The Ethiopian government is striving to enhance responsible agricultural investment that can meet nationally, regionally, and internationally accepted principles, according to Ministry of Agriculture.
In his opening remark at the National Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue on Responsible Governance of Investment in Land underway here in Addis Ababa, Agriculture State Minister Ifa Muleta said land in Ethiopia is not only the foundation of the economy, but also plays significant role in cultural, social, and political affairs.
The Government of Ethiopia is, therefore, carefully looking for a long-term sustainable land use system which enables it to design a guiding policy framework that addresses both small holders and commercial ones.
According to him, the government has demonstrated strong commitment to agriculture in order to increase production and productivity of small holders through dissemination of effective technologies and scaling up strategies.
As a result, considerable achievements have been registered over the past decades even if there is still substantial scope to improve production, productivity, and to also create untapped market linkages, it was learned.
“We are striving to enhance responsible agricultural investment that can meet national, regional and international accepted principles and guidelines in an innovative and responsible ways. Indeed, establishing responsible agricultural investment system in the main objective of our current reform agenda in the sector land governance is a crucial issue.”
Responsible Governance of Investment in Land Project Manager, Christian Mesmer said land is a finite and non-renewable resource that many found significance in economic, social, ecological, cultural and political terms. Due attention must (therefore) be given to this precious resource from national to kebele level.
The manager noted that the global rush for land indicates that many land owner local communities do not benefit from land investment.
Christian added that the lack of safeguarding and consultation mechanisms in doing land allocation process result in land degradation, dispute and evictions.
“With its agricultural reform agenda, the Government of Ethiopia has demonstrated its commitment for good land governance through improved land tenure security for both small holders and commercial agricultural investment and alike,” he stressed.
Many systematic efforts have been undertaken, the manager stated, adding that the country can still make major headway in ensuring responsible agricultural investment.
EU Delegation Green Deal Team leader, Roberto Schiliro said on his part that land governance is a precondition for any development policy and strategy in agriculture.
This is particularly important in Ethiopia to fully exploit its unleashed potential, the team leader said, adding the UN and its member states have taken various measures, including the adoption of UN land policy guidance in 2004, in order to meet these objectives.
The EU supports this initiative acknowledging that responsible land management is a key and critical issue in Ethiopia, according to Schiliro.
The team leader further underlined that we need to have specific Ethiopian approach. “We need to be inclusive and innovative in the approach to land management in Ethiopia.”