Linking graduate research to market-oriented agricultural development: IPMS experience with Ethiopian higher learning institutions
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Lemma, T.T.; Tegegne, A.; Hoekstra, D. 2009. Enhancing the relevance of graduate research to sustainable commercialization of smallholder agriculture: IPMS experience with Ethiopian universities. IN: Fifth International Conference on Ethiopian Development Studies, Adama University, Ethiopia, November 12-14, 2009. Michigan (USA): Western Michigan University.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/735
Graduate programs in agriculture and allied disciplines in Ethiopia are expected to make concrete contribution to market-oriented development of smallholder agriculture. This, among others, calls for realignment and engagement of the programs with smallholder farmers and, value chain, R&D and policy actors. No panacea exists, however, as to how to ensure effective linkages, and thereby responsiveness. Lessons from initiatives on the ground in the country and beyond is thus crucial to inform the development of appropriate policy and innovative strategy. With the same purpose, this paper discusses the key challenges facing the graduate programs and IPMS initiative to enhance the relevance of graduate research to challenges in commodity value chain development. The paper draws lessons and identifies strategic options based on the insights from IPMS experience as well as other emerging opportunities to improving the relevance and quality of research and learning in the graduate programs. The paper concludes by explicitly recognizing that improving the quality and relevance of graduate research and learning is a daunting task, requiring a holistic approach, multi-pronged and multi-level strategies, and long term commitment.