EIAR in Brief
The Ethiopian Agricultural Research is one of the oldest and largest agricultural research system in Africa. Ethiopian Agricultural Research System (EARS) has evolved through several stages since its first initiation during the late 1940s, following the establishment of agricultural and technical schools at Ambo and Jimma. In 1955, a full-fledged agricultural experiment station was established at Debre Zeit (now named Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center) under the then Imperial College of Agricultural and mechanical Arts (now called Haramaya University) and had been continued as the major research entity until the mid-1960s. In 1966, Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) was established as the first nationally coordinated agricultural research system in Ethiopia. Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) was established with a mission to formulate national agricultural research guidelines, coordinate National Agricultural Research System, and undertake research in its centers and sub-centers located in various agroecological zones of Ethiopia.
In Ethiopia, agricultural research underwent significant reform in the early 1990s following the declaration of a decentralized political system of Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The National Agricultural Research System has prearranged as including the Federal Research Institute, the Regional Agricultural Research Institutes (RARIs) and research undertakings of Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs). In 1993, numbers of IAR research centers were transferred to the regional governments and become independent research centers. During this time, Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization (EARO) has established with new set up in 1997 by Proclamation number 79/1997 and later it is renamed as the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) on 25th October 2005.
As per this Proclamation, its objectives are (1) to generate, develop and adapt agricultural technologies that focus on the needs of the overall agricultural development and its beneficiaries; (2) to coordinate technically the research activities of Ethiopian Agricultural Research System; (3) build up a research capacity and establish a system that will make agricultural research efficient, effective and based on development needs; and (4) popularize agricultural research results.
EIAR’s mission is to conduct research that will provide market competitive agricultural technologies that will contribute to increased agricultural productivity and nutrition quality, sustainable food security, economic development, and conservation of the integrity of natural resources and the environment.
EIAR aspires to see improved livelihood of all Ethiopians engaged in agriculture, agro-pastoralism, and pastoralism through market competitive agricultural technologies.
EIAR sustains the commitments included in the following set of core values:
- Integrity and professionalism
- Tolerance and mutual respect
- Social and public responsibility
Objective 1: Adapt and develop appropriate technologies that enhance productivity and quality that significantly contribute to:
- Food security
- Raw material for industries and import
- Supplementary income generation and
- Sustainable production system
Objective 2: Demonstrate, popularize and catalyze, scale-up and scale-out improved technologies
- Effective partnership with stakeholders,
- Research-extension-farmer linkages,
- Farmers Training Centers (FTCs), exporters, agro-processers, administrators, foreign buyers, CGIAR Centers, NGOs, others
Objective 3: Strengthen natural resources
- management for sustainable production
- Soil fertility management
- Combating soil acidity/salinity problems
- Integrated soil and water conservation
- Small scale irrigation management
Objective 4: Develop and promote commercialization of under-utilized and/or nontraditional resources
- Vegetables and fruits
- Natural products
Objective 5: Strengthen coordination and promote partnerships
- Strengthen research centers based on their focused mission
- Play a leading role in agricultural policy development
- Form strategic alliance with sub-regional and international organizations
Objective 6: Build capacity for integrated agricultural research for development
- Demand-driven, merit-based resource development and utilization
- Institutional competency and associated infrastructure building
- Human resource competency
- Adaptation and generation of improved agricultural technologies,
- Multiplication and provision of source technologies,
- Demonstration and popularization of improved technologies,
- Capacity building of research staff, and
- Networking and partnership.
The DG Executive function
The Director General (DG) is the chief executive officer, exercising all the powers granted to him by the Establishment Proclamation of the Institute. The DG provides management leadership to technical directors at the HQ and the center directors of the respective agricultural research centers located at different agro-ecologies of the country.
The DG is responsible for the management of support services related to personnel, finance, procurement and property management, internal audit, engineering, legal affairs, planning, monitoring and evaluation. He promotes science and development oriented information communications, and forges external collaborations/partnerships with relevant partners, such as, international research organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and private sector entities, etc.
The DG also reports achievements to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and relevant standing committees of the Council of People’s Representatives of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). The Director General seeks the collective advice of the core and support processes as well as research center directors on matters related with research and support, and issues of strategic nature.
The DDG Executive function
The Deputy Director General (DDG) is appointed to assist the DG and take care of various aspects of technology generation, multiplication and dissemination. The DDG advises the Director General on substantial technical and administration matters and other institutional issues for the successful achievement of the overall mission. On top of this, the DDG is responsible for the leadership of day to day routine activities performed by the technical, supportive and center directors. The DDG assists the DG in monitoring of the timely delivery of research outputs against the plan and longer-term strategy. In line with this, DDG ensures the reporting system of research components is consistently maintained. In consultation with the DG, the DDG oversees and approves budget expenditure based on the stated plan, makes close follow up on the budget expenditure and ensures the operation is in compliance with the financial rules and regulations.
Core research and technical directorates
Research directors are answerable to the DG and DDG, and carry out responsibilities assigned to them. Core research and technical directors guide, coordinate and oversee research in their respective disciplines. The followings are core research and technical of EIAR:
- Natural Resources Resources
- Agricultural Mechanization
- Agricultural Economics
- Technology Transfer and Commercialization
- Agricultural Biotechnology
- Climate and Geospatial
- Agriculture and Nutrition Research Laboratory
- Technology Multiplication and Seed Research
- Public Communication and IPR
- Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
- Kowledge Management
Support processes are answerable to DG and DDG and carry out responsibilities assigned to them. Their major duties are related with administrative support for discharging effectively the duties and responsibilities of the Institute. The following offices represent support directorates of the Institute
- Internal Audit
- Engineering and Maintenance
- Ethics and Anti-Corruption
- Finance, Procurement and Property Management
- Human Resources Development
- Legal Affairs
- Civil Service Reform
- Vehicle, Farm Machinery Maintenance and Transport
- Civil Service Reform
- Information and Communication Technology
Major research results and achievements
During its formative periods, the Institute started agricultural trials in crops and livestock at some selected research centers. Accordingly, the first crop variety was released in 1969 by the then National Crop Improvement Committee. Since then, EIAR has made tremendous efforts to build the national capacity of agricultural research, and to produce, and introduce improved technologies, focusing on fostering agricultural growth and development in the country.
For the past five decades, EIAR has released over 3000 improved crop varieties and livestock breeds, pest and disease control methods, crop production and livestock husbandry methods, pre- and post-harvest technologies and recommendations by undertaking scientific research activities on various areas in crop, livestock, land and water, biotechnology, climate, farm machineries and agricultural economics.
Among the major achievements, the release of CBD resistant coffee varieties to in 1960s, the supply of the first superior hybrid maize varieties in 1980s, and the release of yellow rust-resistant wheat varieties in 1990s can be mentioned. Regarding technology extension, it has been able to improve an adoption level of 62-96% in wheat, 56-64% in maize, 76% in tef, 40% in lentil, 26% in chickpea, and 100% in malt barley. In a nutshell, EIAR has served as a technology power house by releasing over 1100 improved crop varieties applied in the national agricultural sector. On account of this reason, the institution has got the National Science, Technology and Innovation award in the past four consecutive years for its outstanding achievements on tef, coffee, wheat, chickpea and lentil, potato, poultry, malt barley, disease control, medicinal and spice research.
By advancing its scientific research capacity, creating technology capital and ensuring technology security, the institute is working towards meeting the growing demand for agricultural technologies created in different chapters of the journey to the country’s renaissance.
Partnership and Communication
EIAR works with national, regional and international partners and collaborators based on mutually agreed frameworks. The partnership and collaboration are in research, germplasm exchange, staff exchange, student, supporting laboratories, funding as well as promoting scaling up of agricultural technologies. EIAR is promoting strong relationships with several universities as well to enhance staff development programs and joint research activities. As part of these arrangements, EIAR organizes and participates in several research for development (R4D) conferences, seminars and research reviews. EIAR also hosts various Projects at the headquarters and research center level.
EIAR public and private sector partnership