PLANTATION AND AGROFORESTRY RESEARCH DIRECTORATE
The success so far with regard to plantation forests in Ethiopia is below expectation due to pitfalls in silvicultural and forest management. Agroforestry, which has been believed to be a remedy for land management problems, has not been well adopted in most parts of the country and the attributes anticipated from existing practices are not optimal. There is ample knowledge on the impacts of land degradation, however, research based investments on remedial actions (rehabilitation technologies) to mitigate the problem are still very limited. In general, there is a great need for problem solving and innovative research that aim at developing technologies and generating knowledge and information that can turn around the existing problems and enhance plantation and agroforestry development and management and rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands.
Plantation and Agroforestry Research Directorate is one of the research directorates in EEFRI that is mandated to develop technologies and generate knowledge that will contribute to the sustainable development and management of small holder and industrial plantations, enhancement of the productivity and attributes of agroforestry systems, and rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands. The directorate has three research divisions. The Plantation Forest Research Division focuses on developing technologies and generating knowledge on nursery management, silvicultural management and tree improvement for increasing the productivity of plantation forests at small and large scale level. The agroforestry Research Division is geared towards generating agroforestry technologies and information that assist sustainable land management and livelihood improvement through enhancing land productivity and product diversity. The Rehabilitation of Degraded Lands Research Division is mainly geared towards developing land management technologies and information that enhance the ecological resilience of degraded landscapes and alternative income means.
- Research focus
The major research thematic areas given due attention under the directorate include tree improvement and domestication of industrial tree species, nursery management and propagation techniques, development and management of commercial and small holder plantations (timber and pulp), urban forest development and management, agroforestry systems improvement, agroforestry species selection and domestication, introduction and expansion of different agroforestry practices, evaluation of already rehabilitated sites, rehabilitation and restoration of degraded lands using watershed approach, management and improvement of enclosures and exclosures, and tree solutions for management of problematic soils.
- Research projects
Currently, the directorate is running 11 mega research projects that comprise 58 experiments under the aforementioned research divisions and thematic areas. The projects are being implemented across six research centers distributed across the country. Taking the advantages of the Climate Change Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy which favors forest conservation and development, the current attention given by the government to the forestry sector, and the ever increasing demand for forest technologies and improved practices from end users and stakeholders, the directorate will continue to assess the need for technologies and information of the society and craft additional research projects with the aim to solve problems and enhance and sustain the production of forest products from plantation forests, agroforests, and rehabilitated degraded lands.
Teshome Tesema (Dr)
Director, Plantation and Agro forestry Research Directorate