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Mekelle, Ethiopia

Mekelle University is a higher education and training public institution located in the city of Mekelle, situated in the northern Tigray Regional State of Ethiopia. It is 783 kilometers away from Addis Ababa, the capital, to the north. Wikipedia.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2009-1-2-04 | Award Amount: 7.82M | Year: 2010

SOLIBAM will develop specific and novel breeding approaches integrated with management practices to improve the performance, quality, sustainability and stability of crops adapted to organic and low-input systems, in their diversity in Europe and taking into account small-scale farms in Africa. SOLIBAM will: 1. Identify traits specific for adaptation to low-input/organic conditions over a wide range of agro-climatic conditions in Europe 2. Develop efficient phenotyping, genotyping and molecular tools to monitor heritable variation during selection. Molecular analysis of functional polymorphisms will increase accuracy in breeding methodologies and improve monitoring of genetic diversity and adaptation along generations. It will also increase the understanding of adaptive phenomena 3. Develop the use of within-crop diversity to stabilise yield and quality in the face of current and increasing variation in organic and low-input agriculture 4. Design, develop and test innovative arable and vegetable cropping systems based on integration of a high level of diversification in crop management with the use of genetically diverse populations or varieties 5. Compare the effectiveness of different breeding strategies under conventional, low input and certified organic farming to set up optimal strategies for the production of varieties suitable for organic and low input farming taking into account the traits which are avoided in conventional breeding 6. Develop methodologies for farmers participatory research that exploit SOLIBAMs advances in low-input and organic farming 7. Quantify the effects and interactions of breeding and management innovations on crop nutritional, organoleptic and end-use quality 8. Evaluate socio-economic and environmental impacts of SOLIBAM breeding and management innovations in order to identify farm business, consumer preference, food supply and legislation related issues that are likely to influence their adoption


Araya A.,Mekelle University | Stroosnijder L.,Wageningen University
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2010

Two alternative in situ area rainwater conservation practices (tied ridging and mulching) were evaluated for four seasons (2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009) at an experimental station in Mekelle, Ethiopia. The objectives were to evaluate the performance of barley as influenced by mulch and tied ridge and to understand the relationships of rainfall and runoff on barley fields. About 16-30% of the seasonal rainfall resulted in runoff when barley was grown without water conservation, whereas the in situ conservation practices resulted in significantly low runoff. Tied ridging and mulching increased the soil water in the root zone by more than 13% when compared with the control. Consequently, grain yield and rainwater use efficiency increased significantly with tied ridging but not with mulching. Tied ridging increased the grain yield over the control at least by 44% during below average rainfall years. Neither mulching nor tied ridging were significantly different from the control when the seasonal rainfall was above average. Since rainfall is often unreliable, we recommend tied ridging as a water conservation technique for loams in the study area in order to mitigate the effect of drought stress in barley. However, tied ridges could be carefully opened when excess water is expected to cause waterlogging. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2010.3.1.1-4 | Award Amount: 2.62M | Year: 2011

WAHARA will take a transdisciplinary approach to develop innovative, locally adapted water harvesting solutions with wider relevance for rainfed Africa. Water harvesting technologies play a key role in bringing about an urgently needed increase in agricultural productivity, and to improve food and water security in rural areas. Water harvesting technologies enhance water buffering capacity, contributing to the resilience of African drylands to climate variability and climate change, as well as to socio-economic changes such as population growth and urbanisation. To ensure the continental relevance of project results, research will concentrate on four geographically dispersed study sites in Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Zambia, covering diverse socio-economic conditions and a range from arid to sub-humid climates. The project emphasizes: i) participatory technology design, i.e. selecting and adapting technologies that have synergies with existing farming systems and that are preferred by local stakeholders, yet tap from a global repertoire of innovative options; ii) sustainable impact, i.e. technologies that combine multiple uses of water, green and blue water management, and integrated water and nutrient management. Using models, water harvesting systems will be designed for maximum impact without compromising downstream water-users, contributing to sustainable regional development; iii) integration and adaptability, i.e. paying attention to the generic lessons to be learned from local experiences, and developing guidelines on how technologies can be adapted to different conditions; and iv) learning and action, i.e. a strategy will be developed to enable learning and action from successes achieved locally: a. within a region, to upscale from water harvesting technologies to water harvesting systems, and b. across regions, promoting knowledge exchange at continental scale.


Araya A.,Mekelle University | Stroosnijder L.,Wageningen University
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2011

Long-term climate data of four stations in the northern Ethiopia were analyzed in combination with information from local farmers and documented materials. From this analysis, a suitable drought-assessing technique was developed and site-specific needs for supplementary irrigation were explored. Results showed that our technique for assessing drought and crop failure corresponded well with farmer observations. The three major causes of crop failure (dry spells, short growing period and "total lack of rain") which were explicitly listed and ranked by the local farmers were found to match the analyzed data well. The agro-meteorological variables with the most severe consequences were "short growing period" and "total lack of rain" To prolong the growing period, supplementary irrigation is recommended in the month of September for three of the stations (Maychew, Mekelle and Adigudom) because: (1) rain frequently stops in early September or late August and crops have no other source of water for the rest of the growing period; (2) sufficient surface runoff can be harvested in July and August to be stored in farm ponds and used in September; (3) more cultivable land can be irrigated if supplementary irrigation is scheduled only for the month of September; and (4) giving supplementary irrigation in September can cut yield reduction by over 80% and crop failure by over 50%, except at Alamata. At Alamata, supplementary irrigation must be scheduled for July. The conditions experienced during the famine years of the early 1980s were primarily caused by the continued total rain failure over multiple years. Giving supplementary irrigation in July or September would probably not have mitigated the effects of these droughts, especially at Alamata and Maychew stations. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Haile F.,Mekelle University | Brhan Y.,Addis Continental Institute of Public Health
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | Year: 2014

Background: Male partner participation is a crucial component to optimize antenatal care/prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV(ANC/PMTCT) service. It creates an opportunity to capture pregnant mothers and their male partners to reverse the transmission of HIV during pregnancy, labour and breast feeding. Thus involving male partners during HIV screening of pregnant mothers at ANC is key in the fight against mother to child transmission of HIV(MTCT). So, the aim of this study is to determine the level of male partner involvement in PMTCT and factors that affecting it.Methods: A Cross-sectional study was conducted among 473 pregnant mothers attending ANC/PMTCT in Mekelle town health facilities in January 2011. Systematic sampling was used to select pregnant mothers attending ANC/PMTCT service after determination of the client load at each health facility. Clinic exit structured interviews were used to collect the data. Finally multiple logistic regression was used to identify factors that affect male involvement in ANC/PMTCT.Results: Twenty percent of pregnant mothers have been accompanied by their male partner to the ANC/PMTCT service. Knowledge of HIV sero status [Adj.OR (95% CI) = 0.43 (0.18- 0.66)], maternal willingness to inform their husband about the availability of voluntary counselling and testing services in ANC/PMTCT [Adj.OR (95% CI) =3.74(1.38-10.17)] and previous history of couple counselling [Adj.OR (95% CI) =4.68 (2.32-9.44)] were found to be the independent predictors of male involvement in ANC/PMTCT service.Conclusion: Male partner involvement in ANC/PMTCT is low. Thus, comprehensive strategy should be put in place to sensitize and advocate the importance of male partner involvement in ANC/PMTCT in order to reach out male partners. © 2014 Haile and Brhan; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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