EARCS Crop Research Coordination

 

Mandates of EARCS’ Crop Research Coordination Unit include:

 

(1) coordinate crop research activities among federal and regional agricultural research institutes and universities towards a common goal of generating improved crop technologies adapted to various ecological zones and farming systems of the country;

 

(2) modernize crop research and

 

(3) upgrade the research infrastructure, human resources and efficiency.

 

The crop research gives particular emphasis to emerging and developing technologies, underutilized potentials and emerging regions. As its major objective, it coordinates, leads, sets directions and builds the capacity at a national level through collaboration and partnership among national and international institutes.

 

Outcomes

The research coordination unit constitutes three system-level outcomes, namely, fulfil nutrition and food sovereignty, supply raw materials for the growing agro-industry, and maximize the foreign exchange earnings from the export market.

 

Programs

Ethiopia possesses various agro ecological zones ranging from afro-alpine to deserts suitable for the cultivation of cereals, pulses oilseeds, root crops, vegetable and fruits and spices. During the last 50 years, research on these crops was conducted to develop improved varieties and cultivation methods adapted in various ecological zones and farming systems. Today, crop research is carried out by one federal, and seven regional research institutes and several universities throughout the country.

 

The Crop Research Coordination Unit is organized into eight research programs -- cereals, pulses, oilseeds, root and tubers, vegetables and fruits, spices and herbs, coffee and cotton.

 

Multidisciplinary Approach

 

National research on crops shall be carried out with a multidisciplinary approach and with strong support in NRM, particularly in soil health, and in agricultural engineering, agricultural economics food science, and extension.

 

The objective of crop research varies with the specific commodity and constraint but in, general, is to develop improved varieties resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses with various market classes containing high nutrition and industrial value along with improved cultivation methods.

 

Themes

 

The thematic research areas of crop research include: germplasm enhancement, breeding and genetics, crop management, crop pest management, physiology, development of improved technology for worm areas and irrigated farming, breeder seed production, plant biotechnology and mechanization.

 

The Prospects

 

At the end of GTP III the productivity of major crops such as maize will reach 200 kg/ha, wheat 120 and coffee and teff42 kg/ha at research plots. In order to achieve its goal crop research shall be staffed with skilled human resources capable of utilizing advanced technologies to carry out research at a genomic and molecular level.

 

The research will be equipped with modern research facilities such as irrigation facilities, farm machinery, specialized laboratories, various levels of seed storage facilities and biotechnology laboratories. Specialized laboratories shall include plant pathology, physiology seed quality equipped with NIR, HPLC and NMR that will enable to conduct basic and applied research varying from conventional to molecular level. Irrigation facilities shall enable to carry research and seed production throughout the year while machinery for large scale and plot level will transform the research and seed production activities from manual to mechanized.

 

Crop research shall utilize modern analytical facilities and molecular techniques to develop high yielding OP and HBV varieties resistant/tolerant to major diseases with high industrial as well as market value to assists the growth and transformation plan. In general, EARCS aims to transform the national crop research capability and capacity into a world-class level by the end of GTP III.