Endowed with abundant natural resources, Ethiopia has one of the most diverse agro-ecological configurations in the world. With 74.3 million hectares of arable land spread over 18 major agro-ecological zones at altitudes ranging from 148 meters to 4,620 meters above sea level, the country’s diversity makes it suitable for growing over 100 types of crops. Agriculture forms the biggest component and bedrock of Ethiopia’s economic development, contributing to about 32.7 Pct of the country’s GDP and 65.6 Pct of employment. With 85 Pct of Ethiopia’s 105 million people living in rural areas, the agriculture sector primarily consists of smallholder farmers who make their living from less than one hectare of land. The agricultural sector has reported considerable growth rates over the past decade as the result of an estimated doubling in the use of modern farm inputs, rapid expansion of arable land, increased labor productivity, government investments in the extension system, and an improved road network. The light of hope in the farming fields, however, is dimmed by startling losses following harvests, writes EBR’s Bamlak Fekadu.