Original Research

Agricultural development problems in a newly independent, war-ravaged country: Eritrea

Abubaker Osman, J. A. Groenewald
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 6, No 1 | a3334 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v6i1.3334 | © 2019 Abubaker Osman, J. A. Groenewald | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2019 | Published: 31 March 2003

About the author(s)

Abubaker Osman, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of the Free State, South Africa
J. A. Groenewald, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of the Free State, South Africa

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Eritrea obtained independence in 1992, after a century of foreign rule and war. The agricultural sector has been unable to produce enough food for Eritrea and the situation deteriorated substantially during the war with Ethiopia. It has considerable potential for agricultural, including horticultural, production. Eritrea should therefore develop an export base built on agriculture. The rural economy should be transformed from a subsistence to a commercial economy. Agricultural policy could partially achieve this goal by developing incentives, including (nito alis) changes in land tenure systems, improvement of transport, storage and communications infrastructure, marketing services, and also extension and human capital development. Trade policy should focus on gaining access to foreign markets. The government should not attempt to take over entrepreneurial functions, instead it should focus on empowering this sector.


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