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President Higgins visits Tigray Agricultural Research Institute

Agriculture, Budget/funding, Environmental/Climate Change, News/feature, Ethiopia, Africa, 2014
President Michael D Higgins and Minister Seán Sherlock with a visit to Abraha-Atsbeha health centre, Tigray, northern Ethiopia

Irish Aid funded agricultural programmes in Ethiopia are transforming the lives of small farmers.

President Higgins today visited Tigray Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) in Northern Ethiopia, where he saw the important research being undertaken to help Tigray’s small farmers combat climate change and build resilient livelihoods, through the development of innovative technologies such as drought resistant crops.

President Higgins, Minister Seán Sherlock and Ambassador Aidan O’ Hara were given a guided tour of the facilities, including the laboratory where quality seeds are developed, and the greenhouse where the seeds are then grown.

TARI’s mandate is to develop innovative technologies - mainly in crops and livestock - that contribute to increased agricultural productivity, food security and conservation of the natural environment.  Irish Aid has provided over €1 million to the Institute since 2006, and Irish Aid’s support to TARI is just one example of Ireland’s long standing commitment to improving nutrition and food security in Ethiopia though agriculture.

25,000 farmers have benefited, by increasing production and thus improving their lives.

In 2014, €175,000 was allocated to the programme, which also consists of forming Farmer Research Groups. Farmers are then trained on how to collect data, share their findings and ultimately select the crop and livestock varieties which are most suited to their local environment.  Farmers have tested varieties of wheat, teff, chickpeas, sorghum, maize, goats, sheep and poultry, as well as new methods to improve beekeeping and animal feed.

In 2013, Irish Aid supported the Institute in distributing 10 tons of improved seed varieties to almost 9,500 rural households; nearly 2,000 of which were headed by women. 25,000 farmers have benefited, by increasing production and thus improving their lives.   

 

 

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More information on the work Irish Aid does in Ethiopia can be found on their country page