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CIMMYT’s work highly appreciated in Ethiopia

Bekeles-EthiopiaThe third Dialogue on Ethiopian Agricultural Development: Agricultural Research for National Development in the Face of Climate Change and Food Security was held during 4-5 July 2013 at the Haramaya University of Agriculture, Haramaya Harar. The Dialogue aimed to provide a platform for discussion on agricultural research for development and transformation of the sector for food security in Ethiopia.

The Dialogue was attended by World Food Prize Laureate and distinguished professor Gebissa Ejeta; two members of the agricultural standing committee of the Ethiopian parliament; alumni of the Haramaya University working at various national, regional, and international top-level positions, such as Berhane Gebrekidan, Sime Debela, Zemedu Worku, Ephirem Mamo, and Solomon Bekure; senior staff of Haramaya, Jimma, Hawassa, Dire Dawa, and Mekele universities; members of USAID’s Capacity to Improve Agriculture and Food Security (CIAFS); representatives of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR); the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise; CIMMYT; and ILRI.

Panel discussions covered 60 years of agricultural research in Ethiopia; agricultural research at regional institutes and Ethiopian universities; perspectives of users of technologies generated by the national agricultural research system (NARS); linking research at international levels with NARS for greater impact; the Ethiopian experience; presentations on contributions of agricultural research in Ethiopia in terms of food security, foreign earnings, and climate change adaptation; reflections on dialogues and issues deserving special attention; and recommendations for enhancing efficiency and productivity of NARS.

Three CIMMYT scientists –Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa project leader Tsedeke Abate, Bekele Shiferaw from the Socioeconomics Program, and Bekele Abeyo from the Global Wheat Program– presented during the panel discussions. The presentations were followed by a Q&A session, during which CIMMYT was named as top-rated CG center in Ethiopia due to its contributions, along with other institutions and centers, to national agricultural education, research for development, and extension with outputs and impacts. CIMMYT was commended by the current and former EIAR directors general and deputy director general, as well as Haramaya University senior alumni and political representatives, for its long-standing relations and close collaborative work with the NARS in generating technologies, strengthening national capacities, and reaching farmers.

As the meeting assessed the gaps and constraints of agriculture for development, ways forward, and future continuity of the dialogue, Abeyo assured the participants that “CIMMYT is committed to continue and maintain its high-quality contributions to Ethiopia.”