Wollo University has budgeted in millions for research whilst making its academic instructors spend 25 per cent of their time on research and social service.

By Robel Yohannes|

Wollo University gives attention and does subsequent works that are compatible to the realities of its surrounding societies in Oromo Zone, North Wollo and South Wollo zones of Amhara Regional State. In line with the teaching and learning process, the University has budgeted in millions for research whilst making its lecturers/teachers spend 25 per cent of their time on research and social service.

It encourages its lecturers to submit a project on social service. This year alone, 14 research projects on various sectors developed by 23 lecturers have been chosen and entered implementation phase. The research projects that are done together with relevant stakeholders are benefiting farmers.

Muluken Girma, instructor with University’s College of Agriculture, told Addis Zemen daily that the University, currently, is undertaking problem-solving researches in ten woredas on sorghum, teff, potato, barely, lentils, wheat and apple.

He also mentioned that the research also includes areas such as fishing and the benefits are already trickled down to the farmers.

According to Muluken, technologies that destroy pests causing damage to sorghum have been applied in Oromia special zone areas of Chefa, Dawa and Dawa-chafa and proved successful.

One of the local farmers, Tedla Mohammed relays his appreciation to Wollo University for helping him get rid of pests that have been inhibiting his production for years. He said he lost huge quantities of his production as a result of the pests, and added that his sorghum farm has not experienced any problem besides shortage of rain.

Ararsa Workneh, Supervisor of Crop Development and Conservation in Oromia Special Zone, agrees with what Tedla said. “In addition to this, the technology has other benefits such as in stopping evaporation and conserving soil fertility along with other benefits.”

The University has also been contributing its share to boosting productivity by supplying teff seed to farmers in Tehuledere woreda, South Wollo Zone. Ahmed Muhasefaw, a local farmer, said that he used to collect over ten quintals though he began to use it in 2012, but last year he got 25 quintals per hectare and the secret behind, according to him, was the seed supplied by Wollo University.

Similarly, the University is doing wide-ranging works to utilize terraced irrigation in Woreilu woreda, and on this Muluken stated that there are more than 50 spring water on the mountain and they are drilling the place to use them for irrigation. He indicated that there are efforts to distribute potato seed that is compatible to the area to the farmers as the area has food scarcity. The farmers for their part claimed that the potato seeds the University brought them has helped improve their livelihood given that the area is prone to frosty weather which makes it hard to collect decent quantity of production.

The University is also working on its other project which has to do with integrated fish production in Aba Yesus Monastery in Hayk Estifanos. The University went on to this project in a bid to curb the reduction of the fishes in the lake; and has been successful in this endeavor.

Father Tesfaselassie Weldehanna, who supervises the Monastery’s development activities, said that the University is playing a huge role in solving the issue of deficiency in fishes supply. “More than 16,000 small fish have been put to two ponds the University readied”, he said. He added that the monastery is working to share the training it received from the university and the subsequent experience to other farmers.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald
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