Agricultural biotechnology research and development in Ethiopia
AbstractEthiopia is an agrarian country that can have enormous benefit from the applications of biotechnology for increasing its agricultural productivity. The country is at initial stages of research and development in agricultural biotechnology with scattered efforts underway in various public institutions. Research efforts and applications in crop production include plant tissue culture, biofertilizers and biopesticides, molecular markers for disease diagnosis and genetic diversity. Livestock related applications include
artificial insemination, molecular diagnostics, vaccine production and molecular genetic analysis. Infrastructure and skills in recombinant DNA and other cutting edge technologies such as proteomics and bioinformatics are still limited and need to be strengthened. A number of crop production
constraints can be solved by using advanced biotechnology tools/products including genetically modified organisms. Cognizant of this, Ethiopia has recently given a due emphasis for capacity building in agricultural biotechnology extending from promoting research, development and education in various public institutions to setting up of an independent agricultural biotechnology research center. The constraints holding back progress in agricultural biotechnology are numerous ranging from
poor technical and regulatory capacity to lack of appreciation of opportunities provided by agrobiotechnology by the public and decision makers.