Arba Minch University’s researcher-cum-lecturer, Dr Addisu Fekadu, has added other feathers in his cap as he was feted by Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute and Wachemo University for new Enset Processing Technology. Terming his technologies as outstanding, he was honored with a citation and winner’s cup at Hossana on 19th May, 2021. Two other winners in this category are from Wolkite Polytechnic College and Nitsuh-Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.  Click here to see the pictures

The program presentation was themed as - Enset- Next super food; on the occasion, Dr Addisu apprised the gathering about new Enset-based processing and fermentation technologies for livelihood improvement. His proposal was adjudged best suited in all three categories of the call announced by these two institutions.

The call segments were related with Enset-based processing and fermentation technologies such as starter culture, fermentation jar and Enset additives. Exemplifying technology, he informed the gathering about its conceptualization, how it came into being, usage and overall advantages for the community were also demonstrated.

His proposal was vetted by the jury comprised of members from Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Areka Research Centre, Wolayta Sodo University and two from Wachemo University who accepted it and likely to scale up in their respective institutions.

Dr Addisu has also won grant from International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology, Italy, for further research on Enset starter culture in Ethiopia. The award carries a shield and monetary award of € 45,000. For above award he had submitted proposal to the call announced by ICGEB on April 2020 and the award was declared in January 2021.

Due to ongoing pandemic, in a virtual program, ICGEB jury members accepted his proposal verbatim and declared him the winner along with others. The grant money was transferred to AMU bank account which is further administering his research activities in Enset starter culture.

Further research in starter culture has already started with the involvement of local Enset producers; 15 staff members were trained for the laboratory management system based on ISO 17025 and the training was imparted by Addis Ababa-based institution called Bless Agrifood Laboratory and Training Services in the month of April 2021.

He is also the winner of prestigious Josef G Knoll European Science Award 2020 for his PhD thesis, ‘Optimization of Enset fermentation: Physicochemical and microbial dynamics and development of starter cultures.’ It’s also learnt that soon he will bag two more prestigious awards of which one from Nairobi, Kenya, is almost confirmed and formal announcement in this regard is awaited.

Responding to his latest recognition, he said, I am very much overwhelmed as my scientific work is being acknowledged and acclaimed by different research institutions from Ethiopia and world. This certainly is giving a much-needed fillip to me to get involved in wider research endeavors and hope I will come up to people and nation’s expectations, he quipped.

(Communication Affairs Directorate)