Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, devoted the winter issue of its newsletter largely to the potato research programme in Ethiopia that is scientifically coordinated by the Centre for Crop Systems Analysis of Wageningen UR. Within the research programme three Ethiopian PhD candidates are studying seed potato production systems, farming systems and sociological aspects of using potato as a source of healthy and climate-robust food.
The potato research programme focuses on the Chencha region in southern Ethiopia. The research started in 2012. The results have already been presented to local farmers, organisations and authorities. The programme will be finalised in 2016, the year in which the candidates will defend their PhD thesis at Wageningen University.
The three PhD candidates now present and discuss their findings in the Teagasc newsletter, as their work is a good example of Teagasc’s collaborative work of trying to stimulate innovation and promote resilience of local food supplies.
The research programme is being co-financed and supervised by the Teagasc Walsh Fellowships Programme, Wageningen UR and Vita, an Irish NGO that works with communities in Africa to fight hunger and climate change. Local farmers are among the most important partners in the research programme.