market; African Studies; International and Area Studies; International Economics; Place and Environment
paper description
In this paper I attempt to answer the question of how small-scale Ethiopian farmers can best participate in, contribute to and benefit from the development process. In addition, I seek to clarify the implications and potential nature of local food systems and their ability to achieve greater food security through small farmer involvement. Modern development ideology often focuses on large scale projects and export-led growth, ignoring the importance of smallholder farmers and rural vitality. These farmers are increasingly marginalized through this process. In Ethiopia 85% of the population is employed in the agricultural sector, the majority being small farmers that live in remote regions. It is crucial that effective techniques are applied which enable these farmers to play a central role in the development process, guaranteeing the sustainable growth of Ethiopia’s economy as well as greater food security. Given the recent volatility of global food markets and the severity of local droughts, effective solutions are more urgent than ever.