Premier highlights on technologically assisted agriculture

Addis Ababa: Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has emphasized on the need for employing technologically assisted agricultural practices as he officially launched the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Council and Secretariat here today.

The Premier in his keynote address mentioned research in agriculture as vital in advancing agricultural practices in the country which is relying heavily on the sector.

“For agriculture to be led by modern ways of production and to increase global competitiveness in product varieties, its growth should be continuously assisted by new bio-science and other technologies,” according to the Prime Minister.

The fast and consecutive agricultural growth seen so far is the result of employing agricultural technologies and expanding knowledge in the field, he said, calling for continuous capacity building activities to ensure food sovereignty, increase foreign currency, and expand industries utilizing advanced technologies.
However, he indicated shortfalls in the field saying 60 percent of researchers in agriculture sector are BSC holders while PhD holders are not more than eight percent which is the smallest amount compared to other countries.

The government is working towards enhancing the agriculture research capability, he said, reminding higher learning institutions of the vital task of producing capable researchers in quantity and quality.

He stressed on the need to set up the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Council and Secretariat saying: “establishing a strong national agriculture research capability that supplies reliable technologies when needed, by forecasting technological needs and trends in future global agriculture markets is indispensible.”
The Council was launched to respond to the need for an institution that shapes, supports, cooperates and effectively leads researches in the field.

Kasu Yilala (PhD) Chairperson of the Council on his part indicated the exceptional role of scientific knowledge and skilled human resource so as to avail strong agricultural research centers.
He called for abandoning the “business as usual” approach with emphasis on blending old and new approaches to maximize gains from the sector.

A roadmap that points out the course of agriculture research in the country has already been prepared by reviewing its current status, taking inputs from advanced nations and judging it against the existing policy and strategy.

Source:ENA; Addis Ababa November 29/2016

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