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Coalition launches Action Agenda
Wanjira Mathai facilitating discussion at Food and Land Use Coalition Conference

Coalition launches Action Agenda

The Food and Land Use Coalition has launched its long-awaited Ethiopian Action Agenda – “ACTION AGENDA FOR A NEW FOOD AND LAND USE ECONOMY IN ETHIOPIA.”

Launched on Thursday at Hilton Addis alongside a report, it highlighted how the nation, in the midst of an economical growth still struggles to provide food security to its fast growing population of more than 100 million people.

Joining the well-attended launch were diplomats, bureaucrats, government officials and activists.

The report reflects on how to “safeguard Ethiopia’s food security issues and provide best practices to propel and re-affirm the country’s commitments to Sustainable Development Growth (SDG) goals,” and how the nation “can transform its economy that would not only create jobs, boost export earnings, ensure national food security and surpass the milestone of becoming a middle-income country by 2030.”

While a lofty aspiration, the SDG as set out by the United Nations has a road map to help developing nations, including Ethiopia, provide a healthy diet and a sustainable land use practices that can, among others, “protect and regenerate precious natural resources and ecosystems.”

The report further estimates there are about USD 4.5 trillion potential business opportunities to unlock and about USD 5.7 trillion annually estimated damages attached to the planet if only better environmental investments occur.

Within Ethiopia, it encourages the involvement of more than 700,000 smallholder farmers and have them transition as commercial crop producers, increase production in dairy and poultry products to the tune of USD 362 million, increase credit constrained smallholder producers by 60 percent and reduce post harvest losses.

“Proposed priorities will equip the government with the necessary evidence to make smarter decisions, identifying key sectors and the most effective projects and initiatives to accelerate the transformation to sustainable food and land use systems. If done right, these transformations are predicted to save Ethiopia from harmful hits to the economy, including USD 4.3 billion lost to land degradation per year and a 16.5 percent annual loss to the GDP due to chronic malnutrition,” the report concluded.