Gerba Leta Dufera

Research themes
  • Social and cultural change and adaption
Research countries
  • Ethiopia
Research topic
The Ethiopian Agricultural Extension System and its roles as a
Additional information

My study is financed by BiomassWeb project WP: 7.1 Follow the Innovation for South-West Ethiopia.

Professional experience

Research and development experiance with national and international research and development organizations.


BSc. in Plant Science and MSc in Agronomy

Thesis title

The Ethiopian Agricultural Extension System and its role as a “Development Actor”: the case of Bako-Tibe and Yem Woredas, South-western Ethiopia

Thesis abstract

Ethiopia is the second largest populated country in Africa with more than 85% of its population living in rural areas depending mainly on agriculture. The history of agricultural extension goes back to early 1950s. Although agricultural extension has been largely implemented since the 1960s and early 1970s under the Comprehensive Package Programs, the level of technology adoption was rather low. Top-down approaches followed to transfer innovations were made responsible for the low level of adoption and impact. Participatory approaches in agricultural research and extension systems have been emphasized in the last decades by the Ministry of Agriculture, though translation into reality still remains to be questionable. Lack of development agents’ social and technical skills, knowledge and motivation for implementing agricultural extension is reported. However, the demand side of agricultural extension system including the reasons for rejection of technologies, the structure of the federal agricultural extension system (AES) and its interplay with the regional actors and the immense and dynamic roles of development agents are not well-known. The aim of this study is, therefore, to analyze and understand the structure and function of the agricultural extension system in Ethiopia and to contribute to the understanding of the system. Mixed methods approaches will be used to conduct the study in two regions. Focused group discussion with farmers, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders and questionnaire survey will be used for data collection. Grey and other secondary data and desk analysis of literature will be made to augment and triangulate with the primary data. Based on this study, the challenges and potentials of the Ethiopian agricultural extension system will be identified; regional differences in the implementation strategy, roles, motives and interest of development agents and the variation amongst farmers’ adoption of innovations will be learned. Eventually, agricultural extension system in Ethiopia will be defined and how the system evolves will be understood.





Doctoral research funded by

BiomassWeb project,WP 7.1: Follow the Innovation-Collective learning, change adaptation and transition management.

Supervisors of
doctoral work

Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Prof. Dr. Christian Borgemeister and Prof. Dr. Kristof Van Assche

Advisor at ZEF

Advisor: Dr. Girma Kelboro


Dereje Duressa, Debela Kenea, Wakgari Keba, Zelalem Desta, Gutema Berki, Gerba Leta, Adugna Tolera. 2014. Assessment of livestock production system and feed resources availability in three villages of Diga district Ethiopia. Download [PDF | 2.35MB]
Further Information
Peter Thorne (ILRI), Kindu Mekonnen (ILRI), Gerba Leta (ILRI), Zelalem Lema (ILRI), Abiyot Aragaw (CIP) and Gebrehiwot Hailemariam (CIP). 2014. Using the Sustainable Livelihood Assets Evaluation (SLATE) in Ethiopia: Africa RISING participatory research toolkit. Download [PDF | 271.61KB]


Leta Gerba, Belay Getachew, Worku Walelign. 2013. Nitrogen fertilization effects on grain quality of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var. durum) varieties in central Ethiopia. Vol.4, No.3: 1-8. (Open Access) Download [PDF | 460.58KB]
Further Information
Leta, G., A. Duncan and A. Abdena. 2013. Desho grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum) for livestock feed, grazing land and soil and water management on small-scale farms.. Download [PDF | 210.41KB]
Further Information


Dagnachew, L., K.Wakgari , A. Degefa, K. Degefa, M. Negash, K. Mekonnen, G. Leta and A. Duncan. 2012. Optimizing livelihood and environmental benefits from crop residues in smallholder crop-livestock systems in western Oromia: PRA case studies conducted across eight villages around Nekemte, Ethiopia. Download [PDF | 2.26MB]
Further Information
Zerihun Abebe, Girma Aberra, Lelise Ararsa, Ajabush Defar, Bayisa Gedefa, Gerba Leta, Mulugeta Habtemichael and Kibruyesefa Sisay.. 2012. Matching land and water interventions with community needs: Report of community focus group discussions in four watersheds in Ethiopia. Download [PDF | 1.55MB]
Further Information




Full name: Gerba Leta Dufera

Nationality: Ethiopian

Birthdate: 30 May 1969

Marital status: Married and father of two girls

Address: Bishoftu, Ethiopia

Mobile phone: +251 911 88 37 34




Language Proficiency

Good Very good Excellent

Afan Oromo √

Amharic √

English √

Sidamegna √


Institution Type of degree

/ diploma / obtained Year of graduation Type of education (specialization)

University of Hawassa MSc. 2006 Plant Science (Agronomy) with distinction

Debub University (UH) BSc. 2001 Plant Production & Dry land Farming (PPDF)

Addis Ababa University, ACA Diploma 1988 General Agriculture with distinction



• Courses on SPSS, SAS and Dbase software and basic biometrical methods (3rd to 21st March 2004), Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.

• Course on Quantum GIS (August 1-5, 2011) from Mapping Across Borders, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

• Training on Participatory Planning and WAT A GAME (27 February to 3rd March 2012) by IWMI and Afromaison project, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

• Training on Nile Goblet open source GIS tool for suitability analysis (8th-9th November 2012), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

• Training on Photo digital stories (13-20 November 2012) ILRI Addis Ababa.

• Training on Livelihoods Characterization /Benchmarking Tool (Sustaining Livelihoods Asset Evaluation-SLATE) from 1st -5th of April 2013, Addis Ababa and Jeldu woreda, Ethiopia.

• Training on Feed Assessment Tool (FEAST) and Farmer’s Need Assessment (FNA) that held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia from 8-10 May 2013.

• Training of trainers’ workshop on Innovation Platform that held in Kenya from 13th to 17th May, 2013, Embu, Kenya.

• Training conducted by duck rabbit group on audacity digital story (photo film) from 8-12 July 2013, Addis Ababa and Debre Birhan, Ethiopia.


1. Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn

Duration: May 1, 2014 up to now

Position: Junior researcher and PhD candidate

Major duties:

• Facilitation of BiomassWeb project activities in Ethiopia

• Course work and Research proposal development


2. ILRI-IWMI- Ethiopia

Position & work place: Senior Research Assistant, Landuse change and system water productivity, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Duration: since May 2010 –April 30 2014

Main duties and Responsibilities:

Major duties:

• Support research on enhancing rainwater management strategies (RMS) for livelihood and environmental benefits in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia.

• Particularly contribute to understanding the likely impact of interventions related to crops, livestock and trees on water productivity at landscape scale.

• Support research on multiple uses of crop residues in East Africa as part of a global assessment of the impact of crop residue use on livelihoods and the environment.

• Capacity building and backstopping national and regional research and development organization on implementation of Africa RISING project on sustainable intensification of Crop-tree-livestock system in Ethiopia highland.

• Establish and manage the local innovation platform on natural resource management in the Nile Basin Development Challenge project sites

Specific duties:

• Facilitate and ensure efficient and effective implementation of the forage development and Natural Resource Management innovation at pilot districts

• Provision of training on PRA tools for the partners from regional research, the university, local NGOs and district office of agriculture at ILRI

• Participate in designing and implementing happy strategy game exercise and matching practices to the landscapes.

• Participated in redesigning the WAT A GAME and facilitating the training workshop on Sustainable Land Management planning.

• Leading the conduct of survey of existing water/NRM practices at learning sites in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia to provide baseline data for scenario testing.

• Backstop and supervise partners in the conducting village and household surveys on crop residue use in Ethiopia and Kenya.

• Collect, manage and analysis data related to existing and potential land use patterns and land management practices to allow assessment of the effects of various potential interventions on water productivity.

• Links scientists and post-doctoral scientist with local stakeholders and assist in co-designing study tools, implementation and supervision of the undergoing research projects.


3. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO-Ethiopia)

Position and work place: National Consultant, Soil and Water Conservation, Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in Kafa , SNNPR.

Duration: 11 October 2006-June 10, 2009



Main duties & Responsibilities:-

• Participate in the coordination and follow-up of all project-related activities in the SNNPR (Kafa Zone) in collaboration with all involved stakeholders

• Contribute in the liaison of the project with IO’s, GOs and NGOs working in the project area

• Support the coordination of the activities of the focal persons assigned to the project by different stakeholders

• Provide technical advice to the relevant Zonal and Woreda offices on Natural Resources Management & agronomic practices to ensure sustainable land management put in place

• Participate in the study on un-controlled land occupation & impacts of investment on natural resource and livelihood of the local people

• Assist a study to assess the performance, success and constraints of certification program experiences in the area

• Support the study on the existing traditional and modern SWC measures applied in humid areas with particular emphasis to Kafa zone

• Support the undertaking of a study on current management practices of multi-purpose trees and indigenous knowledge on the role of trees in the area

• Assist in designing and testing of selected SWC measures at farm level

• Participate in the review of existing land-use planning approaches and experiences in the area

• Participate in the study on the livestock management, inventory of pasturelands and wetlands in the area

• Participate in inventory of natural water sources for spring development

• Assist environmental education and public awareness raise on natural resource management

• Contribute to the introduction and scaling up of high value crops (fruit and coffee) production and marketing

• Responsible for the managing of project personnel

• Participate in the preparation of technical and progress report as per FAO requirements

• Perform other related duties and activities upon instructions of the project coordinator and/or Emergency Unit Coordinator

4. International Livestock Research Institution (ILRI)

Position and work place: Research and Development Assistant, ILRI-IPMS project; Ada PLS, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.

Duration: August 2005 to February 2006

Main duties & Responsibilities:-

• Provide technical expertise to the office of Agriculture, Yerer Farmers’ Cooperative Union & Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center

• Assist in building the capacity of local stakeholders

• Supervise socio-economic survey data collection and assist other studies conducted by ICRISAT, SAP-TEC and IWMI

• Assist in project administration including procurement of equipment and office supplies

• Assist in realizing on farm demonstration of agricultural technologies

5. Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)

Position and work place: Assistant Researcher II, the former Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization (EARO), Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center.

Duration: December 2001-August 2005

Main duties & Responsibilities:-

• Assess the prevailing agronomic problems and generate researchable ideas

• Implement on farm and on station agronomic trials

• Prepare progress, quarterly and annual technical reports

• Conduct interdisciplinary survey activities

• Train trainees from various region on specific agronomic practices

6. Oromia Irrigation Authority

Position & work place: Office head, West Harrarghae, Qunni district

Duration: March 2001-December 2001

Main duties & Responsibilities:-

• Develop proposals for irrigation development

• Plan and implemented irrigation related activities

• Building capacity of farmers and development agents

• Supervise and oversee operational activities

7. Oromia Agricultural Bureau

Position & work place: District Team Leader, NRM, Ilubabour zone.

Duration: September 1988-September 1997

Main duties & Responsibilities:-

• Assist in design and implementation of SWC measures at farmers level

• Organize public tree plantation (afforestation) program

• Participate in ensuring food security of farmers by involving in the extension package program

• Monitoring and evaluation of the development initiatives

• Prepare progress, midterm and annual reports of the department



• Crop Protection Society of Ethiopia

• Ethiopian Weed Science Society





• Nitrogen fertilization effects on yield and grain quality of durum wheat (Triticum turgdium L var. durum) varieties in central Ethiopia


Journal Article:

• Gerba Leta, Getachew Belay and Walelign Worku. 2013. Nitrogen Fertilization Effects on Grain Quality of Durum Wheat (Triticum turgidum L. Var. Durum) Varieties in Central Ethiopia. Agricultural Sciences Journal. Vol.4, No.3, 123-130 (2013) doi:10.4236/as.2013.43019.



• Rezene Fessehaie and Gerba Leta. 2003. Weed Research in Highland Food Legumes of Ethiopia. In: The Second National Workshop on Food and Forage Legumes in Ethiopia, 22-26 September 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

• Zemadim, B., M., Matthew, R. S. Bharat, J. Ogunwole, G. Leta and S. Bekele. 2011. Integrated rain water management strategies in the Blue Nile Basin of the Ethiopian highlands. International Conference on Ecosystem Conservation and Sustainable Development (ECOCASD), 10-12 February 2011, Ambo University, Ethiopia.



• Dagnachew, L., K.Wakgari , A. Degefa, K. Degefa, M. Negash, K. Mekonnen, G. Leta and A. Duncan. 2012. Optimizing livelihood and environmental benefits from crop residues in smallholder crop–livestock systems in western Oromia: PRA case studies conducted across eight villages around Nekemte, Ethiopia.

• Pfeifer, C., Z. Abebe, G. Aberra, L. Ararsa, A. Defar, B. Gedefa, G. Leta, M. Habtemichael, K. Sisay.2012. Matching land and water interventions with community needs: Report of community focus group discussions in four watersheds in Ethiopia. ILRI, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



• Leta, G., A. Duncan and A. Abdena. 2013. Desho grass (Pennisetum pedicellatum) for livestock feed, grazing land and soil and water management on small-scale farms. IWMI/NBDC.



• Computer literacy, independent and efficient utilization of the following PC software programs: MS-Word, Excel, Power point & outlook; statistical software’s like MSTAT, SAS, Genstat, and SPSS and so many other software for data collection and data management, and livelihood and feed assessments tools notably CSPro, SLATE, FEAST and Techfit.

• Valid third grade driving license






1. Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge

Director (interim) Department of Political and Cultural Change (ZEF A)


Phone. +49-228-73-1970

2. Prof. Dr. Christian Borgemeister

Executive Director Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management (ZEF C)



3. Prof. Dr. Kristof Van Assche

Planning, Governance and Development

Faculty of Extension

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5J4P6




I hereby declare that the information I gave above is true to the best of my knowledge.


Name: Gerba Leta Dufera

Signature: ____________

Date ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬30 March, 2015

Junior Researcher

letagerba(at); gerbaleta(at)