Following his visionary leadership to end poverty, commitment to well ensure food security and nutrition and determination to come up with innovative solutions in wheat self-sufficiency in the context of fast-changing and challenging circumstances, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been awarded the prestigious FAO Agricola Medal in a ceremony hosted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy.
It has been well witnessed that Ethiopia’s wheat production paves avenue to self-sufficiency through land area expansion, irrigation and other viable means taking advantage of the availability of the necessary resources such as land, water and abundant human power. For long, farmers and pastoralists in Ethiopia have depended on rain shower, but it is possible to develop available water resources and produce crops using irrigation and other scientific methods.
The government of Ethiopia has attached due emphasis to wheat production and productivity following the country’s being the second largest wheat producer in Africa.
The Agricola Medal, which the Prime Minister received in the presence of high-level delegates of various countries, representatives of international organizations, diplomatic missions in Italy and private sector representatives, clearly portrays that Ethiopia is capable of defeating poverty and underdevelopment if it seriously capitalized on all sorts of resources at hand. It is also well comprehended that Ethiopia has been making critical investments in the agricultural sector and pursuing wheat self-sufficiency endeavors marking significant growth across major commodities over the years.
Such an impressive recognition would undoubtedly help the country make a difference in all aspects of economic growth and even be role model for other African countries.
The government of Ethiopia has had a clear vision and commitment to food security and nutrition, and it has been endeavoring to translate all its plans into practical actions. Basically, the Agricola Medal honors illustrious personalities for their commitment and support to the promotion of sustainable food production, world food security, and international cooperation. The Agricola Medal of FAO provides Ethiopia with the courage and further assurance for moving steps forward towards attaining food security.
Hence, it is a green signal for the country to work more on high-value and industrial crops to make the food sovereignty path all rosy. The award coming to the Horn of African nation amid challenges witnesses the presence of untapped potential to make its vision a reality, indeed!
The UNFAO prestigious Agricola Medal award is really a change engine that potentially fuels Ethiopia’s commitment for additional change and remarkable growth.
The nation has to work hard at boosting the efficiency of wheat production as it is the right strategy to improve the well-being of smallholder farmers and build its capacity to successfully defeat poverty.
Here, policymakers, stakeholders, the farming community as well as development partners, be they are local or international ones, are expected to move in unison taking country’s resources into account with a view to helping Ethiopia record remarkable change. True, wheat has now taken the lion’s share to achieve national food self-sufficiency and reduce poverty. Certainly, both increasing wheat production by expanding cultivation area and improving the production capacity of smallholder farmers are better approaches to boost production.
In sum, as smallholder-oriented subsistence agriculture is not an effective way to ensure food security, the government is expected to devise potential and possible mechanisms to further enrich the sector. Besides, efficient utilization of the available resources has to be underlined. Ethiopia has initiated several projects to ensure food and wheat security, but it has not yet benefited as anticipated. As the sustainability of the current initiative relies on an efficient water management system, private sector engagement, sustainable input supply, well-established input and output marketing systems, and leadership commitment at all levels, the country has to embark on such approaches well. In doing so, many more awards can be garnered.