The Need for Policy Framework for Urban/Peri-Urban Agriculture in Ethiopia: A Reflection
Following the fall of the Derg Government in May 1991, Ethiopia has witnessed a wide range of reforms in its policies and strategies. However, no attempt has been made yet to introduce a policy for urban/peri-urban agriculture (UPA) in the country. Therefore, this study was undertaken to assess the need of policy framework for UPA in Ethiopia. It attempts to bridge the gap in the limited research in this area and bring to light the necessitty of policy for UPA so that it could play a crucial role in the much needed prospective fast economic growth in the country. The study particularly assesses the constructive impacts UPA can have on the livelihoods enhancement, environmental greening, waste recycling and job creation in urban areas. The paper is based principally on a desk review if the experiences and policy frameworks of other countries as well as a few primary and secondary data in the case of Ethiopia. Legislators, key experts and professionals, selected urban farmers and entrepreneurs, and urban planners were interviewed to supplement the data obtained through desk reviews. The synthesis of this study shows that it is imperative to formulate a policy framework and by-laws for UPA in Ethiopia so that the country can make the most out of the sector. Owing to its unique characteristics, UPA deserves distinctive proclamation, policy framework and by-laws. This is because UPA has persistent multidimensional pro-poor and environment- and health-oriented values in addition to its immediate importance in socio-economic development and revenue generation.
Keywords/phrases: urban/peri-urban agriculture, policy, Ethiopia
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