|Tef[(Eragrostistef (Zucc.)) Trotter] is a cereal crop cultivated on the largest apart of land among cereals in Ethiopia. It is a staple food grain for more than 50 million people and currently produced by more than 6 million farmers in Ethiopia. A second international workshop on tef improvement was held from November 7-9, 2011 in Debreziet l, Ethiopia. The objectives of the workshop were to review previous studies and achievements made on tef research and development and to set strategies for future research. It was organized by Debreziet research center in collaboration with other partners’ organizations.
The workshop was officially opened by Dr Solomon Asefa , Director general of EIAR and key note speech by Dr Tareke Berhe, senior researcher and advisor of tef and rice value chain in agricultural transformation agency(ATA). It was mentioned by Dr Solomon that tef remained an important crop to Ethiopia though it has waited long to attract international attention.
During a three day workshop a range of scientific research papers were presented on tef biodiversity, breeding, biotechnology, agronomy, protection, mechanization, adoption and seed system, extension and value chain. Scientist from all corners of the country and international community doing research on tef has joined the workshop as participants and organizers as well. All through the workshop the remarkable acceptances of ‘Quncho’(cross 387) by farmers and problems of tef lodging were the centrally revolving talk of the workshop.
During the workshop it was noted that tef production in terms of areas and productivity has continuously increased in the country. It was also mentioned that the national tef productivity (12-13 tons/ha) is among the lowest in cereals though the new varieties like Quncho treached more than 3 tons/ha. In the recent years another break-through achievements apart from variety in tef is the agronomic practices that pushed the yield potential to an average of 4-5tons/ha. A remarkable knowledge achievement in tef hybridization program that paved the way to get ‘Quncho’ tef variety which has reached almost all tef growing farmers’ ear and some lucky farmers’ field and radically changing their lives and national tef productivity in general. It was also declared on the workshop that tef should not be called an orphan crop. It was Dr Tareke’s saying that tef is 100% Ethiopian and it is at the top of government priority to support and it has also been recognized by international community as dietary/healthy crop.
In the third day workshop was concluded after the field visit to research station trails and farmers production plots arround Ada’a woreda. In the final discussion a roadmap process and priorities for tef research in Ethiopia was put as a way forward. The workshop was official closed by Dr Mekasha Chichiebelu, drector of Debreziet research center. He fore sighted a numerous rooms to improve tef yield more than the current achievements though Quncho remains at the top of the ladder.