Ethiopia: Dmu Aspiring for Center of Excellence in Crop Development, Agro Processing

Debre Markos University (DMU) says that it has been aspiring to be one of the top ten East African universities in crop development, agro processing by 2030. Thus, it has been engaged in producing knowledgeable, skilled, and attitudinally matured graduates in relevant disciplines to support peace, democracy and national development that can make the country internationally competitive.

DMU promotes and enhances researches focusing on knowledge and technology transfer consistent with the country's priority needs, designs and provides community and consultancy services that shall cater to the developmental needs of the country through active engagement of the community and stakeholders.

However, though the effort is at its infant stage, academic staff of DMU in all disciplines, has been trying to conduct research that not only assist the teaching-learning process, but also address the top priority problems of the society. Cognizance of this effort, the University has been working to develop its research and publication services since its inauguration in 2007.

As part of its endeavor, the University annually hosts research forum where researchers present results of their studies. All the papers presented in the Annual National Research Symposia are published in proceedings. DMU believes both the symposia and proceedings help staff researchers not only to disseminate the findings and results of their research but also to develop their researching skills.

Importantly, DMU is striving to launch research journal which is hoped to be an additional tool to motivate DMU researchers to engage in research activities widely and effectively. The efficacy of all these efforts, however, needs to be supported by sound directives and guidelines. Ratified by the University Senate in its meeting on March 21, 2015, we hope that this guide line serves as a significant tool to improve the quality of the researches by our academic staff. DMU president Dr. Tafere Melaku said.

Recently DMU graduated over 3700 students in different field of studies. The university has been closed for almost eight months due to COVID -19 pandemic. But the students have been exerted their relentless effort to achieve their education in this challenging time. In this regard, DMU's lecturers also played a significant role assisting the students, according to the president.

As the university mainstreams teaching- learning , carrying out researches and community service, it has been discharging its mission properly and accordingly. As authorized by Ministry of Science and Higher Education, DMU has given special attention to crop development and agro processing. It is also endeavoring to be center of excellence in the area and expanding local cultures too. Due to concreted efforts of DMU staff members, the university has been conducting peaceful teaching-learning process.

Currently, it is carrying out various activities. Students are expected to fulfill global university assets and standards. "We have to contribute to the good will of the country . In this regard higher institutions need to pay all the necessary supports. We need to provide all rounded support." Revising the curriculum, implementing participatory education system and applying continuous assessment system, ensuring education quality among others should meticulously implemented these days than any other time, he noted.

"We have to stress on conducting problem solving researches so as to benefit the local community and the country as well." As the university has been established around Choke mountain, DMU stresses carrying out environmental protection activities. Choke basin is the major water source of Abay River. Thus, to increase the river's annual water flow and keep GERD'S safety, the university has been working various basin protection activities, he said.

Although the region is endowed with various natural resources, local community's life style is still back warded, thus it is highly crucial improving research conducts and making the local community more beneficiary. Thus, the university is expected to work at it maximum effort.

Accordingly, the university has accomplished to conduct better researches this fiscal year apart from strengthening lecturers' researching skills. Consequently, 167 researches have been conducted by 382 scholars.

Moreover, during 2013 EC, DMU lecturers have published various researches on known international journals. Besides, starting from 2011 EC, all colleges have organized annual research symposiums. But, the university considers that research finding shall bring improvement in the life of the community. They have to focus on transferring technologies to the community widely.

Through its technology transfer program, DMU has contributed corn crusher, inclusive crop harvesting and threshing, gravel crusher, ethanol, smokeless charcoal among others.

Besides, the university has disseminated improved crop species to the farmers like disease resistant bean seed species and two potato species to the farmers.

In the recently endorsed university's ten year plan and five year strategic plan, the university has planned to work hard to improve the local community's life. It will continue capacitating local community through organizing various workshops and other educational programs, he said.

Since the country is under reform, students are facing challenging campus life. But, the country has registered impressive achievements in expanding higher educational institutions. Their number is highly increasing. Accordingly, DMU is one of the ten universities the country established during the past ten years. Since its establishment during 1999 EC, it has showed multi-sectoral steady progress. Today it has 61 undergraduate, 60 postgraduate and nine doctoral degree programs. Currently, DMU teaches over 26 thousand students under its regular and extension programs. So far, it has graduated over 41 students.

Currently 3,712 students have been graduated with different disciplines of which 1,236 of them are females. Having started by one faculty, the university has reached eight education programs, 13 lecturers, 15 administration workers. Today, DMU has become applied university. University's staff members have increased from time to time. Currently, DMU has 318 bachelors' degree lecturers, 1,219 master's degree, 174 PhD holders, nine foreign lecturers and 147 technical assistants. In total, the university has 1,867 staff members of which 327 are females. Presently, 210 and 274 staff members are attending their postgraduate and PhD programs respectively.

The university discharges its mission by preparing five year strategic plan and ten year plan to ensure its assignment as it has been specified by proclamation, the president said.

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