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Monday, 14 November 2011 09:35

Increased Sugar Projects Do Benefit All

By Staff Writer

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 14, 2011 (A Week in the Horn) - Driven by the government’s determination to defeat poverty, the favorable climate, fertile soil and water resources have brought about significant improvements in every aspect of life in Ethiopia. This has been coupled with significant improvement in the government’s capacity to respond to emergency situations as the domestic response to the current food crisis has shown.

 

The country’s national emergency food reserve has been built up to 400,000 tons a year following the implementation of programs to boost agricultural and industrial productivity. Priority has been given, and continues to be given, to smallholder farmers, with better access to improved farming methods, better seed and fertilizer at the center of government agricultural packages.

 

Medium scale farms devoted to floriculture and horticulture, as well as large scale agricultural investments by both domestic and foreign investors have also received considerable emphasis. Most recently, the government has put in place an ambitious five-year Growth and Transformation Plan which aims to produce annual economic growth of as much as 14.9 percent. Agriculture will have the biggest share in achieving this.

 

By the end of the GTP, the government has planned to double agricultural productivity and to have increased the emergency food reserve to 3 million tons. The aim is to have the country achieve self-sufficiency in food.

 

One element of the detailed plan for agricultural products includes a target for sugar production by 2020 which will be equivalent to 2.5% of the world’s sugar demand. The aim is that Ethiopia should become one of the world’s ten biggest exporters of sugar during the next fifteen years. To realize this, a Sugar Corporation has been set up, and ten new sugar factories are being constructed in different regions at a projected cost of around 80 billion birr ($4.6 billion).

 

Ethiopia is not self sufficient in sugar at the moment. It imported 150,000 metric tons last year. The completion of the ten new factories will allow self-sufficiency in sugar by the end of 2013, and production is then planned to grow eightfold by mid-2015 to 2.3 million tons, leaving a surplus for export of 1.25 million tons.

 

These projects are under construction in Beles in the central Amhara region; Wolkait in the Tigray area; Kesem in the north-eastern Afar regional state; and in the South Omo Zone of the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ region which has a particularly sparse population and displacement of people will be minimal. Substitute plots of land, equal to previous holdings in size but better in terms of fertility and accessibility to basic public services, as well as proportional compensation for lost property or earnings will be given to anybody displaced.

 

The completed projects will create a huge number of job opportunities, and benefit members of the respective local communities socially, economically and culturally. They will have access to irrigated land, improved social services, support from agricultural experts and job opportunities. It is hardly surprising that the local communities have welcomed these projects and are unanimous in their support for these schemes.

 

There are, however, others who do not welcome these developments, notably external ‘activist’ organizations like ‘Survival International’ and ‘International Rivers’ who continue to publicize their opposition to these and similar projects.

 

They claim that the sugar projects “will involve the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people”; that they “will spell ecological collapse and hunger for indigenous people”; that “tens of thousands of workers” will be moved into the areas from outside, meaning the projects will not create job opportunities for the local communities; that “pastoralists will have to abandon their way of life to work on the planned sugar cane plantations”, and so on.

 

None of these claims are true, nor do they reflect either the facts on the ground or the steps that are being taken to implement the projects. The claims of ‘Survival International’ and ‘International Rivers’ and similar organizations are simply wrong. Nor do the projects themselves actually deserve these sorts of attack as any actual examination of their proposed operations will confirm.

 

These claims of course also contradict current UN and EU views regarding the future focus of aid for food vulnerable countries. Donors, in discussions at the UN General Assembly and in the EU Parliament, have made their support quite clear for the encouragement of long-term agricultural investment in countries vulnerable to drought and food insecurity.

 

There is wide-spread agreement that this is the best way to help such countries boost food security and raise incomes, build sustainable infrastructure and augment local markets. Donor countries are being asked to concentrate more on providing strengthened financial, technical and political support to drought affected and food insecure countries including those in the Horn of Africa, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti to boost agricultural production.

 

The calls by ‘Survival International’ and ‘International Rivers’ seem opposed to any such ideas, proposing policies that effectively will encourage these countries to continue to suffer from food shortages and prevent such developments as increased provision of health and education.

 

It is in this sense that ‘International Rivers’ and ‘Survival International’ have been prominent in campaigning against the Gilgel Gibe III dam on the Omo, claiming it will prevent the natural flooding on which the local people depend for agriculture. This ignores the fact that the dam will actually regulate annual flooding, and prevent the excessive floods which, for example, killed over 400 people and thousands of animals only five years ago.

 

It also ignores the benefits that the dam will bring in terms of development and allow for the first time significant educational, health and social improvements, not least the provision of electricity and power to those in the valley. It is certainly true that Gilgel Gibe III will change the lives of those in the lower Omo valley. It will at last provide the mechanism to lift them out of poverty and bring them into a more modern world.

 

The aim of ‘International Rivers’ and other organizations appears to be to preserve ‘local biodiversity’ at the expense of the needs of those who actually live in the region. ‘International Rivers’ and ‘Survival International’ frankly seem to regard the inhabitants of the area as no more than a part of the eco-system, belonging to the natural kingdom rather than to human society.

 

It has even been suggested that these organizations would like these populations to remain ‘primitive and poor’ to provide for ‘research’ as well as give them an agenda for raising funds.

There seems to be no meeting of minds on this. A recent Brookings Institute essay “Principles for Water and Development” underlined the point that “dams by many calculations have saved lives and supported a level of agricultural production not possible without them”. It correctly notes that they do, of course, need to be based on objective Environmental and Social Impact Assessments.

 

However, it also points out that when “competing politics, economics or lack of thought” comes into play so do double standards. Developed countries have a significant number of dams, many built fifty or more years ago on the basis of calculated risks, constructed at a time when scientific research hadn’t reached present levels. That didn’t prevent those dams from being built and continuing to operate today, as the benefits were thought to outweigh the risks and problems. Few today would be prepared to deny the wide range of benefits that those countries have enjoyed, and do still enjoy, from such constructions.

 

Yet, today when countries like Ethiopia want to follow the same path of development, it appears that such projects are persistently seen as having detrimental impacts, regardless, it might be noted, of what detailed scientific Environmental and Social Impact Assessments suggest. All too often groups like ‘Survival International’ or ‘International Rivers’ insist that rivers or bodies of water in poor nations must remain untouched for the sake of the insects and other aquatic life while the peoples around suffer hunger or thirst.

 

No doubt ‘Survival International’ and others would say they can’t make similar points about projects in their own countries because these occurred long ago and are now irreversible. That is hardly the point though in fact the construction of Gilgel Gibe III is over 50% complete with all calculated risks taken into account and the benefits to local and neighboring communities beginning to be seen.

 

There shouldn’t be any confusion here. The methods of demonstrating whether such a dam is socially and environmentally acceptable and viable is beyond the capacity of self-appointed, small, biased groups like ‘Survival International’ and ‘International Rivers’.

 

It is certainly easier for such groups to collect and publicize hearsay claims and allegations than to try to evaluate objectively and scientifically these large scale development projects, built on solid environmental assessment and on nearly a decade of continuous economic growth.

 

Ethiopia is determined to move its population out of poverty, to ensure the communities in the Omo valley no longer remain as “poor specimens for research” or as a useful agenda for fund raising to increase the credibility of ‘activist organizations’. (Source: A Week in the Horn)

 

Денщик был большим мастером создавать панику.

Он, господин лейтенант, как ""пить дать, сломает штык, ведь стена-то каменная, а сталь она ломкая.

Обе очень хорошенькие, но ""совершенно непохожи ""друг на друга.

За мысом скрывалось ущелье, где находилась пещера; второй такой же кряж огораживал ущелье с южной стороны.

Крупного могу продать по пятидесяти крон, самого крупного по сорока пяти.

Вы самый никудышный ученый из всех, кого я знаю.

Сверху, с плоскогорья, скал не видно, и даже самую долину, огромную пропасть в тысячу футов глубиной, не увидишь, если на какую-нибудь сотню шагов отступить от края обрыва.

Мешок сразу же вывернули наизнанку и "Бесплатные игры скачать снежки"на доски плота упала красная пуговица.

Благодарю вас, сударыня, возразил он.

Чиун согласился отвести Анну к Рабиновичу, лучшему другу Великого Вана, при условии, что она не будет распускать руки, оставит на время свои бесстыдные замашки и откажется от затеи соблазнить Римо.

Наконец, они напомнили нам "Функції ділової служби"про договор о защите, который мы заключили "Характеристика бухгалтерского учета и налогообложения на предприятии ООО ПКФ 'Лайда'"почти со всеми королевствами Золотого Круга и "Характеристика бухгалтерского баланса и пути улучшения"отец решил лично отправиться туда и "Характеристика відносин банку з клієнтами. Розрахунки за акредитивами"преподать ей урок.

Она сидела очень прямо, положив руки "Характеристика внутрифирменного аудита на примере ЗАО 'Новосибрат'"на стол ладонями вниз.

Сам Михаил "Характеристика ГОСТа Р 6.30-2003"встречал его на ступеньках.

Спустя несколько мгновений фонарь приподняли "Характеристика деятельности и организация бухгалтерского учета на ООО СК 'Уралмаркет'"и поднесли к нему.

Кажется, я "Характеристика международного стандарта финансовой отчетности"придумал, кто может нам помочь.

сказав так, Огненная Ведьма дотрагивается до кулона на "Характеристика и виды бухгалтерской отчетности"шее, луч "Характеристика международных стандартов финансовой отчетности, их значение и содержание"света бьет рубиновым сполохом из сердца кулона, падая на Негру.

 
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