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Leadership in strategic information (LSI) building skilled public health capacity in Ethiopia
Italia V Rolle, Irum Zaidi, Jennifer Scharff, Donna Jones, Aynalem Firew, Fikre Enquselassie, Ashenafi Negash, Negussie Deyessa, Getnet Mitike, Nadine Sunderland, Peter Nsubuga
BMC Research Notes , 2011, DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-292
Abstract: Trainees' skill sets increased in descriptive and analytic epidemiology, surveillance, and monitoring and evaluation (M and E). Data from the evaluation indicated that the course structure and the M and E module required revision in order to improve outcomes. Additionally, the first cohort had a high attrition rate. Overall, trainees and key stakeholders viewed LSI as important in building skilled capacity in public health in Ethiopia.The evaluation provided constructive insight in modifying the course to improve retention and better address trainees' learning needs. Subsequent course attrition rates decreased as a result of changes made based on evaluation findings.The United States (U.S.) President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), implemented in 2003, is a significant undertaking by the U.S. government to prevent and treat HIV-infected persons in developing countries [1]. Strategic Information (SI) is an essential element of PEPFAR that ensures quality data are used to guide programs supported by this initiative. Surveillance, monitoring and evaluation (M and E), health management information systems, planning, and reporting are the core components of SI [2]. As the second cycle of PEPFAR broadens its focus to health systems strengthening in addition to scaling up services for HIV care treatment and prevention (PEPFAR I), the effective use of SI is key for this venture to be successful. A recent review of PEPFAR I by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) supports the role of SI in HIV-related activities. The IOM report recommended that as PEPFAR goes forward there is a need for quality data to guide interventions, evidence-based decision making, and ongoing evaluations and research [2].The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extensive experience in teaching the use of data for effective decision making using an applied approach that entails hands on practical training [3-5]. The use of data is central for evidence-based decisions as it leads t
Infra-specific folk taxonomy in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) in Ethiopia: folk nomenclature, classification, and criteria
Firew Mekbib
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-3-38
Abstract: In order to assess folk taxonomy, various research methods were employed, including, focus group interviews with 360 farmers, direct on-farm participatory monitoring with 120 farmers, key informant interviews with 60 farmers and development agents and semi-structured interviews with 250 farmers. In addition, diversity fairs were conducted with over 1200 farmers. Assessment of folk taxonomy consistency was assessed by 30 farmers' evaluation of 44 folk species.Farmers have been growing sorghum for at least 500 years (20 generations). Sorghum is named as Mishinga in the region. Farmers used twenty five morphological, sixty biotic and abiotic and twelve use-related traits in folk taxonomy of sorghum. Farmers classified their gene-pool by hierarchical classifications into parts that represented distinguishable groups of accessions. Folk taxonomy trees were generated in the highland, intermediate and lowland sorghum ecologies. Over 78 folk species have been identified. The folk species were named after morphological, use-related and breeding methodology used. Relative distribution of folk species over the region, folk taxonomy consistency, and comparison of folk and formal taxonomy are described.New folk taxonomy descriptors have been identified and suggested to be used as formal taxonomy descriptors. It is concluded that integrated folk-formal taxonomy has to be used for enhanced collection, characterisation and utilization of on farm genetic resources.Sorghum is one of the main staples for the world's poorest and most food insecure people. The crop is genetically suited to hot and dry agro-ecologies where it is difficult to grow other food crops. Developing countries account for roughly 90% of the world's sorghum area and 77% of the total output [1]. In developing countries, the lion's share of the crop is grown by small scale farming households operating at the margins of subsistence.Sorghum is the most important staple crop in Ethiopia. It is grown on 1,468,070 ha wit
Folksong based appraisal of bioecocultural heritage of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench): A new approach in ethnobiology
Firew Mekbib
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine , 2009, DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-5-19
Abstract: In order to assess the bioecocultural heritage of sorghum by folksongs various research methods were employed. These included focus group discussions with 360 farmers, direct on-farm participatory monitoring and observation with 120 farmers, and key informant interviews with 60 farmers and development agents. Relevant secondary data was also collected from the museum curators and historians.The crop is intimately associated with the life of the farmers. The association of sorghum with the farmers from seed selection to utilization is presented using folksongs. These include both tune and textual (ballad stories or poems) types. Folksongs described how farmers maintain a number of varieties on-farm for many biological, socio-economic, ecological, ethnological and cultural reasons. Farmers describe sorghum as follows: Leaf number is less than twenty; Panicle hold a thousand seeds; a clever farmer takes hold of it. In addition, they described the various farmers' varieties ethnobotanically by songs. The relative importance of sorghum vis-à-vis others crops is similarly explained in folksong terms.The qualitative description of farmers' characterisation of the crop systems based on folksongs is a new system of appraising farmers' bioecocultural heritage. Hence, researchers, in addition to formal and quantitative descriptions, should use the folksong system for enhanced characterisation and utilization of bioecocultural heritages. In general, the salient characteristics of the folksongs used in describing the bioecocultural heritages are their oral traditions, varied function, communal or individual recreation and message transmissions.Sorghum is one of the main staple crops for the world's poorest and most food insecure people. The crop is genetically suited to hot and dry agro-ecologies where it is difficult to grow other food grains. Developing countries account for roughly 90% of the world's sorghum area and 77% of the total output [1]. In the developing countries, m
Genetic Parameter Estimates for Growth and Reproductive Trait of Sheep for Genetic Improvement and Designing Breeding Program in Ethiopia: A Review  [PDF]
Shigdaf Mekuriaw, Aynalem Haile
Open Access Library Journal (OALib Journal) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1100589

Small ruminants in general and sheep in particular are important investments in the highlands of Ethiopia. Genetic and environmental improvements offer an opportunity to increase production from existing animal resources. Development of effective genetic evaluation and improvement programs requires knowledge of the genetic parameters (genetic variance of each trait and covariance among traits) for economically important production traits. Direct heritability estimates for birth weight of Afar sheep (0.13 to 0.38) and BHS (0.20 to 0.58) using univariate analysis; for Horro sheep (0.18 - 0.32) and Menz sheep (0.46) by fitting a multi-trait individual animal model. The weaning weight direct heritability estimates for sheep in Ethiopia, Afar sheep (0.11 - 0.37) and BHS (0.00 - 0.29), Horro sheep (0.10 - 0.26) and Menz sheep (0.48). Fertility, litter size and lamb survival are the components of the overall ewe reproduction traits. It appears that heritability estimates of these traits are rather low and reflect the generally small genetic variance for most reproductive traits. Moreover, litter size has a higher heritability (0.16 - 0.19) than the other components traits like fertility (0.10) and survival rate (0.07 - 0.09) for Awassi sheep breed. Genetic correlations among most pairs of traits were higher than the corresponding phenotypic correlations. Live weights measured at successive ages were highly correlated, ranging from 0.61 to 0.98 for Menz sheep. Genetic correlations were also high between pre-weaning daily gain and weaning weight for Afar and BHS sheep. Except for Blackhead Somali sheep breed which has high genetic correlation between birth weight and weaning weight, Horro, Menz and Afar sheep have high genetic correlation between post-weaning weight traits. This indicates that selection for one trait improves the other trait in those sheep breeds. In order to develop alternative improvement program for sheep breeds in Ethiopia, estimates of genetic parameters for economical growth and reproduction traits should be done by designing experiments since the information on most sheep breed is nonexistence.

Correlation and Path Coefficient Analyses of Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) Landraces in Ethiopia  [PDF]
Tesfaye Walle, Firew Mekbib, Berhanu Amsalu, Melaku Gedil
American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2018.913202
Abstract: Understanding the nature and extent of association between yield and yield related traits is the prerequisite study for any underutilized crop improvements of sustainable genetic enhancement. However, there is a lack of sufficient information on seed yield and related trait correlation and path coefficient analysis of cowpea in Ethiopia. To fill the existing knowledge gap, the present study was conducted to determine the nature and extent of phenotypic and genotypic correlation and path coefficient analysis among 18 quantitative traits. A total of 324 cowpea landraces were tested in 18 × 18 simple lattice design at Melkassa Agricultural Research Center and Miesso sub center during 2016 cropping season. The magnitude of genotypic correlations was higher than phenotypic correlations in most traits at both locations; this implies that the traits under consideration were genetically controlled. Seed yield was positively and highly significantly correlated with most of the traits at phenotypic and genotypic levels, indicating the presence of strong inherited association between seed yield and the other 17 traits. Almost all traits genotypic direct and indirect effects were higher than the phenotypic direct and indirect effects; this indicated that the other traits had a strong genetically inherited relationship with seed yield. Genotypic path coefficient analysis revealed that days to flowering, biomass and harvest index at Miesso, and seed thickness, plant height, days to maturity and biomass at Melkassa had relatively high positive direct effect on seed yield. However, seed width and hundred seed weight had exerted negative direct effect on seed yield at each location. Phenotypic path coefficient analysis showed that biomass and harvest index had exerted high positive direct effect on seed yield at both locations. From these results it can be concluded from this study that seed yield in cowpea can be improved by focusing on traits pod length, seed length, seed thickness, seed width, biomass and harvest index at both locations. The information obtained from this study can be used for genetic enhancement of cowpea
Body Weight Prediction Equations from Different Linear Measurements in the Short-Eared Somali Goat Populationof Eastern Ethiopia
Grum Gebreyesus,Aynalem Haile,Tadelle Dessie
Research Journal of Animal Sciences , 2012, DOI: 10.3923/rjnasci.2012.90.93
Abstract: This study was conducted on randomly selected whole-flocks of the short-eared Somali goat kept under extensive pastoral production systems around Dire Dawa, Eastern Ethiopia to obtain some prediction equation between live weight and various linear body measurements. Both male and female goats with five different dentition groups were included in this study. Live weight was regressed on the body measurements separately for males and females for each dentition class and for the pooled data by sex categories. All the parameters contributed significantly (p<0.05) to the model for the pooled data of female age groups depicting an R2-value of 85%. In the males using the pooled data for all dentition groups (0-4PPI), four parameters (chest girth, body length, body condition and pelvic width) contributed significantly (p<0.05) to the model giving an R2-value of 91%. However, chest girth was the only regressor that consistently significantly (p<0.01) contributed to the regression models across all age and sex groups.
Heritability and Correlation among Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) Yield and Some Agronomic and Sugar Quality Traits in Ethiopia  [PDF]
Esayas Tena, Firew Mekbib, Amsalu Ayana
American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2016.710139
Abstract: To assess broad sense heritability and phenotypic and genetic correlations among sugarcane yield components, an experiment was conducted at Wonji and Metehara Sugar Estates of Sugar Corporation of Ethiopia during 2012/2013. High broad sense heritability (h2) was detected for stalk diameter (0.730), single cane weight (0.672), millable cane number (0.624), stalk height (0.624) and pol % (0.608), indicating that these traits could be selected for easily. Expected genetic gain of the yield components was moderate to high. All traits had low to high genetic correlations (rg = -0.005 to 0.884) with cane yield and (rg = 0.027 to 0.999) with sugar yield. On average genetic correlations were higher than phenotypic correlations. High Genotypic Coefficient of Variation (GCV), broad sense heritability and expected genetic advance were recorded for stalk diameter, single cane weight and millable cane number. A selection strategy based on these traits could lead to improvement in cane and sugar yield.
Correlation and Path Coefficient Analyses in Sugarcane Genotypes of Ethiopia  [PDF]
Esayas Tena, Firew Mekbib, Amsalu Ayana
American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2016.710141
Abstract: To study the relations of certain morphological and sugar quality characters with sugarcane yield, an experiment was conducted at Wonji and Metehara Sugar Estates, Ethiopia between March 2012 and October 2013. The experiment, comprising of 400 sugarcane genotypes of which 174 were local that were collected from different regional states of Ethiopia and 226 introduced, was laid out in partial balanced lattice design with two replications. Data was collected on cane yield and its components, sugar yield and sugar quality traits. ANOVA, correlation and path coefficient analysis were done. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences (P < 0.01) for all the characters studied. Cane yield showed strong positive and highly significant (P < 0.01) correlation with millable cane number (r = 0.832), single cane weight (r = 0.528), stalk height (r = 0.517) and sugar yield (r = 0.987). There was also positive significant (P = 0.05) correlation of tiller count and cane diameter with cane yield. Path analysis revealed the highest positive direct effect of millable cane number (0.812) on cane yield followed by single cane weight (0.682) and pol percent (0.550). However, stalk diameter and brix percent had considerable negative direct effects and indirect positive
Genetic Diversity of Quantitative Traits of Sugarcane Genotypes in Ethiopia  [PDF]
Esayas Tena, Firew Mekbib, Amsalu Ayana
American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2016.710142
Abstract: Information about the amount and distribution of genetic variation in germplasm collections is important for their efficient management and effective utilization in plant breeding. Therefore this study was conducted to assess genetic diversity of sugarcane germplasm in Ethiopia. An experiment comprising of 400 sugarcane genotypes (174 local and 226 introduced) was conducted between March 2012 and October 2013 at Wonji and Metehara Sugar Estates using partial balanced lattice design with two replications. Data was recorded on 21 quantitative characters which included cane yield and its components, sugar yield and sugar quality traits. ANOVA portrayed highly significant differences (P < 0.01) among the genotypes for 21 quantitative traits. Cluster analysis revealed intra cluster D2 values ranging from 2.16 - 10.60 and inter cluster from 7.24 - 5864. There were six principal components accounting for 79.26% of the total variation in the tested materials. Millable stalk count, single cane weight, stalk diameter, cane yield, sugar yield and sugar quality traits showed high positive loading on the first two PCs and accounted for most of the variation observed among the genotypes. Therefore, this study suggested that the important characters responsible for diversity in the sugarcane genotypes could be grouped in two principal components namely “Yield” and “Quality” with “Yield” traits being comparatively more important than “Quality”. Genotypes clustered for high mean values of various traits could be exploited for further improvement of the crop either through selection or through hybridization. The clusters having high mean value for yield could be selected for yield per se as well.
In Vitro Screening of Cactus [Opuntia ficus-indicia (L.) Mill] Genotypes for Drought Tolerance  [PDF]
Berhan Mengesha, Firew Mekbib, Eyasu Abraha
American Journal of Plant Sciences (AJPS) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2016.713163
Abstract: Drought is one of the complex environmental factors affecting growth and yield of crops in arid and semi-arid areas of the world. In this context, this investigation was carried out to select drought tolerance cactus genotypes under in vitro condition. An experiment was carried out at Laboratory of Mekelle Agricultural Research Center, Northern Ethiopia. Six cactus pear genotypes namely, Gerao, Keyih Beles, Shenkor, Limo, Lemats Beles and Suluhna were used. Areoles were used as explants in tissue culture. The non-ionic water soluble polymer polyethylene glycol (PEG) of molecular weight 6000 was used as osmoticum to simulate water stress. In the first culture, the MS medium was supplemented with (2, 4-D (4 mg/l) and BA (0.5 mg/l) for callus induction. In all cultures MS medium was supplemented with 0, 10, 20 and 40 g/l polyethylene glycol (PEG) and was solidified with 0.8% agar and 30 g of sucrose. Significant differences were observed among the genotypes, PEG levels. In the first culture highest number of explants initiated callus on medium supplemented with no PEG but had not shown significant difference with 10 g/l PEG. At 10 g/l PEG, the callus induction frequency, callus fresh weight and plantlet regeneration were recorded highest for Suluhna (83.3%, 5.5 g and 63.3%), respectively. At 40 g/l PEG, callus induction frequency, callus fresh weight and plantlet regeneration were produced highest for Suluhna (41.7%, 2.75 g and 45%), respectively but no significant difference with Gerao, Limo and
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