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埃塞俄比亚:应对粮食短缺

尽管埃塞俄比亚有许多潜力,但其粮食安全问题仍然存在。最主要的问题是全球气候变化带来的挑战

文I马克·沃尔顿(Merkineh Waltore Goddebo) 中国人民大学经济学院研究生  埃塞俄比亚前政府官员    翻译I 潘心怡



在过去的15年里,埃塞俄比亚是世界上发展最快的经济体之一。在此期间,埃塞俄比亚成功实现了两位数的经济增长。经济高速增长提高了人均收入,减少了绝对贫困,同时提高了人们的生活水平。此外,加上尚待发掘的人力和自然资源,埃塞俄比亚吸引了潜在的外国投资者。

埃塞俄比亚的国土面积为114万平方公里,是非洲第九大国家。耕地面积51.3万平方公里(占45%),可灌溉面积达3.42万平方公里(占3%)。国家人口超过1.04亿,是非洲仅次于尼日利亚的人口第二大国。亚的斯亚贝巴是联邦政府的首都、非洲联盟总部所在地,同时也是众多不同国际组织的所在地。

农业是埃塞俄比亚经济的支柱。目前,农业占国内生产总值的45%,外汇收入的90%,农业劳动力占就业总人口的80%。农业还在为当地产业提供原材料方面起着至关重要的作用。埃塞俄比亚适宜的气候条件有利于生活和农业生产,同时还拥有肥沃的土地和水资源。

埃塞俄比亚拥有丰富的农业资源,海拔高度从海拔-148米到4620米。因此,这里有着世界上最大和最具多样性的遗传资源。埃塞俄比亚有两个主要的雨季,周期都较短,Belg是较短的雨季,从二月中旬开始到四月底结束。Meher是主要的雨季,从六月一直持续到九月。全国各地的降雨量因生态环境不同而各异。降雨量从西南方的2200毫米递减至低地的100毫米以下。

 

农业行业的挑战 

尽管埃塞俄比亚有许多潜力,但其粮食安全问题仍然存在。最主要的问题是全球气候变化带来的挑战。2015、2016年度的厄尔尼诺现象造成了干旱,埃塞俄比亚南部和东南部地区2016年秋季降雨低于平均水平,这导致了低海拔地区和全国各地的低地出现了新的干旱。造成此次干旱的部分原因也是由于太平洋上的厄尔尼诺现象,许多科学家认为,这是一种周期性现象,由于全球气候变化,近年来这一现象有所加剧。

此外,印度洋干旱对南部和东部造成了影响,疾病暴发、大规模的生计资产损失和流离失所等问题更是加重了该地区面临的困难。由于南部干旱带上的春季降雨低于平均水平,以及第三个雨季连续降水不足,全国范围内面临的人道主义状况进一步恶化。制约农业发展的因素还有:化肥使用在质和量上均不达标,同时粮食储存量较低。

这导致2017年埃塞俄比亚约有560万人需要紧急食物援助。干旱预计会在当年12月到次年3月进入顶峰,这可能会导致牲畜健康状况的恶化,影响牛奶产量,同时对以畜牧业为生的家庭的营养状况产生影响。在干旱季节,通过常规调查,政府会将补给食物分发到最需要的人手中。

 

短期和中期解决方案

要想在国家层面实现粮食安全的可持续发展,必须引入灌溉系统。然而,尽管粮食和粮食作物实现了整体增长,但家庭层面的粮食不安全状况仍可能持续。中长期目标是大幅减少粮食不安全农村人口的绝对规模,使他们摆脱粮食援助和贫困。另一种解决方案则是进行农业研究、集水和小规模灌溉,并重视增加水资源利用上,以确保粮食安全。  

短期目标是依靠资源实现财政转移,来支持相对较少的食物赤字家庭。类似地,进行农业研究、集水和小规模灌溉,重视提高水资源利用以确保粮食安全。在过渡期间,将继续依赖粮食援助。在这方面有两个主要问题:确保及时的干预以避免粮食短缺,并利用粮食援助的资源来建设农业和农村基础设施。20世纪80年代末,将救济与发展联系起来的概念就已经产生。多年来,各类环保活动,如水土保持、梯田建设、植树造林等,其积极结果已经显现,在未来将会得到持续提升。

过去几年,通过重组灾害预防和准备委员会(DPPC)和建立粮食安全储备管理(FSRA),应急能力也得到加强。观察、监测、预警和战略粮食储备能力将继续提高,以更好地应对饥荒的紧急情况。

 

农业投资机会

如今,埃塞俄比亚已经成为有吸引力的投资目的地,原因如下:微观经济稳定和经济增长;足够的担保和保护;透明的法律和规范化的程序;充足的投资机会;丰富和训练有素的劳动力;广泛的国内和地区和国际市场机会;有竞争力的投资激励方案;对外商直接投资的欢迎态度;宜人的气候和肥沃的土壤;较低的生产成本。此外,埃塞俄比亚的投资法规也为潜在的外国投资者创造了一个令人安心的商业环境。设有对外商直接投资的专项投资担保。

埃塞俄比亚有适合生产各种粮食作物所需的适宜气候和土壤类型。主要的粮食作物是谷物、豆类和油籽。出口的水果、蔬菜、鲜花等都是快速发展的出口农产品。有机咖啡、棉花、烟草、甘蔗、茶叶和香料是埃塞俄比亚种植的主要经济作物。埃塞俄比亚是非洲领先的咖啡“阿拉比卡咖啡”生产国。据说“咖啡”这个词就源于Kaffa地区,Kaffa地区的咖啡长期以来都是一种野生作物。在全国各地种植各类农产品的潜力巨大,比如玉米、水稻、园艺、咖啡、茶叶、棉花、油料作物、橡胶和棕榈油。

埃塞俄比亚的投资机会对投资者们非常有利。政府还承诺,将利用大量国内信贷来促进外商直接投资。埃塞俄比亚开发银行等公共银行已成立,以支持国家的经济转型。因此,投资于农业、制造业和农业领域的投资者有从埃塞俄比亚的开发银行获得贷款的资质。


现状与挑战

最近埃塞俄比亚经历了奥罗米亚和阿姆哈拉地区政府的动荡。骚乱的主要原因与糟糕的治理有关。公共服务和发展成果与公民越来越高的期望不符,尤其是年轻人。年轻人缺乏就业机会是导致社会动荡的另一个主要原因。不同的研究都证实,随着城市化的发展,尽管国家总体失业率一直在下降,但仍居高不下。由于人口结构的变化和人口迁移,城市地区的劳动力一直在增加,就业岗位也应该随之增加。尽管埃塞俄比亚的失业率是一个很大的城市现象,但最近的农村地区开始经历失业。

部分地区的公共骚乱也与城市化和工业化的扩大有关。虽然城市化和工业化都是国家经济发展的结果,对人民的生活产生了积极的影响,但是,对流离失所的农民补偿问题上缺乏管理引发了不满。

造成动乱的另一个因素是与政府的治理不善。针对这些动荡问题,政府采取了短期和长期措施,以进一步改善私营经济的发展和外国直接投资流动。短期和立即行动的目标是消除在奥罗米亚和阿马拉地区政府最近发生动乱后产生的负面影响。目前,埃塞俄比亚政府自2018年3月开始再次实施为期6个月的紧急状态,以恢复和平与秩序,并限制针对包括外国投资在内的该国经济支柱的破坏性活动。

根据投资法,政府在对损失规模进行评估后,已向受近期奥罗米亚和阿姆哈拉州动乱影响的鲜花行业提供了超过一亿一千六百万比尔的财政支持。此外,政府亦会根据持续的评估结果,继续向受影响的公司提供支援。对于那些能够自行应对损失的公司,政府给予了一年的所得税宽限期和免税优惠。此外,政府还采取了密切的后续行动,以安抚局势,增强投资者的信心。

从长远来看,政府正式宣布,确保善政和深化全国的民主化进程,例如,释放一些在野党领导人,并宣布与广大公众密切合作是政府的首要任务,这将有助于克服这一问题。目前,国家正在进行一系列改革,从去年开始进行了内阁改组,同时就善政有关的地方行政进行了改革。

埃塞俄比亚另一个问题是腐败。尽管腐败程度和对腐败的容忍程度相对较低,但寻租的政治经济仍然是城市地区的一大挑战。埃塞俄比亚人对腐败问题存在道德上的矛盾心理,正如其流行语所说:“当你在办公室里工作时请尽情吃吧,当你不再拥有它时,你会后悔的。”(编辑:潘心怡)




Agricultural Investment Challenges and Opportunities in Ethiopia

By Merkineh Waltore Goddebo, Master Student of Economy Department,  Renmin University of China; Former Ethiopia Government Official




Ethiopia is one of the world’s fastest growing economies for the last 15 consecutive years. The country has managed to register double-digit economic growth during this time. This high growth has contributed to a sustained increase in per capita income and a decline in absolute poverty, as well as improvement in standards of living. The high and sustainable economic growth observed over the past years coupled with the country’s untapped human and natural resources helped Ethiopia to allure potential foreign investors. 

The country has an area of 1.14 million square kilometers, ranking the ninth largest country in Africa, with its arable land 513,000 square kilometer (45%) and irrigated land 34,200 square kilometers (3%). It has a population of over around 104 million, the second largest population next to Nigeria in Afric. Addis which is Ababa is the capital city of the federal government and the headquarter of African Union and some other international organizations.

Actually, agriculture is the backbone of the Ethiopian economy. The sector accounts currently for about 45 percent of the GDP, 90 percent of the total foreign exchange earnings and 80 percent of the employment. It also plays a crucial role in providing row materials to the local industry. Available climate condition makes things favorable for living and agricultural production and also fertile lands and water resources accessible in the country. 

The country endowed with abundant agricultural resources and having an altitude ranging from 148 meters below sea level to 4,620 meters above sea level. Due to these facts the country possesses one of the largest and most diverse genetic resources in the world. There are two rainy season in the country. These are the short rainy season, Belg, during the mid- February to the end of April, and the main rainy season, Meher, covering the months of June to September. Rainfall distribution throughout the country varies depending on agro- ecological conditions of each specific area. Rainfall ranges from 2,200mm in the southwest to below 100m in all low land areas.


Challenges in Agricultural Sector

Ethiopia has a number of potentials, but still there is a shortage of food security in the country. The main problem is global climate change. Because of 2015/2016 El Niño induced drought, below average 2016 autumn rains in the southern and southeastern parts of the country have led to a new drought in lowland and pastoralist areas, as well as areas across the country. The drought is also caused in part by the El Nino warming phenomenon over the Pacific Ocean, a cyclical phenomenon that many scientists considered it has intensified in recent years because of global climate change. 

Furthermore, southern and eastern Ethiopia continues to struggle with the impact of the Indian Ocean Dipole-induced drought, exacerbated by disease outbreaks, large scale loss of livelihood assets and displacement. The humanitarian situation countrywide has been further compounded by below average spring rains the third consecutive poor/failed rains in the southern drought belt. The other constraint in agricultural sector is the full package usage of fertilizer in their agricultural plot of land and saving system is not in higher level. 

As a result, some 5.6 million people in Ethiopia require emergency food assistance in 2017. Drought conditions are expected to peak during the dry December to March season, which is likely to lead to a sharper deterioration in livestock body conditions, and impacting milk production and nutrition status of the families that depend on livestock for their food and income. During the dry season, the response will be complemented by supplementary food based on regular screenings to ensure the most vulnerable are reached. 


Short-term and Mid-term Solutions

Irrigation needs to be introduced in a significant way for a sustainable attainment of food security at the national level. However, food insecurity at the household level could still last despite growth of food and cash crops at national level. The medium-to long-term target is to reduce the absolute size of the food insecure rural population substantially and make them exit from food aid and alleviating poverty as well. Agricultural research, water harvesting and small scale irrigation and focus on increased water resource utilization to ensure food security are other solutions. 

In the short-run, the objective is to support a relatively small numbers of food-deficit households by fiscal transfer of resources. Similarly, agricultural research, water harvesting and small scale irrigation and focus on increasing water resource utilization to ensure food security.  

During this transition, there will be continued reliance on food aid. There are two main issues in this regard; ensuring a timely intervention to avoid lacking of food, and using the resources of food aid to build the potential of agriculture and rural infrastructure. The concept of linking relief with development has been applied since the late 1980s. Various activities of environmental protection such as soil and water conservation, terracing and afforestation carried out over the years have shown positive results, and impacts will be improved and continued in the future. Emergency capabilities have also been strengthened in the past few years by reorganizing the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC), and establishing a Food Security Reserve Administration (FSRA). Monitoring, surveillance, early warning, and strategic food reserves capabilities will continue to be augmented to better deal with emergency situations of famine.


Agricultural Investment Opportunities in Ethiopia

Nowadays Ethiopia has become an increasingly attractive investment destination, because of the following reasons: Micro economic stability and growing economy; adequate guarantees and protection; transparent lows and streamlined procedures; ample investment opportunities; abundant and trained labor forces; wide domestic, regional and international market opportunities; competitive investment incentives packages; welcoming attitude of the people to FDI; pleasant climate and fertile soils; and low production cost. Furthermore, the Ethiopian investment codes also provide guarantees to create a reassuring business environment for potential foreign investors.  Specific investment guarantees have been issued for FDI. 

Ethiopia has suitable climate and soil conditions required for the production of a variety of food crops. The major food crops are cereals, and oil seeds. Wide range of fruits and vegetables and cut flowers are among fast growing export agro- products. Organic coffee, cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, tea and spices are the main commercial cash crops grown in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is Africa leading producers of coffee Arabica. The word “coffee” is said to come from kaffa, a region where coffee has long been a wild crop. There are huge potential areas for the cultivation of various agricultural products in all the country and provinces (regional states), like, maize, rice, horticulture coffee, tea, cotton, oil crops, pulse, rubber and palm oil. 

Other opportunities in Ethiopia to invest in agriculture are making favorable condition for investment. The government also committed to avail considerable amount of domestic credit to promote FDI. Public banks such as the Development Bank of Ethiopia are established to support the country’s economic transformation. Thus investors who are investing in areas of agriculture, manufacturing and agro industry are eligible to obtain loan from Development Bank of Ethiopia.


Current Challenges in Ethiopia

When it comes to the recent condition, Ethiopia has experienced unrest around some parts of the Oromiya and Amhara Regional Governments. The primary causes of the unrest were related to bad governance. In the delivery of public services and development outcome that could not match the rising expectation of citizens, particularly the youths. Lacking of employment opportunities for the rising youth population was another major cause of the unrest.  According to different researches, unemployment rates have been decreasing but remain high and unemployment caused by urbanization has increased. The supply of labor in urban areas has been increasing, driven by demographic changes and migration; the supply of jobs is supposed to be increased to match this. Though unemployment in Ethiopia is by and large an urban phenomenon, recently rural areas began to experience unemployment and under employment.

The public unrest in some part of the country was also associated with the expansion of urbanization and industrialization. Although both urbanization and industrialization were the outcome of the country’s economic development and have positive effects on the livelihood of the population, miss-management in compensating the displaced farmers from their land causes grievances.

The other factor that highly contributed to the unrest was the poor governance in connection with government services. For those unrest problems the government has taken short and long-term measures in further improving the private sector development and FDI flows. Short term and immediate actions were targeted to clear negative perceptions created in the aftermath of the recent unrest occurred in some Oromiya and Amara Regional Governments. Currently, the government of Ethiopia has put in place a six-month State of Emergency from March 2018 and the following six month to restore peace and order as well as to restrain destructive activities which targeted economic pillars of the country including foreign investments. 

Based on the investment law the government has given over 116 million birr financial support for horticulture companies affected by the recent unrest in Oromia and Amhara regional states following an assessment made on the scale of damage. It will also continue to give support for the affected companies based on the on-going assessments. For those companies which managed to cope with the damage by their own, the government has given one year grace period of income tax payment and duty-free privilege. In addition, the government has made a close follow-up to reassure peaceful environment and boost investors’ confidence. 

In the long terms the government has officially announced that ensuring good governance and deepening the democratization process across the country like, releasing a number of opposition party leaders from the prison and working closely with the public at large is its primary priority would help to overcome the problem. In this regard, a command post for national mobilization effort for good governance has been established. Currently, the country is carrying out a number of reforms, starting from last year with a cabinet reshuffle and changes in local administration related with good governance issues.  

The government has established a 10-billion birr Revolving Youth Fund that benefits the youth through creating jobs and the economic development of the country. The initiative is a response to the economic questions raised by the youth; and it also addresses other areas of concern. 

The other problem in the country is rent seeking mentality (corruption). Although the level of corruption and tolerance to corruption is comparatively low, rent-seeking political economy remains to be a challenge in urban areas. But it attributed to Ethiopians’ ethical ambivalence in explaining corruption as demonstrated in the popular saying ‘sishom yalbela sishar yiqochewal’, loosely translated as ‘eat when you hold office for you shall regret later when you don’t have it anymore.’