Not Having Land Policy affecting Agriculture Sector

ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia’s agriculture-dependent economy should have a strong land policy, a senior land expert at Addis Abeba University said, amid government’s effort to formulate one.

The expert said this during an event that saw the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) release the ‘Action Agenda for a New Food and Land Use Economy in Ethiopia’ report.

“If we don’t address the strategic food plan and land policy, we will never obtain changes in our economy,” said Gete Zeleke (Ph.D.), director-general of water land resource center of the University.

Weak strategic land, food production system, lack of finance, weak government support for private sectors are among the major challenges of the agriculture sector, said Gete.

“Around 29% of Ethiopia population has structural food scarcity so, the government needs to support private sectors highly to ensure food security in the country,” he said.

The government said it is now formulating a National Integrated Land Use Planning and Policy (NILUPP) intending to strengthen the rational utilization of natural resources.

The initiative is expected to profoundly guide land use at the national, regional and more local levels, said Fitsum Assefa (Ph.D.), Plan and Development Commission Commissioner.

She said the policy would lay a solid foundation for the economy to provide “our citizens with a sustainable supply of food, and other benefits”.

High rates of deforestation and land degradation threaten natural resources while costing Ethiopia’s economy 4.3 billion U.S. dollars a year.

By Mhret G.kristos