Let me say that I find the comments and debate on this site
interesting and let me add a little to it. At the risk of being haste, let
me comment on the attainability of food security in Ethiopia.
Famine in Ethiopia has been in existence periodically for
several centuries according to certain book I read. That doesn't mean that
we should accept it. Food security is achievable but it would take years to
reach that stage I am afraid.
Let me cite an example many people know about already.
According to an article published in the Economist several years ago, famine
in Ethiopia is caused mainly by poverty. As an example, the magazine cited
that at that time while there was drought in California, USA, for several
years, it didn't cause famine in that state. The reason given was (the
obvious) USA being a wealthy country and Ethiopia not.
The remedy is, as has been said many times before and as many
of you already know could be solved through many approaches.
To quote a few:
-instead of relying on rain fed agriculture, to irrigate
the many rivers the country has.
- investment in the economy. Encourage entrepreneurship.
- education, education & education. Provide skilled
manpower for the many business that would be flourishing.
- Apply technology / engineering solutions for advancement
of the country.
Let me comment a little on the engineering part. Although the
state, wealthy individuals could be patrons for engineering, these aren't of
much relevance due to limited resources. But there are many individuals who
have a little amount saved up which they could use to form share companies.
Such form of organization could mobilize a lot of individuals (domestic and
foreign) and could accelerate the economic growth.
Engineering for profit is a common practice in industrialized
countries. They use engineering to make profits for companies which in turn
helps the country accumulate wealth. To cut things short, by
identifying problems in processes or any given situation, solutions could be
created by coming up with efficient ways of doing things, for those
practicing engineering wealth could be created and accumulated.
I also support the recent measure being undertaken by the
government to alleviate food insecurity. Insuring food insecure people is a
good idea that may work. If 85 % percent of the population is dependant on
agriculture for their livelihood which makes them about 60 million, they
could support 5 million amongst themselves who are food insecure at any
given year. That is about a 10:1 ratio. Even though I am not an expert in
insurance matters, I think the ratio is sustainable. It could be seen as an
experiment. It is one hope that could work.