An Effective Legal Framework: Seeds and Plant Variety for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Ethiopia is a major agricultural producer, with 41% of the GDP deriving from the sector. In addition, agriculture contributes to as much as 90% of the revenue from export, while at the same time secures 85% of all employment. The Government has recognized the strategic importance of the sector and is seeking to accelerate pro-poor economic growth by promoting the concept of Agricultural Development Led Industrialization, which presupposes productivity enhancement of smallholder agriculture and industrialization, based on utilization of domestic raw materials by adopting labor-intensive technology.
In the effort to promote productivity, a series of programs have been launched, including the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP), launched with the joint effort of donor communities and in which the UNDP has played the leading role. UNDP closely works with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural Transformation Agency and other bodies involved in steering the development of the sector, also through provision of technical advice in institution building and policy development.
The present paper briefly outlines one such area of support, the seed and plant variety policy. The UNDP country office has supported the Ministry of Agriculture with the development of a comprehensive legal framework in this sector, which is critical for the development of a sustainable agricultural sector in the country. This has led so far to concrete policy proposals which have been incorporated in the draft legislation presented for peer review or already submitted to adoption by the legislative and Council of Ministers.