Beles Institute (የበለስ ተቃም)
Cactus has many values, some among the many: environmentally, economically and culturally. It is also with multiple human and nature induced threats. Beles Institute concerns primarily on cactus and also other peculiar commodities like honey and barley. The institute mobilizes research and development in value addition to the opuntia species’ product, in improving the managements and storing technologies of cactus, in increasing the market access to the cactus products, in minimizing the biological pests of cactus and in contributing to the genetic diversity of cactus. In general the institution has important role in brightening the future for cactus and sustaining its products. This will not be done by the institution alone. Instead it needs an organized effort of all stakeholders. So, bringing key stakeholders together is one mandate of the institute.
- To see best cactus institute which improve the socio – economic and environmental contribution of cactus internationally by 2020
- Making cactus one of the best contributing plants in poverty reduction and environmental sustainability of the country through improvement and genetic conservation.
Modernize and enhance the productivity and benefit of cactus for food, feed and environmental conservation
Adigrat University is established in areas where drought is a natural and normal attribute. Drought in this area and surroundings is considered as preliminary factor in reducing the agricultural production and keeping the community with subsistent agricultural production. This increased vulnerability to drought made the community to be dependent on cactus and cactus product for both food and feed especially during the spring and summers seasons. The surrounding of Adigrat, specifically Gulemekeda and Erob, are areas where opuntiaficusindica initially introduced to Ethiopia in consideration of drought alleviation. Due to these reasons and others cactus is the cultural food and feed of communities in Eastern zone of Tigray where Adigrat is found. This is why most of the cactus’s products (more than 80%) of Tigray are from this area. Establishing an institute of cactus/በለስ in areas where opuntia species’ products become backbone of the community could therefore an opportunity to the community as well as to the institute.
- Establishing database and inventory of cactus
- Reducing genetic erosion through establishing insitu and exsitu conservations
- Enhancing availability and uses of genetic diversity of cactus
- Identification and management pest of cactus
- Usage diversification and intensification of cactus product
- Improving the post-harvest handling and processing techniques
- Availing and improving market access for cactus product.
- Publishing and organizing different research results of cactus
- provide proper agronomic practices for cactus production
- improving chemical composition and nutritional value of cactus
- Improving and sustaining environmental protection and rehabilitation role of cactus
Beles Institute’s Activities Broadly Revolve Around:
- Develop appropriate system of production, protection and processing technologies through basic and applied researches for the realization of diversified and intensified cactus uses
- Identifying, improving and conserving cactus varieties
- Act as national repository for the genetic resources of cactus
- Coordinate researches on cactus with in the country and execute researches in all research centers
- Transferring technologies developed by the institute to farmers or beneficiaries through training programmers, workshops, demonstrations etc
- Creating hierarchical communication network with stakeholders
Yemane Kahsay, MSc
Block 13 | Room 28
P.O. Box 50
Direct: +251914727420| Fax: +251344452170/23/15