Haramaya University Hosts 24th National Annual Conference of Plant Protection Society of Ethiopia

 

The 24th National Annual Conference and Silver Jubilee of the Plant Protection Society of Ethiopia (PPSE) entitled Emerging and Re-emerging Plant Pests in Ethiopia: Status, Interventions and Future Prospects in a Changing Climate was held on March 16-17, 2018 in Afran Qallo Hall at Haramaya University (HU).

The conference was organized with the aim of reviewing the 25 years endeavors and achievements in protecting Ethiopian agriculture from ravages of plant pests and indicating the way forward.

At the opening of the conference, Dr. Awol Seid, Chairperson of the Steering Committee, expressed his pleasure on the gathering of plant protection stakeholders and informed audiences about the objectives of the conference, the contributions of discussing science and practices.

Dr. Belay Habtegebriel, President of Plant Protection Society of Ethiopia, gave credit to the achievements of the Society, stated encountered challenges and weakness of PPSE and requested members to increase their commitment in every aspect.

On behalf of HU, Prof. Chemeda Fininsa, President of the University, revealed the honor of hosting the silver jubilee as most of the members are the fruits of the School of Plant Science. He noted that the contribution of HU in protecting plants of Ethiopia has been immense through producing competent graduates in the field, research outputs and technology and providing policy inputs within the last six decades.

An opening speech was delivered by Mr. Woldehawariat Assefa, Director General of Plant Health and Regulatory Directorate of Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resource (MoANR). He called PPSE a great partner in minimizing agricultural yield losses due to pests that can greatly contribute to the food security goals of GTP II of the country.

Dr. Tsedeke Abate’s, one of founding Fathers of Plant Protection Society of Ethiopia (PPSE) key note address showed the implication of increasing population with limited available resources and increased pest effects. He said the trend is not good and requires more action. He also urged the agricultural research and development actors to clearly quantify the monetary value of the hitherto and future achievements and suggested home-grown approach and innovation, and creation to flourish in future.

On the occasion, recognition was given by providing awards (presents and certificates) to various organizations and individuals who have so far made immense contribution to PPSE and plant protection.

The two- day event saw the presentations of various general and scientific papers on plant pathology, agricultural entomology and weed science and discussions were made.

An exhibition was also arranged by HU to show the contribution of the University in plant protection and agricultural production at national level through the theses/dissertations of the competent graduates produced, the relevant research activities undertaken and journals published, the insect pests collected, and the agricultural products and technologies delivered to farmers and the consumers.

Prof. Nigussie Dechassa, Vice-president for Academic Affairs of HU, in his closing remark gave home-take remarks for the new executive and editorial committees for PPSE and called for plant protection activities to confer in and exercise the existence of well qualified experts, learning about new threats of insect pests and weeds, sharing views, indicating gaps and potential solutions in such plat forms. This will help in pushing the frontiers, assessing where we are, becoming energized, and coming with home grown solutions where they are still crucial to cope with the climate dynamics.

He also promised to continue the desire, passion, and commitment of the University in plant protection and expressed his gratefulness to PPSE members, HU staff, panelists, sponsors, presenters, and speakers for materializing and making a professionally and physically graceful conference.

The conference was attended by 350 participants including the honorable guests, representatives of sponsors, paper presenters, society members, HU staff and postgraduate students, and the organizing committee members.

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