Strong support from partners

October 30, 2010 at 6:22 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

H.E. Tefera Derbew (center), Ethiopia’s Minister for Agriculture, discusses research plans with an EIAR-ICARDA delegation. Right to left: Dr Solomon Assefa, Dr Mahmoud Solh, Mr Henri Carsalade, Dr Kamil Shideed

The State Minister highlighted specific research areas where ICARDA could contribute to national development plans. “EIAR and ICARDA have worked together to produce excellent results on food legumes – the main source of dietary protein for millions of Ethiopians,” he said. “We must now expand this partnership to include research on climate change adaptation, water management, livestock and other areas.”

Dr Solomon Assefa, Director General of EIAR, described the partnership as exemplary, and a model for how national and international centers can work together to create genuine impact. “In the past 10 years, Ethiopia’s food production has increased substantially; yields of many crops have increased by 50%. I am proud to say that our partnership has played a major role in the country’s progress.” Dr Assefa highlighted the close match between EIAR’s priorities and ICARDA’s research portfolio. “We do not want to re-invent the wheel,” he said. “We have identified ICARDA technologies that have been developed and tested elsewhere. We are now focusing on adaptive research, to scale out these technologies within Ethiopia.”

“We are here to support you,” said Dr Harous Dosso, Senior Agronomist with the African Development Bank in Ethiopia. He noted that CGIAR Centers had made vital contributions to agricultural development in Africa, and described new initiatives, funded by the Bank, to build on previous work.

Dr Seyfu Ketema, Executive Secretary of the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), stressed the need for more effective dissemination. “Many ICARDA technologies have worked successfully in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan. Our priority must be to scale these out to dry areas across Africa.”

The Ethiopian government presented Dr Solh with a special plaque. Left to right: Dr Assefa, H.E. Mitiku Kassa, Dr Solh, Mr Carsalade

Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA Director General, described the challenges facing agriculture in dry areas – particularly in Africa – and the research framework being used to address these challenges. In particular, he noted the importance of partnerships in generating international public goods. “Ethiopian scientists have played an important role,” he said “For example, new wheat varieties, resistant to Ug99 stem rust disease, were jointly identified in Ethiopia, and are now being multiplied in Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries.”

H.E. Mitiku Kassa and Dr Assefa presented Dr Solh with a plaque in recognition of his role in building Ethiopia-ICARDA partnerships. The Board Chair and Dr Solh reciprocated by presenting the Minister and Dr Assefa with silver shields.

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