The Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences signed a Memorandum of Understanding last week with the Oromia Pastoral Area Development Commission of Ethiopia for cooperation on pastoral region preservation and development in the next five years.
According to the MoU, both sides will enhance cooperation on degraded grassland restoration, livestock husbandry development, and staff training. Further research will be carried out to tackle major problems the State of Oromia is facing in its husbandry industry.
Agriculture has remained the source of livelihood for the overwhelming majority of people in Oromia. The State accounts for 51.2% of the crop production, and 44% of the total livestock population of Ethiopia.
LEI Jiaqiang, vice director of XIEG, is leading a project on degrading grassland restoration in low altitude areas of the East African Plateau. This is a project under the China-Africa Joint Center for Research and Education of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The project aims to find and build a suitable technical system for degraded grassland restoration and a feasible sustainable development mode for pastoral areas in East Africa Plateau, according to LEI.
Since its inception, Chinese researchers have completed several tasks, including remote sensing interpretation of shrub invasion in targeted areas, and the collection of meteorological data in those areas.
Scientists have introduced four new grass varieties to these areas, which have proved to be a strong support for pastoral grass planting and development in low altitude areas of Ethiopia.
“More research and cooperation will be carried out under the MoU. And we sure can expect concrete fruits in the coming five years,” said XU Xinwen, a researcher from XIEG, after signing the MoU on behalf of the research institute.
XU Xinwen signed the MoU with representative from the Oromia Pastoral Area Development Commission(Cited by XIEG)