APRA Ethiopia’s national dissemination workshop: A pathway to policy change?
APRA Ethiopia researchers have spent years studying the country’s rice value chain and identifying its role in providing a pathway out of poverty for the farmers who engage in it. The team has explored the role of increased rice commercialisation for the observed agrarian changes and the livelihood trajectories on the Fogera Plain, and engaged with efforts both within and beyond the country to promote the sustainable development of the rice sector. Such efforts have included team members’ participation in events such as the East African Rice Conference in May 2021, which gathered representatives from other East African countries – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – to identify policy reforms to transform Africa’s rice sector through scientific innovations.
Recently, the APRA Ethiopia team has been compiling its research outputs on the country’s rice sector in order to share it with national stakeholders, researchers, policymakers, government officials, development partners and more at a national dissemination workshop entitled “Rice sector transformation event in Ethiopia: Lessons from the APRA Programme” on 29 November, 2021, from 10.00 AM – 12.30 PM EAT. At this event, Dr Dawit Alemu, APRA Ethiopia country lead, will be presenting the team’s research, how it relates to rice commercialisation, agrarian changes and livelihood impacts, and the lessons learned from the APRA programme to inform policymaking moving forward in the country. Opening remarks, discussions, plans and hopes for the future, and closing remarks will be shared by attendees including HE Dr Meles Mekonnen, State Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Mandefro Nigussie, CEO of the Agricultural Transformation Institute, and HE Mr Omer Hussein, Minister at the Ministry of Agriculture.
Rice is a relatively new crop in Ethiopia. However, in recent years, the crop has grown to become one of the country’s most important commodities both in terms of domestic production, import and overall consumption. As such, understanding this crop value chain is critical to encouraging progress in the country’s agricultural sector and identifying pathways to empowering women, reducing rural poverty, and improving food and nutrition security in Ethiopia. The APRA Ethiopia team hopes this event will facilitate such progress in understanding and policy development.