In collaboration with international and National organization, the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) organized a workshop on Chickpea themed “Harnessing Chickpea Value chain for Nutrition Security and Commercialization of Smallholder Agriculture in Africa” from30th January to 1st February 2014 at Debre ziet, Ethiopia

Ethiopia has emerged as a major exporter of chickpea in the African continent. Ethiopia has largest production area and volume among other African countries. During the past decade, production has doubled (160,000 t to 330, 000 t) due to 13% increase in area and 74% increase in productivity.

The success could be attributed to the improved varieties released through National research system in collaboration with ICRISAT and ICARDA. Out of the 23 varieties released in the past two decades, 15 are from ICRISAT, 6 from ICARDA and the remaining from EIAR.

More than one million farmers in Ethiopia produce chickpea on 240,000ha. There is an increasing interest among Ethiopian farmers to grow chickpea, as it has high yields and good market demand.

In his opening remarks, Mr H.E Ato Wondirad Mandefro, State Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia emphasized the need to recognize the achievements and also requested the research organizations to maximize their supports to realize potential in the country.

Acknowledging ICRISAT’s contributions and long-standing partnership in chickpea research, the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) presented a partnership award to the institute. The award was given by Mr Wondirad Mandefro, Minister for Agriculture, Ethiopia and Dr Fentahun Mengistu, Director General of EIAR.

Dr CLL Gowda, ICRISAT’s Deputy Director General for Research received the award on behalf of ICRISAT and DR SK Agrwal on behalf of ICARDA.

The award was also presented to other international collaborators including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Generation Challenge Program.

During the workshop more than 45 scientific papers both from International and National organizations presented and Countries like Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan shared their experiences on Chickpea research and Development.  This includes presentations and speeches by Grain Legumes Product Line coordinators, Dr SK Agrwal, Dr PM Gaur and RK Varshney by Dr PM Gaur. Dr Noel Ellis, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes provided an overview about the research activities of the program, specific to chickpea in Ethiopia.

With inputs from ICRISAT Happenings and EIAR