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“African agriculture is in urgent need of an upgrade and fast-track into 21st century productivity,” said Mr. Adam Elhiraika, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy Division at the Economic Commission for Africa, in a statement on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Mr. Carlos Lopes, during the opening of the African Economic Research Consortium Biannual Research workshop on ‘Agriculture and Structural Transformation in Africa.

Kalkidan Yibeltal

Standing at the doorway of the mud-walled, tin-roofed office in Ordee Goba Farming Kebele in eastern Hararghe of the Oromia regional state, the development agent (DA) pointed at the crops – mainly sorghum and maize – inside the compound; a look of disappointment and helplessness is stamped all over his face. It needed no effort to notice the stunted stems and the dry leaves.