ADDIS ABABA- Ministry of Agriculture said that the government of Ethiopia has managed to allocate 635 million USD for emergency food distribution to 15 million individuals vulnerable to food insecurity which are not currently covered by the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNPs).
The remainder 293 million USD would be allocated to agricultural sector support, nutrition, the protection of vulnerable groups, additional education outlays, logistics, refugees support and site management support.
MoA , partnering with Ethiopian Nutrition Network Leaders ( ENNL) along with development partners has currently put in place addressing nutrition insecurity and enhancing the food system as part of efforts to combat undernourishment and react concurrent threats of COVID-19 ushered.
Dr. Mullugeta Tamir, Consultant of Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture at MoA on virtual meeting said the agriculture sector has traveled distant in immersing the agenda of nutrition; however, the outbreak of the pandemic has put unprecedented effect on the agrarian community and expected to place further pressure on nutrition and food system.
Indicating that the global pandemic has added sorts of complications on the production availability, accessibility and affordability of products he added that lots have also been forced to lose jobs due to unpromising business in the agriculture sector.
Mulugeta unveiled that the number of target groups in urban and rural safety net program gauges tens of millions. The figure is staggering for a country hosting desert locust swarm and shouldering other man-made and natural disasters.
Restrictions, the State of Emergency, climatic changes, fundamental change of circumstances due to global phenomenon posed substantial threats upon the planet in general and low and middle-income countries in particular.
According to Mulugeta, the time demands to undergo inclusive measures even social revolution to rescue the country and the posterity from the nose dive situation they have been in through nurturing nutrition, dietary diversity, food safety, and food system as supreme national agendas.
Limitations in logistics, shipment of agricultural inputs coupled with desert locust swarm tempted production and productivity of agriculture. Drawbacks associated with processing, market linkage, and fear to consume raw products crippled both the mixed farming and pastoralism, Mulugeta added.
Apart from the temptation registered on the food sector, Mulugeta affirmed that the export trade decelerated by 11 percent quoting the study of Addis Ababa university by Alemayehu Gadaa.
Thus, MoA along with development partners have been working placing high priority on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and now comes up with a more comprehensive approach food system in a bid to react to the current pandemic and put lasting solution for complications in the countries nutrition and food system, it was stated.