Farming systems in Ethiopia are plagued by soil-related problems which lead to poor productivity, declining soil fertility and soil erosion. Other common farming-related challenges include low fertilizer use and reduced farmlands because of population pressure.
Since 2009, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) have partnered for the identification and development of new durum wheat varieties capable of withstanding the harsh environmental conditions of Ethiopia.
Seid Ahmed Kemal is a Legume pathology researcher at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). This is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING.
In Ethiopia, seed systems for potato, wheat and faba beans are dominated by state entities, such as government bureaus and national, regional and locally-based research centres, local farmer cooperatives and cooperative unions. There are also some individual seed producers. An important function of research institutes is to produce and supply pre-basic and basic seeds.
Ethiopia is the second largest wheat producing country in Africa after South Africa. Wheat is a major grain crop grown for consumption and sale and demand for wheat quality products in Ethiopia is growing, particularly during fasting periods,creating opportunities for increased wheat production.