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Theme 1: Animal Production and Productivity

Despite the importance of livestock to the larger sector of the population and to the national economy, the sub-sector has remained untapped because of many problems including poor productivity, lack of good management and poor genetic performance and diseases. It is, therefore, important to study feeds and nutrition, genetics and breeding, and management practices and production systems to foster utilization of feed resources, to know phenotypic and genotypic character of indigenous farm animal resources, to characterize and conserve aquatic biodiversity, to improve reproductive and productive efficiency, to develop appropriate animal power technologies, and study socio-economic constraints and opportunities to livestock production. The following issues will be covered under animal production and productivity; and socio-economic and institutional issues thematic area:

Feed and Nutrition

  • Improvement of the utilization of feed resources
  • Management and improvement of native pastures and germplasm
  • Development and management of improved forages
  • Improvement of forage seed supply
  • Inventory and characterization of available feed resources

Genetics and Breeding

  • Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of indigenous farm animal genetic resources
  • Characterization of existing honeybee species and races

Management Practices and Production Systems

  • Development of proper management practices to improve reproductive and productive efficiency
  • Development of appropriate animal power technologies
  • Development of appropriate fishery and aquaculture management techniques
  • Study of socio-economic constraints and opportunities to livestock production
  • Evaluation of livestock product processing, storage, and distribution techniques (e.g.milk, meat, hides and skins processing technologies)
  • Evaluation of fishery and aquaculture production systems

Theme 2: Farm and Wild Animals Health

The livestock population of Ethiopia which is the largest in Africa, provides the bulk of the draught power for cultivation, the household’s meat and milk, and is also a major source of cash and a store of wealth for the rural population. Despite the importance of livestock to the larger sector of the population and to the national economy, the sub-sector has remained unexploited because of different factors including: poor productivity, lack of good management and prevalent livestock diseases; the major problem is contributed by livestock diseases. The contribution of wild animals to eco-tourism and their significance for reservoir and transmission of livestock diseases is untouched. Knowledge regarding especially of trans-boundary and trade sensitive diseases and on diseases which cause serious loss because of their high prevalence is important to add value on our farms. Therefore, research to facilitate diagnostic, treatment, control and prevention activities on farm and wild animals‟ health is of paramount importance to maximize production and productivity of this resource. The most priority issues which can be covered under farm and wild animals‟ health thematic area include:

  • Bovine health
  • Small ruminant health
  • Equine health and welfare research
  • Poultry health
  • Evaluation of veterinary drugs and vaccines
  • Survey and identification of honey bee diseases
  • Assessment of ethno-veterinary practices
  • Epidemiological research on diseases of wildlife
  • Research on distribution, behavior, and welfare of wild animals and the impact of wild animal-livestock interface
  • Impact of climate change on farm and wild animal health

Theme 3: Veterinary Public Health

The importance of Veterinary Public Health and the economic significance of meat and milk-borne diseases in developing countries are often under-reported and, therefore, under estimated, even though the health hazards arising from the consumption of contaminated food especially those of animal origin tend to be the most hazardous unless the principles of food hygiene are employed.  Many foodborne diseases due to meat, milk and their products are the consequence of zoonoses from domestic animals. Meat and milk-borne diseases may be caused by various agents such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, moulds, helminthes and poisonous chemicals, including residues of veterinary drugs. Therefore, for the fullest and more adequate investigation of the problems of food safety, to protect human from food-borne zoonotic diseases and support the strategies of disease prevention in the country, the faculty has chosen veterinary public health to be one of the research thematic area of it.

The following researchable areas are going to be addressed under this theme

  • Zoonoses
  • Food quality and safety

Theme 4: Irrigation, Natural Resource Management and Development Issues

Water, energy and environmental issues are becoming the world’s main concerns as they have direct impact on the real life of the society. If there is a limitation in anyone of the three, there will be an ecosystem crisis which has a profound effect on the health, wealth and power of the society. Energy can be obtained from both renewable and non-renewable resources. In developing countries, including Ethiopia where electricity utilization is limited, energy is obtained from non-renewable resource in most cases. If not properly used, such resources have direct negative consequence on the environment. Such environmental crisis will lead to the water shortage and water pollution and the vice versa, forming vicious circle. Furthermore, generation, adoption and dissemination of improved technologies to ensure sustainable utilization and management of natural resource (participatory NRM, soil fertility management, soil and water conservation, forest development and management, climate change impact, adaptation and mitigation, land tenure, water harvesting, acid and salt affect soils alternative energy) issues are the focuses of this theme:

  • Ground water potential assessment
  • Water safety and quality
  • Water recycling
  • Environmental engineering analysis.
  • Integrated watershed management
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Vulnerability to climate change
  • Biodiversity and sustainable ecosystem conservation and management
  • Effective and sustainable soil and water management measures.
  • Water harvesting techniques.
  • Irrigation and water use efficiency.
  • Environmental pollution control
  • Integration of professionals in infrastructures
  • Ecological sanitation technology
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Assessment of water sources
  • Water supply management in rural and urban areas
  • Assessment of irrigation technologies using available lands and water sources
  • Sustainable natural resources conservation, utilization and management
  • Indigenous knowledge, soil degradation, poverty and farmers willingness in natural resource management
  • Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded lands.
  • Soil fertility management
  • Wildlife (biodiversity) conservation and management.
  • Agro-forestry system development
  • Participatory forest and nature management.
  • Identifying, testing, validating and promoting NRM related indigenous knowledge/ technologies.
  • Impact of land policy on natural resource management and conservation.
  • Role of gender on NRM.
  • Impact of infrastructure (road)on soil and water conservation
  • Land suitability analysis
  • Land capability classification

 Theme 5: Crop Production and Protection

This theme addresses generation, adoption and dissemination of improved agricultural technologies such as improved varieties, agronomic practices, crop protection practices, post-harvest technologies and socio-economic aspects to enhance agricultural production and productivity in different agro ecologies. The crops treated under this them includes cereals, pulses, oil crops, fiber crops, sugar crops, vegetables, fruits, coffee, tea, spices. The researchable issues that can be treated under this theme include the following:

         Crop improvement

  • Development of high yielding varieties, diseases resistant varieties, drought resistant and early maturing varieties, varieties for end use qualities, nutritionally rich varieties, appropriate propagation techniques
  • Introduction and evaluation of high valued crops like oil crops and spices
  • Adapting improved varieties to different agro ecologies
  • Collection and characterization of local germplasms
  • Maintenance and multiplication of improved and breeding lines
  • Selection and multiplication of appropriate root stocks

Agronomic practices

  • Develop and disseminate appropriate agronomic practices

Crop protection

  • study of biology of economically important pre and post-harvest crop pests
  • Collection, identification, classification and preservation of crop pests
  • Yield loss assessment study of major economically important crop pests
  • Screening and evaluation of different prevention and protections technologies and methods against crop pests

Post-harvest management

  • Develop and disseminate appropriate harvesting and post-harvest technologies
  • Maintenance of post-harvest shelf life of fruits and vegetables
  • Identification of causes of post-harvest loss and developing appropriate control and prevention measures

Theme 6: Rural Development and Agricultural Extension

This theme deals with the assessment of opportunities and constraints of rural setting and designing mechanisms to boost rural development (Land and natural resources tenure, access to natural resources, agricultural products marketing and value chain development, small scale enterprises, gender and youth in rural development, institutional and policy aspects). Researchable issues under this theme encompass the following:

  • Evaluation of agricultural information and Knowledge System (AKIS)
  • Rural organizations effectiveness, Efficiency and sustainability
  • Assessment of food insecurity interventions in rural areas
  • Assessment on rural –urban interactions
  • Value chain development
  • Assessment of the existing farming system
  • Evaluation of the existing extension system among rural development actors (stakeholders integration )
  • Adoption studies on new technologies disseminated
  • Addressing gender and Youth in rural development
  • Assessment of Rural infrastructure for rural development
  • Female addressing technology development and dissemination
  • Role of Agricultural extension in rural development strategies
  • Identifying and quantifying the extent of food insecurity and rural poverty
  • Land certification, challenges and its implications
  • Safety net targeting strategies and their effectiveness
  • Land owner ship allocation, management and utilization in rural areas
  • Determinants of cooperative challenges, failures and opportunities
  • Linking institutional research and extension to Farmers indigenous Knowledge for sustainable agriculture
  • Farmer’s innovation in agricultural practices
  • Rural entrepreneurship
  • Studies on rural policies
  • Rural financial enterprise studies

Theme 7: Agricultural Economics

  • Agricultural production and its socio-economic implications on the life of the society
  • An economic perspective on the potential gains from improvements in irrigation
  • Area closure and its impacts on community livelihoods
  • Causes and effects of inflation in Ethiopia
  • Causes, effects and magnitude of unemployment and its possible remedial actions
  • Cost of relief and its contribution for food security.
  • Economic considerations for rural planning and development in woredas.
  • Economic role of fire wood plantation and its shortcomings
  • Farmers‟ risk management strategies and their effectiveness.
  • Identifying and quantifying the extent of food insecurity and rural poverty.
  • Land certification and its challenges and implications
  • Role of agricultural extension in rural poverty reduction
  • Roles of micro and small enterprises in poverty reduction.
  • Rural-Urban migration and rate of unemployment
  • Safety-net targeting strategies and their effectiveness
  • Seriousness of miss-targeting and its effect towards food security
  • Temporary migration and its implication for food security.
  • The key contributory factors for successes or failures of food security program.
  • The role of micro and small enterprises in poverty reduction

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