By Sara Gustafson
Over the last decade, Ethiopia’s dairy sector has expanded rapidly. Urban consumers have significantly increased the amount of money they spend on dairy products, and the number of domestic dairy processing firms has tripled to meet the growing demand. All of these signs point to significant structural transformation, which plays an important role in reducing poverty and increasing welfare in developing countries. However, a new study finds that despite its recent strong growth, Ethiopia’s dairy sector still faces some important hurdles.
By Joshua Masinde
Crop yields in Africa south of the Sahara are generally low, in large part because of low fertilizer use. A recent study of six countries in the region showed that only 35% of farmers applied fertilizer. There are many possible reasons why farmers do not use fertilizer. They may be unaware of its effectiveness; or have degraded soils that do not respond to fertilizer; they may not have the cash to purchase it; or unpredictable rainfall may make such investments risky. Local fertilizer prices may also cut into potential profits for many farmers.
The production of safe, nutritious food to feed Africa’s growing and urbanizing population in an economically and environmentally sustainable way will require reliable, affordable clean energy sources. How can Africa ensure both availability of and access to such energy, particularly in rural areas?
This post originally appeared on the IFPRI.org blog and the GSSP blog . By Kwaw Andam
It is no secret that fertilizer subsidies are back in vogue across Africa south of the Sahara as the preferred tool for governments trying to boost incomes of poor smallholder farmers by increasing farm production and agricultural productivity. The financial burden of fertilizer subsidies is also widely recognized, exacerbated by the expense of improving the accuracy of targeting, as discussed in Jayne et al, 2018 .