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Millet Improvement - Eritrea

A focus on collaborative projects involving the University of Asmara.

Millet Improvement - collaboration with NARI
Objectives and achievements:

  • 2006 - Two new varieties of pearl millet (Kona ICRISAT and Hagaz NARI), screened and bred by the Ministry of Agriculture, National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), at Halhale, were planted by more than 1400 farmers.
  • The new varieties mature earlier, show greater downy mildew resistance and, under actual field conditions, produce 30% higher grain yields.
  • High acceptance and adoption rates led to increased and stabilised production.
  • Capacity-building initiatives were carried out in collaboration with the University of Asmara Department of Geography and College of Agriculture.


Tissue culture research - training for students
Objectives and achievements:

  • Establishing a tissue research and training laboratory at the University – the first of its kind in Eritrea – gave the country the capacity to propagate virus-free potatoes more quickly and efficiently.
  • Nearly 30 students trained in the technique, along with technicians and scientists from NARI.


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Laboratory
Objectives and achievements:

  • GIS Laboratory successfully integrated into the University’s curriculum.
  • Approximately 300 undergraduate students attend surveying and cartography courses.
  • The University is now responsible for management of the laboratory and geo-processing.
  • The laboratory is the site of a “distance learning” pilot program, linking GIS with universities in the UK.
  • Staff from the Water Resource Department and the Department of Mines, and donor organizations, such as the International Committee for the Red Cross and Deutsche Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), have received on-the-job training in GIS techniques to support decision-making.