Addis Ababa April 16//2018Application of tissue culture technology and approaches are crucial to enhance productivity of coffee, according to Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute (EBTI).
Addressing a day-long consultative workshop held today, EBTI Director-General Kassahun Tesfaye said coffee tissue culture is critically important to multiply high yielding and disease resistant coffee beans with minimal production costs.
Applications of modern agricultural technology, including tissue culture and other biotechnological tools and approaches, are critical to enhance productivity, he added.
According to him, plant tissue culture is nowadays widely used globally and nationally for large scale plant propagation and improvement.
Since Ethiopia has huge potential to increase coffee production with suitable environment, working on coffee tissue culture will play an indispensible role to increase productivity, Kassahun explained.
Director of Jimma Agricultural Research Center, Ashenafi Ayano , stated that the current productivity per hectare in Ethiopia is about 748 kg, which is lower than many growing countries.
The government has targeted to reach productivity of 990-1080 kilogram per hectare at the end of GTP-II.
The National Coffee Research Coordinating Center of Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC) has generated ample coffee production technologies, he said, adding that the prominent are 40 coffee varieties.
However, the Director pointed out that the released hybrid varieties are not well distributed due to insufficient propagation technology, mainly micro propagation/tissue culture.
Ashenafi said Africa owes wide range of agro-ecologies and incredible landmass suitable for coffee production in all the 25 coffee growing countries in the continent.
Ethiopia, Uganda and Cote d'Ivoire have promising coffee production, he stated.
Coffee generates about 40 percent of Ethiopia's total export earnings and some 15 percent of the population is engaged in the sector.