Nation Needs to Focus on Agriculture Dev’t, FDI to Tackle Economic Crisis, Says Consultant

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Addis Ababa March 15/2022 /ENA/ Ethiopia needs to focus on agricultural development, including irrigation and wise use of resources, and promotion of foreign direct investment to cope up with the fallout from the crisis caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine, a business consultant said.

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Speaking to ENA, Ahmed Abdurahman noted that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has economic impacts on the world; and it would exacerbate the global economic crisis.

Russia alone supplies 30 percent of the world’s wheat, and Ukraine is also one of the major suppliers of wheat in the world, he stated, adding that the war has therefore put a strain on food prices.

In addition, Russia exports 19 percent of the world’s maize, and the two countries also control the majority of the world oil market.

Moreover, Russia supplies 15 percent of urea and DAP fertilizers and 17 percent potash fertilizer. Hence, the war will put a lot of economic and social pressure on countries around world, especially on developing countries, the consultant stated.

Since Russia and Ukraine are the main producers of sesame oil, this has led to shortage of sesame and nougat oil.

According to him, the Ethiopian economy, especially the supply of wheat, edible oil, among others, would be affected.

Ahmed stressed that Ethiopia needs to work harder on promoting on foreign direct investment to cope with the global impact of the war on its economy.

The development of irrigation schemes to cover imported wheat production has been implemented by the government and this needs to be enhanced to ensure food security in the country and cope up with the food crisis.

“The activities by the government to be self-reliant in food through the production of wheat at home need to be strengthened. All stakeholders in the agriculture sector should actively be engaged in expanding irrigational schemes to ensure food security of the country,” he underscored.

The consultant believes that there is opportunity to expand foreign direct investment with Turkey and China that are not directly involved in the war and have currently large investments in Ethiopia, he pointed out.

“This is an opportunity for Ethiopia to expand foreign direct investment with these countries. However, works have to be done to strengthen, expand and attract foreign direct investment.”

Ahmed finally underlined that the country is “at a critical juncture where the government and the people should stand together to cope with the rising cost of living,”

Ethiopians living abroad should also help the country by sending their money home legally to overcome shortage of hard currency.

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