WHO WE ARE

Melkassa Agricultural Research Center (MARC) was established on 17th June 1969 as National Horticultural Research Station in Adama city with five expatriates and thirty non-qualified national staff members, one vehicle and with a research land area of five hectares. The objectives of the center at this period were to coordinate varietal improvement program on horticultural crops that were established across different locations such as Were, Koka and Bako research stations. In the early 1970s, other research projects were included in the station. A lowland pulse research was the pioneer research program started to nationally coordinate pulse research from the station from the very beginning of its establishment. Over the years, the center also accommodated changed by adding other important research programs and commodities. Sorghum was third important commodity included in to the center following the establishment of the Ethiopian Sorghum Improvement Project (ESIP) in 1972 which was considered as the landmark for the establishment of formal research on sorghum in Ethiopia. In 1982, ESIP assimilated to the EIAR (the then IAR) and founded as one of the national program to lead sorghum research based at MARC. During the same period, research in Agricultural Mechanization Research was started.

Sericulture technology got consideration by the IAR in the mid-1970s as a component of coffee diversification following the sudden outbreak of coffee berry disease (CBD) and the devastation of coffee plantation in the country. As a result, research and development activities were initiated at MARC and efforts continued for some years only in silk worm adaptation experiments. The program was was subsequently discontinued in the late 1980s due to this priority rearrangements. However, the importance of the program reconsidered and it was reinitiated in 2000 at MARC.

Currently, the center is serving as national research coordination for different research programs: sorghum, lowland pulses, warm season vegetables, tropical fruits, sub-tropical fruits, sericulture and agricultural engineering.

MARC works particularly for dry and lowland areas of moisture stress and irrigable areas of the country. Currently, the center is serving as national coordination for the following research programs on national sorghum, lowland pulses, warm season vegetables, tropical fruits and sub-tropical fruits under the Crop Research Directorate. Sericulture, agricultural engineering, and climate and geospatial research are the major research programs coordinated by the research center.

Year

Event and Location

1969

Establishment as a National Horticultural Research Station in Adama town

1972

Commencement of Lowland pulses (common bean, mung bean and cowpea) research

1976

Starting of sorghum research program at MARC

1980

National Horticultural Research Station, renamed as Nazret Agricultural Research Station

1980

Establishment of farm implements and soil and water research program

1984

Renamed as Nazret Agricultural Research Center and relocated to Melkassa (current place).

1993

Started dryland maize research project

1998

Renamed as Melkassa Agricultural Research Center and included two sub-centers: Mieso and Arsi Negele

2017-Now

Currently MARC is conducting research organized into different research programs under the different research Directorate constituting over 400 staff on 275 hectares of land for research and seed multiplication

 

Location: Near the town of Awash-Melkassa, Adama Wereda, East Shewa Zone, Oromia Regional State, 117 km east of Addis Ababa and 17 km southeast of Adama city

Geographic coordinates: 8°24’985 N and 39°19’529 E

Altitude: 1,550 m.a.s.l.

Average annual rainfall: 763 mm, 70% received during June to September

Temperature: Maximum: 28.4 °C, Minimum: 14 °C

AEZ(s): tepid to cool sub-moist mid high lands agro-ecological zones, constrained by moisture stress, unreliable rainfall, shallow soil and low workability, and soil erosion.

Soil type(s): Clay, clay loam, loam and sandy loam with little organic matter (< 1%) and pH neutral to mildly alkaline.

 

CLIMATIC CONDITIONS AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The center is a representative of semi-arid areas where sustained and increased agricultural production is hampered by many natural constraints. Of these, short and unpredictable rain season, intensive Rainfall intercepted with intermittent drought, soil with low water infiltration capacity and great erosion hazards ad high erosion hazards.

OBJECTIVES

§  Identify and prioritize agricultural production constraints and design appropriate means for alleviating the constraints

§  Generation and adaption of improved agricultural technologies, information and knowledge for agricultural production constraints,

§  Promote appropriate agricultural technologies and information for both the dryland and irrigated agricultural areas of the country

§  Develop and strengthen linkage with research and development partners/stakeholders

§  Provide national coordination for designated research programs and serve as both a research and training center

MISSION

Introduce, adapt and generate client oriented, need based, cost effective and marketable dryland and irrigated agricultural technologies, with due consideration to the sustainability of natural resource base, through active participation of stakeholders as well as effective coordination of research activities and ultimately promote useful research outputs to end users thereby meet the expectations of our partners and improve the livelihood of the farming community.

CURRENT RESEARCH SETTING AND PROGRAMS

Research Directorate

Research Department

Research program

Program Coordination

Crop

Field Crops

Sorghum

MARC

Lowland pulses

MARC

Moisture stress maize

MARC

Biofuel crops

MARC

Horticulture

Warm season vegetables

MARC

Tropical fruits

MARC

Sub-tropical fruits

MARC

Plant Protection

Plant pathology

Ambo

Agricultural entomology

Ambo

Weeds

Ambo

Birds, rats, rodents, and wild animals

MARC

Livestock

Animal feeds, Nutrition and Health

Feeds and nutrition

Holeta

 

Poultry, Fish and Apiculture and Sericulture

Sericulture

MARC

NR Management

Integrated Soil Fertility and Heath

Inorganic soil fertility management

HARC

Irrigation and Drainage

Irrigation and water conservation

MARC

Integrated watershed management

Physical land and water management

MARC

Agricultural Biotechnology

Plant biotechnology

HARC

Agricultural and Nutrition Laboratories

Chemical analysis and agricultural chemistry

HQ

Nutrition and food science

 

Agricultural Engineering

Post-harvest technology and processing engineering

MARC

Agricultural field machinery

MARC

Farm power and energy

MARC

Climate and geospatial

MARC

Agricultural Economics

Agricultural economics

HQ

Technology Transfer and Commercialization

Agricultural extension and gender

HQ

Technology Multiplication and Seed Research

Seed research

HQ

 

FUTURE RESEARCH FOCUS

§  Strengthen the development and delivery of technological options which are need based, cost effective, market oriented, that ensures food and nutrition security, and raw materials for local industries

§  Reengineer and improve the current modes of operation for well-coordinated and integrated research at national and international level to contribute for the attainment of Ethiopian Growth Transformation Program II (GTPII)

§  Strengthen the national and international collaboration for the development of appropriate agricultural technologies for the benefit of men and women farmers and other stakeholders

§  Promote and scale up/out of appropriate agricultural technologies and information that contributes for sustainable agricultural development

CONTACT INFORMATION

Melkassa Agricultural Research Center

P.O. Box 436, Adama, Ethiopia

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: +251 22 225 0212; +251 22 225 0214

Fax: +251 22 225 0213