DrNejibMohammadCollege of Agricultural Sciences’ researchers are involved in the vortex of research activities be it horticulture, plant science or agro-forestry, to obtain conclusive outcomes that will help society at large in stimulating crops yield, enhancing quality and redefining annual financial returns.

In an in-depth interview, Dean, Dr Nejib Mohammad, unraveling college’s collaborations at different levels, said, ‘‘Our college is engrossed in few research activities that are half-way mark, but as they advance further, we are expecting remarkable outcomes to emerge.’’

The first ever three-year project on ‘moringa’ signed in September 2015, with Ethiopian Environmental & Forest Research Institute and Ethiopian Public Health Institute is verifying its much-talked about clinical efficacy, profitability and environmental variables like soil fertility and carbon sequestration, etc. will re-establish its multi-utility and bust myths surrounding it.

Second project, ‘Banana Fibre for Poverty reduction and Employment,’ with Ministry of Science and Technology, is making headway as fibre extraction machine has been developed and decomposition test is on, informed Mr Gezahegn Garo of Horticulture Department.

Stating further he adds that the college has recently entered into an agreement with Omo Kuraz Sugar Factory to tutor PG & UG courses to their employees in Agronomy and Plant Science in their premises on weekend basis.

Significantly, the pact under implementation, ‘Research Adaptation of Different Varieties of Coffee and its Response to Different Types of Shades,’ with Gamo Gofa Zonal Agricultural Office and four woreda-level offices of agriculture at Gerese, Boreda and Demba Gofa is aimed at enhancing the quality, yield and reinventing it as a matchless brand.

The project will find best suitable coffee for this agro-ecological zone and build its brand value. Periodical data has been collected and by the year end substantial result is expected that will be disseminated to the community, he revealed.

The College is also contemplating to sign another agreement with Arba Minch Agricultural Research Centre on various agro-ecological issues relevant to this region. Memorandum of Understanding in this regard is prepared and soon it will be formalized, Dr Nejib maintained.

He said plan to collaborate with Ministry of Agriculture, Zonal Agricultural Office, South Omo and Segen Area People’s Agricultural departments to work on broad agricultural issues is on cards. In this regard, he exhorted research staff and expatriate instructors, to craft potential projects that will bag global funding for the benefit of agrarian society.

Lifting the curtain on new initiative, he said, ‘‘College’s senior researcher, Dr Yisehak Kechero (Associate Professor), has developed a proposal to establish ‘Centre for Ruminant Research.’ The first draft has already been presented to College of Agricultural Sciences academic staff and Senate has approved it.’’

The proposed centre analyzing genetic engineering aspects of ruminants will come up with better species of sheep, goats and cows and better products as well. Dr Yisehak informed the centre headquartered at Arba Minch will collaborate with College of Agricultural Sciences, and have satellite research units at Chencha, Sawla, Konso and South Omo.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)