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Working Paper 235 - Social Networks, Agricultural Innovations, and Farm Productivity in Ethiopia


Eighty-two percent of the population in Ethiopia live in rural areas (World Bank, 2012), with the majority depending on agriculture or related activities for their livelihood, either directly or indirectly. Despite some improvements in agricultural production in recent years, overall agricultural growth falls short of the rapid population growth and importing food (in the form of aid and to some extent commercial imports) has become an important component of food supply in the country with an equivalent of 6.4% of the national food production between 1996 and 2010 on average (Graham et al, 2012). Ethiopian agriculture is characterized by low productivity which is associated with low input usage (such as improved seed varieties and fertilizer), significant post-harvest loss, population pressure, poor farming practices, and land degradation, among others (Negatu, 2004; Rashid, et al., 2010; Yao, 1996).

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