AP - A Vibrant Rural Economy In The 21st Century – An Ethiopian Perspective.
The author was assigned to the city of Awassa in Southern Ethiopia in late 2006 to advise on “urban agriculture”. Land within the city limits is allocated to investors both in agriculture and other industries. I concentrated my efforts on the dairy sector, where it became apparent that encouraging the development of milk production within the city should maybe not be a priority. This was vividly brought home to me when I accompanied the members of an NGO in the distribution of goats for humanitarian aid to farmers just 10 km from the centre of Awassa, a city having over 100,000 inhabitants. What’s more the community was located on the shores of the 100 sq km Lake Awassa. With such a favourable situation and a large expanding market on their doorstep why are these farmers not amongst the most prosperous rural dwellers in the area? The reasons I attempt to address in this paper.
Keywords: urban agriculture, development.