IQQO in Brief 

The Oromia region is most popular with an average growth rate of 2.9% per annual. To feed this fast growing population, increasing production and productivity through agricultural research is vital. To assure this objective Oromia Agricultural Research Coordination Service (OARCS) came into existence in 1991 shortly after the establishment of the Oromia Regional State. The purpose of establishing OARCS under the umbrella of Oromia Agricultural Development Bureau (OADB) was to support the region's agricultural development effort through more focused research that raises agricultural productivity.

Oromia Agricultural Research Institute (OARI) was established on June, 2001 by a proclamation No.44/2001 of the Oromia regional State (Megeleta Oromia, 2001). From then the Institute has been undertaking various research activities that have been fundamental for food security and poverty reduction with full mandate to solve any agricultural problems by doing basic and applied research programs in the region and in special condition in the country. To overcome these great responsibilities, the Institute organized itself in firm base of structure and planned action to solve the problem step by step.

To increase production and productivities and to bring the desired impacts, the most relevant demand driven, problem solving and cost-effective agricultural technologies must be needed. For this OARI should follow a new research approaches  that emphasizes on identifying strategic issues that help to overcome the rapidly changing conditions both in the internal and external environments.

The environment in which OARI operated has changed in many fronts. As is the case with many developing countries, the scarcity of resources is acute and critical, for there are many competing priorities that need attention. To use the limited resources effectively and efficiently and win through this competitive atmosphere, OARI should make systematic, costumer-based, result oriented, participatory and team based research.

In 19 years experiences, 17 research centers have been functioning and capacitated in all aspects to tackle agricultural problems of farmers and pastoral society of the region.

OARI is head quartered at Finfine and coordinates 17 regional research centers namely, Holetta Bee and Ziway Fishery Resources research, Bako, Jimma and Asella Agri. Mechanization research, Bako, Sinana, Adami Tullu, Fedis, Yabelo, Bore, Mechara and Haro Sebu Agricultural research centers, Fiche, Bedele, Nekemte, and Zuway soil research centers located at different agro-ecologies of the region. The organizational structure of OARI constitutes one Director General, one Deputy Director General, five Research Process Directorates and six Support processes at the head quarter.

OARI currently runs research activities that are organized under the five research process directorates, viz. crop, livestock, natural resources, agricultural mechanization and agricultural economics and extension. Each directorate coordinates multi-disciplinary team based researches.

In technology transfer process, Agricultural and Rural Development Actors Linkage Advisory Councils (ARDALAC) were established and strengthened at Zone, and regional levels and under the process of establishment at Ana level

Research approaches

The research approach of OARI is participatory, client oriented and demand driven. In this case what is to be researched is determined by different stakeholders, in particular by the end user of the research. The participation of stakeholder in research planning, technology generation and dissemination continuum is ascertained through strengthening ARDALAC at different, FRG/FREG, reviews, workshops, continues consultation and strong monitoring and evaluation system. To redress the past shortcomings of stakeholder participation, more effort has been replaced on empowering the stakeholders to influence the research focus. 

Research focus

Research in Oromia would take into account the unique socio-cultural and agro-ecological environments of households. To this end research centers in collaboration with customer and stakeholders will identify challenges, opportunities and research needs of their mandate farming systems and focus on generation of technologies based on growth and transformation plan that ultimately enhance livelihood and sustainable use of natural resources. Moreover, research will go beyond technology generation to ensure the objective of food self self-sufficiency and generally research for development continuum.

Setting research priority

The ultimate goal of setting research priority is to identify research areas where resources are wisely allocated so as positively impact the livelihood of the rural household within the framework of government growth and transformation goal. Since it is impossible to undertake research on every enterprise having different comparative and competitive advantages as well as time span to bring positive change in livelihood of the rural household, priority setting for research undertaking is increasingly becoming imperative. Therefore, research centers identify their priority research areas that would positively impact the livelihood of the rural households in their geographic mandate areas with active participation of all key stakeholders. However, as circumstances are dynamic, there is a need to periodically review the set research priorities. The criteria for research priority setting include:

  • Contribution to regional Growth and transformation plan goal  (poverty reduction, food security, import substitution, export earning)
  • Institutional capacity
  • Likelihood of success
  • Size of beneficiaries
  • Sustainability and environmental impact

Moreover, research projects will be screened largely on the basis of the following criteria.

  • Economic impact (income, market competitiveness, comparative advantage, etc…)
  • Potential for adoption (technical, social, economical)
  • Technical capacity
  • Technical and scientific merit
  • Social (size of beneficiary, gender, employment)
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Participation of beneficiaries

  Research outputs and achievements

  • Information/technology  generation
  • Technology transfer
  • Addressing undressed areas
  • Capacity building