As a national research institute, EIAR aspires to see improved livelihood of all Ethiopians engaged in agriculture, agro-pastoralism, and pastoralism through market-competitive agricultural technologies.

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OFAB-Ethiopia Program holds Annual Review and Planning Meeting

Later to the formation of six nodes under OFAB-Ethiopia network, OFAB-Ethiopia Program held an Annual Review and Planning Meeting on 31th March to 1st April 2018 at Nexus Hotel in Addis Ababa. The main objective of the meeting was to review the status and plan new activities to be implemented before the end of the implementation period of this year.

Welcoming the participants, the former OPFAB HQ Secretariat member, Ato Mekonnen Hailu, informed the participants the node formation was found one of the successful strategies of OFAB-Ethiopia adopted to reach large number of masses in Ethiopia with empirically evidenced biotechnology knowledge and information in a short span of time, such that AATF has recognized the approach during the regional OFAB workshop held in Mwanza, Tanzania from 29 to 31 May 2017. He added that this planning will therefore serve as a springboard to bring meaningful impact in our next endeavors. Dr. Tadesse Daba, Director for Agricultural Biotechnology Directorate at EAIR, said that the coming up of six nodes in this workshop makes it uniquely different from the former meetings that the program organized and it will be a useful platform to deal biotechnology science with its controversy of “fear of the unknown”. Substantiating the knowledge and information gap with the new science of biotechnology, our focus will be on capacitating our actors to maximize the use of the science to boost agricultural productivity and quality. The meeting hence, rumored to search a way forwards on how can we advance on the effective and safe utilization of biotechnology in contributing the development of the country in general and that of agricultural sector in particular though edifying the decision making process at all levels, he urged.

In the meeting, after devouring the presentation on Progress and achievement of OFAB-Ethiopia by Dr. Melaku, OFAB Ethiopia Secretariat, and experience sharing on Cornell Training: Alliance for Science 2016 Global Leadership Fellows by Dr Nega Berhane and Dr Alemayehu H/Michael, all Six Nodes such as North-west node, South node, West node, East node, North-east node and Center node presented their progress in node formation, actor identification, ToR, finalizing MoU and so on. Based on the reports, the progress of Six Nodes were reviewed and main issues were discussed, these includes Node networking to tap the opportunity of research facilities and knowledge exchange, the use of community and social media, the use of Traditional knowledge (TK) to enhance public understanding of biotechnology, procurement of biotech consumable goods, biotech data base and inventory, and the inclusion of biosafety in capacity building trainings.

In the next day exercise of the workshop, all Six Nodes planned their new activities based on standardized template and presented to the participant for further improvement. Finally, it was agreed that OFAB Ethiopia will prioritize activities based on available budget and timeframe, all nodes to address only two activities and organize biotechnology awareness training for stakeholders including media, PC members, meeting frequencies and the ToR should also be standardize across the nodes, and cross cutting activities like science communication should be handled by OFAB Ethiopia. Initiators of the program in Ethiopia, Secretariat members, Out-going OFAB-Ethiopia HQ secretariat and PC members, Node’s focal person and concerned biotechnology stockholders were in attendance.

 

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