Dr. Tolessa Debele
National Focal Person for ASARECA in Ethiopia
Dr. Tolessa Debele is a principal scientist at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR). Dr. Tolessa has more than 30 years’ experience in agricultural research and development. Over the past 10 years, he has worked closely with the National Agriculture and Extension System, Seed Companies, and CGIAR centres. Notably, under ICARDA, he successfully coordinated SARD-SC and TAAT wheat projects in the East and South Africa hub including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho. He also provided technical assistance to RMCs for the successful implementation of AfDB supported projects, and effectively operated in a multicultural team environment. Dr. Tolessa has played a very significant role in propelling Ethiopia from a wheat net importer to self-sufficiency and surplus export. Further, during his career, he has established strong partnership and solicited funds from different donors such as AfDB, BMGF, KAFACI-Korea, IDRC, ASARECA, EU, TIMAC Agro-Italy, INTSORMIL, CIDA and successfully implemented and contributed to agricultural development in the region. Dr. Tolessa has also served as the Director of soil and water research directorate and as Coordinator of national maize research program for the EIAR. Dr. He holds a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Free State, South Africa; an M.Sc. in Agronomy from the University of Agricultural Sciences Bangalore, India; and a B.Sc. in Plant Science from Alemaya University in Ethiopia. Dr. Tolessa has published over 65 papers in refereed journals, conference and workshop proceedings. His key research interests are in soil test crop response based fertilizer recommendation, management of acid soils and saline soils, conservation agriculture, integrated nutrient management, cropping systems and integration.