In 2015, the main causes of poverty in Ethiopia are natural disasters and poorly developed agricultural practices. Other causes of poverty in the country are unstable global markets, the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria, lack of basic infrastructure, and lack of participation in awareness programs and policy-making processes.
In 2015, 80 percent of people in Ethiopia depend on subsistence agriculture. Hence, inefficiencies in agricultural production intensify poverty in this country. Agricultural productivity in Ethiopia is low in 2015 because of the country's lack of agricultural technology. Ethiopian agriculture is typically low on inputs such as pesticides and fertilizer, and most farms rely on rainwater for irrigation. Crops therefore suffer greatly from droughts and other natural disasters. Lack of ability and planning to overcome droughts results in periodic famines. Volatile global markets result in even less access to food supplies when global prices of food and fertilizers increase.
Other factors contributing to poverty in Ethiopia include a lack of basic services and infrastructure such as safe drinking water, health care and education. HIV/AIDS and malaria greatly damage the health of many Ethiopians and kill young people who are the most important providers for their households. People living in rural areas have the least access to services and awareness programs, and have reduced ability to influence policy decisions that are relevant to them. This lack of awareness and involvement reduces people's ability to change their situation.