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Following the decentralization of the Ethiopian Agricultural Research System, Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI) was established on 5th August 2000 by the Council of the Amhara National Regional State (proclamation number 48/1992) as an apex body to undertake, guide and consolidate agricultural research in the Amhara region. ARARI is a member of the National Agricultural Research System and technically collaborates both with the federal and other regional research institutions. Administratively it is accountable to Amhara Bureau of Agriculture with enormous institutional freedom and autonomy.
The institute aspires to become reliable agricultural and natural resource knowledge, information and technology center of excellence and to up-bring the region as well as the country to a middle income by 2020.
Based on sustainable natural resource conservation, ARARI generates, improves, adapts and popularizes agricultural technologies and multiplies and disseminates starter technologies. Furthermore, by coordinating, supporting and leading the regional agricultural research endeavors and consulting on policy issues; the institute contributes to the improvement of the life of the region’s population through the use of technologies.
In pursuit of its vision and mission, ARARI strives to generate appropriate agricultural knowledge, technologies and information that contribute to the enhanced and sustainable agricultural productivity, competitiveness, economic growth, food security and poverty reduction. It also endeavors to enhance technology uptake through its outreach program and starter technologies supply.
Its head quarter located in Bahir Dar city, ARARI is led by a Director General, Deputy Director General and six Research Directorates; viz., Crop, Livestock, Soil & Water, Technology Multiplication & Seed Research, Socioeconomics and Extension, Forestry & Food Science Research Directorates. It also receives assistance from Research Publication, Communication and Knowledge Management Directorate and other support directorates: Procurement, Finance & Property Management Directorate, Human Resource Management Directorate, Planning Monitoring & Evaluation Directorate, Internal Audit Directorate, Information Communication Technology Case Team and Customer Service.
Research Centers and Sub-centers.
The Institute oversees 7 research centers, 5 sub-centers and more than 41 trial sites located in different agro-ecological zones of the region. Some of these research centers are older than ARARI itself and have been established in the 1980s.
- Adet Agricultural Research Center
- Debre Birhan Agricultural Research Center
- Sirinka Agricultural Research Center
- Sekota Dryland Agricultural Research Center
- Andassa Livestock Research Center
- Gonder Agricultural Research Center
- Bahir Dar Fisheries and other Aquatic Life Research Center and
- Food Science Research Program under Bahir Dar Fisheries
The sub-centers are administered under Adet (Debre Tabor, Finoteselam & Woramit), Sirinka (Kobo & Jari), Debre Birhan (Alem Ketema) and Gonder (Metema) Research Centers.
Crop research is undertaken in five research centers (Adet, Gonder, Debre Birhan, Sirinka and Sekota) on more than 50 crop species. Cereals, pulses, oil, fiber and industrial crops, fruits and vegetables, spices are all addressed. The research focus is on varietal adaptation, improvement & maintenance, agro-techniques, post-harvest, insect pest, weed and disease management.
Sheep, goat, cattle, chicken, fish and bee are researched in six research centers (Bahir Dar Fisheries, Debre Birhan, Andassa, Sirinka, Gonder and Sekota). The research focuses on animal breeding, husbandry, management, fattening, animal health, feeds and nutrition.
Soil & Water Research
Five research centers (Adet, Gonder, Debre Birhan, Sirinka and Sekota) undertake soil and water research. The research focuses on soil fertility, soil & water conservation, agricultural water management and watershed management.
Adet, Gonder, Debre Birhan, Sirinka and Sekota research centers carry out forestry research. The research focuses on plantation forest, agro-forestry, natural forest management, dryland forest & non timber forest product, bio-fuel and bio-energy, restoration of degraded land, and bamboo, reeds and rattan.
Socioeconomics and Extension
Socioeconomics and Extension Research is carried out in all the 7 research centers. The research focuses on identifying user’s constraints, perceptions, opportunities, technology transfer, rates of technology adoption, technology cost-benefit analysis, crop-enterprise choice, market and value chain analysis, etc., policy and gender issues.
It is established to undertake multiplication of Early Generation Technologies /EGT/ (Breeder pre-basic seed, basic seeds, livestock and fisheries, bio fertilizer, tissue culture planting materials) and Carry out seed research activities that help to improve production and productivity ; consequently, to sustain the overall development of the technological innovation system in the region.
To hasten technology production and dissemination, ARARI has a tissue culture laboratory which works under the crop research directorate. The laboratory is currently producing potato mini tubers and banana suckers.
Food science Research program undertakes research that focus on food utilization, processing and post-harvest handling are undertaken.
Research Publication Communication and Knowledge Management
This directorate publishes and distributes technology manuals and pamphlets; publishes research results in scientific journals and proceedings and distributes them to scientific communities. It also uploads different information and data on a website and institutional face book. Furthermore, the directorate is entrusted with the tasks of increasing the visibility and recognition the institute and establishing central database system where information are gathered and dispatched to the users. It is also responsible in digitalizing the libraries of the institute and its research centers.
The institute receives its major funding from the Government source while it also generates a sizeable amount of money from bi-lateral and multi-lateral organizations and projects. Besides, it generates some amount of money from its internal revenue. Generally, from its different sources the institute on average receives about 187,446,986 million Birr (6,942,480.96 USD) per annum.
National Research coordination
ARARI is mandated to nationally coordinate potato, sheep research project (at Debre Birhan) and Limnology Research Project (at Fishery Research Center in Bahir Dar).
Technology, Information and knowledge Transfer
To carry the fruits of science and technology to the users, ARARI employs various conveyance mechanisms: It multiplies and disseminates breeder, pre-basic and basic seeds of improved crop and forage varieties, fruit and vegetable seeds/seedlings, forest seedlings, cross-bred sheep and cattle, improved chicken, fish fingerings, etc. To hasten technology multiplication and dissemination of vegetatively propagated crops, ARARI uses its tissue culture laboratory. It organizes Farmer Research Groups (FRGs) and work with them. It undertakes pre-extension technology demonstration & pre-scaling up activities. It publishes and distributes technology manuals and pamphlets, publish research results in scientific journals, proceedings and website, participate in or organize technology fairs, organize field days, workshops, seminars, etc.,
It also provides training and advisory services to farmers, subject matter specialists, development agents, GOs and NGOs working towards the improvement of rural livelihoods.
ARARI has a total of 1157 employees of which 30 are technical assistants with diploma and 492 are researchers at BSc 342, MSc 127, DVM 9 and PhD 14 degree levels. Female researchers account for 8% of the total research staff while the sum of female workers (both researchers and support) constitutes 26% of the total staff.