Gender, Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security in Ethiopia: A Critical Review

2020 International Journal of Research Studies in Agricultural Sciences  
INTRODUCTION In Africa, agriculture is the mainstay of 70 percent of the continent's population and this critical sector will be most impacted by climate change. Agriculture is the backbone of Ethiopia's economy and sources of export earnings and employs many citizens. Its performance has a great impact on businesses, food systems, trade and livelihood of the population. Agricultural and trade policies, together with infrastructure and natural resource management heavily influence the food
more » ... ction, processing, distribution and marketing mechanism and subsequently the availability of food. Smallholder rain-fed agriculture, which is the mainstay of rural communities in Ethiopia, is negatively affected by climate change. Rainfall is highly erratic and there is a high degree of variability in both time and space (NMA 2007; EPCC 2015) . Since agriculture (which employs around 85% of the labor force, contributes more than 50% of the GDP and supplies 90% of export values) is climate sensitive, it is likely to remain the main engine of growth in the country, and climate-induced shocks will continue to be a threat to macroeconomic stability and could cause a remarkable loss in the total production unless strong remedial actions are put into action (MoFED 2010; EPCC 2015). Food security, food systems, and climate change are each multifaceted topics. Their interactions are likewise complex and are affected by a wide range of environmental and socioeconomic factors. It is nevertheless clear that there are multiple connections between changing climate conditions and food systems and that climate change affects food systems in ways that alter food-security outcomes. Women play a vital role in food production, food distribution, and food utilization the three components of food security; they also undertake a range of community-level activities that support agricultural development, such as soil and water conservation, afforestation and crop domestication. Women face numerous obstacles to access productive inputs, assets and services; these obstacles not Abstract: Agriculture is the backbone of Ethiopia's economy and sources of export earnings. Food security, food systems, and climate change are each multifaceted topics. Their interactions are likewise complex and are affected by a wide range of environmental and socioeconomic factors. Women play a vital role in food production, food distribution, and food utilization the three components of food security; they also undertake a range of community-level activities that support agricultural development, such as soil and water conservation, afforestation and crop domestication. Women face numerous obstacles to access productive inputs, assets and services; these obstacles not only heighten their vulnerability to food insecurity, but also considerably reduce their contribution to overall agricultural production. The objective of the review is to understand the gender-differentiated roles in agriculture and food and nutrition security in Ethiopia. Identify appropriate responses to close the gender gap in the agricultural sector in order to achieve gender equality and food security. Nutrition-specific policies directly targeting the nutritional status of women and the poor should be developed. Nutrition-sensitive policies, which target broad underlying factors including agriculture and food access, sanitation and women's empowerment. To better support food and nutritional security, policies are required to reform production mechanization and land tenure for the benefit of small-scale farmers, to reform how smallholders obtain agricultural inputs and to recognize agriculture as vehicle for investment option. Research should support women in tree domestication to improve the yields of tree foods, and seek to enhance the complementarity and stability of food production in smallholders'.
doi:10.20431/2454-6224.0601002 fatcat:q2w2eaijyrdwlgpkhwhuu3k4ji