COVID-19 Response

Plant Protection Research

An Overview

Crop pests, which include insect/mite pests, vertebrate pests, diseases, non-parasitic and parasitic weeds, established invasive alien species, have been causing economic damage to the Ethiopian agriculture. The loss incurred due to crop pests both in quantity and quality ranges between 30 - 50%. Crop pests have increasingly become major challenges of Ethiopian agriculture and its economic development by affecting product quality thereby reduced export market. Frequent introduction of new alien invasive pests into the country and change in status of resident pests due to various reasons are increasingly threatening the country’s agriculture. The performance of the agricultural sector has been constrained by biotic and abiotic factors, which in turn affected its contribution to the national development plan. Pests (diseases, insects, weeds) are amongst the major biotic constraints causing losses in quantities and qualities in crops. These problems are being aggravated by the introduction of new pests due to absence or weak quarantine regulation among others.

The absence of full-fledged pest management support service system resulted the followings: known economic pests have not been routinely surveyed, monitored and their current status properly communicated; evidence based pest management control decisions are not being exercised rather the system has been responding to emerging problems, pest management has been largely dependent on the uncontrolled use of generic pesticides. Other pest management practices have not been receiving sufficient attention by users. Due to these, there is a rise of regular pests, establishment and spread of new pests, development of pesticide resistance in major economic pests due to misuse of pesticides.

The Plant Protection Research Directorate has developed short and long term research strategy, and engaged on coordination of plant protection research activities across research centers both on basic and applied research. The directorate focused on accurate diagnosis and identification of pests, forecasting and early warning of pests, nationally structured routine pest surveys, monitoring and mapping of pests, integrated pest management (IPM), assessment of crop loss due to pests (pre- and post-harvest), pesticides efficacy test, quarantine of pests, biosystematics of pests and training on plant protection. Research programs, major achievements, services and future directions are summarized below.

National research programs under the directorate include:-

  • Plant Pathology
  • Agricultural Entomology
  • Weed Science
  • Quarantine and Pesticide

Research achievements:-

  • Major pests identified and documented
  • Biology of major pests determined
  • Yield loss assessment determined for major pests
  • Pest management techniques (cultural, host resistance, biological, chemical) developed
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) developed for important pests
  • Research capacity (human, physical, financial) developed


  • Identification of crop pests (insects/mites, diseases, weeds)
  • Efficacy tests of pesticides and bio-agents for local registration
  • Quarantine tests of germplasm for research
  • Training of experts, development agents and farmers on pest recognition and management
  • Advisory services to private sector, graduate and post graduate students, farmers etc.

Future Direction:-

  • Generate information on biology, ecology and epidemiology of pests
  • Diagnosis and forecasting of crop pests
  • Develop safe and sustainable pest management technologies
  • Popularize and disseminate plant protection technologies
  • Strengthen the quarantine and pesticide efficacy tests
  • Partnership/Collaboration (Local, Regional, International)