This is the first reason for the problem.
The second is Meles\’s purblind refusal to reverse the Marxist folly of his 1995 law that put all land under state ownership. “Land holding certificates” graciously permit farmers to till land that their forebears have farmed for generations; but surveys show that 46 per cent still expect to lose their farms.
The policy is a disaster. It discourages careful land management; it deprives farmers of collateral to raise bank loans to buy fertiliser and agricultural tools; and they cling to plots too small to feed their families because, with nothing to sell, they have no alternative. The coffee and infant rose-growing sectors apart, most Ethiopians farm as their ancestors did, with hoes, wooden ploughs, oxen and an anxious eye on the skies.
Insist that people have the property rights of feudal peasants (replacing only the Monarchy with The State) and they\’ll farm like feudal peasants.
There\’s absolutely nothing at all surprising or odd about this.