PM Abiy Expresses Commitment to Achieving Food Sovereignty, Attaining Nat’l Prosperity

Addis Ababa: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expressed his government's commitment to not only meeting zero hunger goals but to achieving food sovereignty and attaining national prosperity. In a ceremony hosted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy, Prime Minister Abiy has been awarded the prestigious FAO Agricola Medal. The PM received the award for his vision, leadership and commitment to food security and nutrition as well as the pursuit of innovative solutions in wheat self-sufficiency in the context of fast-changing and challenging circumstances. In his address at the awarding ceremony, the premier said 'I am deeply honored and grateful to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization for recognizing Ethiopia's diligent efforts over the past five years in addressing food and nutrition security.' He also expressed his government's commitment to not only meeting zero hunger goals but to achieving food sovereignty and attaining national prosperity. Ethiopia is a nation of plenty, Abiy said indicating that the nation has abundant natural resources, most favorable weather and an energetic youth population. Synergy among these factors is essential in accelerating the development of this historic nation, he underscored. Abiy has also mentioned about the national homegrown economic reform agenda being implemented over the past five years ago focusing on key economic pillars. 'The endeavors we have begun in the past five years are thus solid foundations for the next generation. Five years ago, we introduced an essential policy turning point that generated the national homegrown economic reform agenda through which agriculture, manufacturing industries, tourism, mining, and ICTs were identified as key economic pillars and engines of growth.' While all of these five pillars hold immense untapped potential, the premier pointed out that agriculture productivity is critical to Ethiopia a population of more than 120 million and remains the driving force of the national economy. The transform ation of the sector has seen our total farmed area increase by over 50 percent, with vast amounts of land for crop production still available for cultivation, Prime Minister Abiy stated. 'As we continue expanding our potential in this sector, our focuses on high value in the industrial crops is yielding promising results as we have been planting drought tolerant water efficient crops such as wheat, teff, maize and sorghum,' he elaborated. The premier further said that wheat and particularly of seasonal irrigation has been a major focus indicating the fact that Ethiopia was dependent on imports for many decades. 'With innovations in our planting practices and the use of technology, we have moved from a wheat deficit to a surplus production increase of 300 percent.' The premier stressed that freeing the nation from the grips of poverty means 'we must catalyze our human resources towards enhanced productivity. Nurturing a productive workforce and population requires us to make critical investments in nutriti on.' The country has been taking targeted measures in not only expanding farmed land, but also increasing dairy, meats, poultry, fish and honey productivity, Abiy highlighted. According to Abiy, since 2018, the government has undertaken over 18 investment climate reforms in various areas including sector liberalization, laws and regulations, with efforts to make Ethiopia conducive and receptive to partnership and investments. Furthermore the PM affirmed that in the context of challenging circumstances and the dynamic environment, Ethiopia continues to be a resilient nation remaining steadfast in its development goals and in attracting investments. The premier invited potential investors to take a rewarding leap of faith and invest in Ethiopia. He also thanked Ethiopia's development partners for their cooperation and encouraged them to support through innovations and future technologies that will enable the country to meet the global growing demand for food. Source: Ethiopian News Agency