COVID-19 Response

EIAR-CoW Partnership: Training of Trainers program on Soil and Agronomy Data Portal

The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and the Coalition of the Willing (CoW) organized a training of trainers (ToT) on the use of Soil and Agronomy data portal from November 02-04, 2020. The training was organized in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for twenty-five (25) researchers and CoW members drawn from EIAR and four regional research institutes who are willing to train other CoW members.

The training was aimed at introducing Soil & Agronomy Data (SAD) access, management, and sharing policy and on the application of the data portal which will soon be deployed at EIAR. The portal was customized using Data verse  ( which is an open-source software developed by Harvard University in the U.S.A.

On the opening occasion, Dr. Temesgen Dessalegn, Director of the Natural Resource Management Research of EIAR and CoW member has officially opened the training workshop and conveyed a message on behalf of Director General of EIAR. In his speech, Dr. Temessgen has emphasized that data is a building block in agricultural research and at every level of analyses ranging from simple descriptive statistics to complex modeling research. The need for advancing the database management system is therefore taking a momentum in EIAR. Dr. Teklu Erkossa, of the GIZ, briefly introduced about CoW, why the training is organized and the importance of data sharing, aiming at big analytics and the resulting informed decision making in research and agricultural extension system in Ethiopia.

Dr, Girma Mamo, Director of Climate Geospatial and Biometrics Research of EIAR has highlighted why CoW has recognized EIAR as data steward and on the benefits of CoW in strengthening EIAR’s database management system building, primarily through learning from CoW’s SAD sharing policy and improving the integration of the EIAR’s mainstream research directorates and programs towards data analyses in technology generation, promotion and dissemination. He also linked CoW’s efforts to the ongoing digital agriculture initiatives in EIAR as per the recently disclosed digitalization for agriculture (D4Ag) plan by the Ministry of Agriculture that will be implemented through the 2021-2030 period. He further explained that the concept of digital agriculture is not new to the EIAR, except that efforts are scattered; for instance, the Digital Agroclimate Advisory Platform (EDACAP) under the Climate, Geospatial and Biometrics Research, the Wheat Rust Surveillance and Early Warning (WRSIS) under the Plant Protection Research and Modernizing EIAR Research in Crop Improvement (MERCI) under the Crops Research Directorate. In context, efforts are ongoing on how best to modernize the research efforts by moving away from the business as usual way of doing things ‘analogue’ and transforming the effort into digital technologies , in which the Information Communication Technology Directorate of EIAR has to play key roles, both in research and digital technology extension system through the ministry

During the technical session, Dr. Melkamu Beyene, from Addis Ababa University (AAU) [WU1] presented about open data, data sharing concepts and data sharing policy issues mainly by taking AAU’s experience and the current situations in Ethiopia. He also presented in detail about Data verse open software and why CoW chose it.  Then, practical training session has been started and it will continue until November 04, 2020.

The portal being implemented soon will be full deployed at EIAR and become accessible for public IP and domain name configurations. The portal can also be accessible from CoW website: