"Famine Returns"; "Aid Agencies Speak Out"; "What the Russians Say," African Business, February 1988, pp. 10-15.

 

Famine returns

 

Main Point

This short article reports famine in Ethiopian and what the government had to say about the famine.

 

Summary

Kebede, Head of the International Department of the governmentí»s Relief & Rehabilitation Commission(RRC), says that the solution to the famine is to increase food production.  Kebede says that the people shouldní»t speak about having wrong policy because the first thing the government did when the revolution came was land reform.  Kebede also says paying higher wage would increase the production but not significantly.  The Western opinion is that people move frequently move to different region resulting in slow production.  Kebede, however, says that the collectivization is very slow in Ethiopia.  Ethiopia has strong pro-Soviet government, and the government is not getting any substantial aid from USSR.  Resettlement was a very viable solution to over-populated region.  However, in order to pursue this policy, they need aid in allocation of resources.

 

Aid agencies speak out

 

Main Point

This article reports problems with Ethiopian government policy viewed from other organization.

 

Summary

ECC which gibes more aid to Ethiopia than to any other country it funds condemned Ethiopiaí»s collective policy. 

 

Forcible resettlement

The Ethiopian Embassy in London stated that people would die in the land where the land caní»t support them unless relocating them to the part of the country that can sustain life.  The rebel forces in the north believe that the Adddis government is using the resettlement policy to eliminate political opposition.

 

í░Criminalsí▒

The Eritrean Peopleí»s Liberation Front refused to negotiate with rebels(í░criminalsí▒.)  The lack of an agreement is critical in1987.

 

What the Russians say

 

Main Point

The USSR and the West has criticized Ethiopiaí»s food production policies.  The USSR recommended reducing emphasis on collective farms, and paying peasants higher for their production.  This article reports what suggestions the Soviet report had and what the Ethiopian government had to say. 

 

Summary

The Soviet advised the Ethiopian government that they should reduce emphasis on collective farms, and pay more to the peasants.  A large part of Ethiopian farming, however, is carried out by individual family.  Since the land reform, people who joined co-operative had given one big block of land.  People doní»t have any rights to the products in their land.  Thatí»s why there is little incentive to individual peasants. 

í░The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture seems to spend as much time fighting the government as anyone else.  It is a case where policy is made in the party, at the top, and then enforced down the hierarchy.í▒  The Soviet report suggested commercial farming, but the possibility of a commercial farm was abolished in 1975í»s land reform. 

 

Production/consumption link

The World Bank emphasizes the role of private traders.  The only response by the Ethiopians was to provide agricultural inputs to individual peasants in the most promising areas for surplus grain production.

Summary by Do Kim.