Agricultural Innovation and Technology Centers (AITEC)
The Agricultural Innovation and Technology Centers (AITEC) are medium scale modernized farms that aim to operate as a central mechanism for introducing technologies, developing innovative interventions, a center for trainings and a research farm. The AITEC introduces and demonstrates new crop varieties, new fertilizers, promotes efficient irrigation and water conservation and introduces new agro-technical methods. The AITECs farm concept includes a 10-20 Ha modern drip irrigation system, a seedlings production nursery, protected agriculture structures and a fruit orchards. The center serves as a training, research and demonstration center. Along with horticulture and water managements AITEC farms specialize in various livestock components such as dairy production, goat herding, aquaculture, poultry and egg production.
AITEC farm activities include:
Small farmer extension service | Together with the Bureau of Agriculture the AITEC farm agronomists provide extension services to the surrounding farmers and enable improved logistical support to challenges faced by farmers.
Logistical support for agricultural input value chain | AITEC farm provide farmers with improved market access to agricultural inputs by acting as a logistical center for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and the best available technologies. The AITEC farms support forward linkages as well, providing solutions for marketing and post harvest solutions.
Seedling production center | The AITEC farm greenhouse nursery serve to produce seedlings for farmers, promoting market linkages to improved seed varieties. Seed varieties are demonstrated as well as made available to farmers.
Satellite demonstration sites | Each AITEC farm has the capacity to support additional demonstration and training sites, enabling each farm to have an impact throughout the region.
Research and development center | The AITEC farm works with universities and research institutes to implement, study and demonstrate the best available technologies.
Ethiopian and Israeli Agronomists internship program | Israeli and Ethiopian interns work together to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience.
Training programs | The centers provide various trainings for farmers, development agents, TVET students, regional experts and agronomists.
Production center | The AITEC farm will strive to be economically independent and serve as a place for local production of fresh food