The Oromia Agricultural Research Institute (OARI) inaugurated its new headquarters on 8 February 2015. The building houses a food science laboratory, conference centre, library, training rooms and several offices. High-level government officials including Muktar Kedir, the Oromia regional president, state ministers and directors of federal and regional research institutes attended the event. About 500 guests including researchers, development practitioners, NGOs staff, farmers and extension professionals attended the inauguration ceremony.
The ceremony included an exhibition of agricultural research and development work in Ethiopia and Oromia in particular. Research outputs and agricultural technologies in crop, livestock, natural resources, agricultural mechanization, extension and socio-economics developed by OARI research staff were displayed.
The Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project was represented by regional and HQ staff including Abule Ebro, Azage Tegegne and Berhanu Gebremedhin at the event. Abule and Azage highlighted on-going LIVES projects at the federal and regional levels to the regional president and other participants who visited the LIVES booth. Major LIVES project activities showcased at this event included capacity development of staff in Oromia’s research and development organizations through MSc study scholarships, short-term training programs, establishment of regional commodity platforms and agricultural knowledge centres, and the introduction of innovative technologies on livestock and irrigated agriculture to increase the productivity of Oromia’s smallholder farmers.
More than 2,500 publications from LIVES, the Improving the Productivity and Market Success of Ethiopian Farmers (IPMS) project and CGIAR were distributed to participants.
Guests were happy to see and discuss the new technologies LIVES is introducing in Ethiopia. The event also provided a chance for LIVES to network with new partners such as investors and the OARI mechanization research team expressed interest in evaluating and demonstration the livestock technologies used in the LIVES project.
Written by Abule Ebro, LIVES regional coordinator in Oromia.