Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ethiopia Commodities Chief Says, African Farmers Must Be Tied to Markets

Alen Bjerga Bloomberg
Developing nations need stronger connections to world markets to stabilize prices and reduce hunger, according to Eleni Gabre-Madhin, the chief executive officer of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange.

Trading floors in developing nations give farmers more- accurate pricing information and encourage construction of the storage facilities, roads and telephone networks needed to foster agriculture, Gabre-Madhin said today in an interview at the annual World Food Prize conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

Farmers in Ethiopia, with experience in commodity trading, “think global and multinational, rather than thinking local,” she said. “That means they’re able to make better decisions on when to sell” and pay closer attention to crop quality, she said.

Ethiopia is the world’s sixth-biggest coffee producer and fifth-largest grower of lentils, chickpeas, sesame and sorghum, according to the United Nations. The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange trades corn, wheat, coffee, white and red kidney beans and soon will be adding sesame. The country’s agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices, according to the U.S. government.

The World Food Prize recognizes achievement in food and agriculture that alleviates hunger and poverty globally. The annual conference brings together governments, businesses and humanitarian organizations to discuss farming and international development.

No comments: