Additional partners: Ver-Tech Inc.

This partnership, Vernonia Production and Utilization Systems in Eritrea, collaborated to domesticate the indigenous vernonia plant (Vernonia galamensis) as a viable industrial oil crop in Eritrea. Vernonia is drought resistant, and its seeds contain an environmentally friendly oil that is widely used in industrial applications. 

Through collaborative research, the partners identified several varieties of Vernonia and then produced and distributed them to local farmers. Partners also organized two field days at the Halhale research station for local farmers, students and faculty, as well as Ministry of Agriculture officials, and representatives from international agencies.

Partners also conducted workshops on the principles and techniques of experimental design and field layout as well as guidelines for conducting scientific research and publication. The partners also studied strategies and techniques for better oral and poster presentation. In addition, the partners also researched the potential of soybeans for grain and vegetable use in Eritrea.

The partners also undertook additional research to identify the agronomic practices that give optimum seed yield and to identify seed cleaning and processing systems.

At a Glance

Partner Institutions:

Virginia State University; University of Asmara; Eritrea Ministry of Agriculture


Sub-Saharan Africa


Dec 1998–Sep 2003

Funding Level:


Cost Share: