Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Breeding Tef for Israeli Climate

Posted by Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew UniversityResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

A novel method to breed Teff cultivars increasing Teff productivity in conditions different from Ethiopian drought and hot climate.

A Breeding Program to Maximize the Quality of Teff Cultivars
Project ID : 8-2014-3050

Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Description of the technology


Eragrostis tef (tef) is an annual cereal grass that is mainly cultivated for its edible seeds in Ethiopia and Eritrea, where it is the most important staple crop. Additionally, tef is used as nutritious fodder to feed ruminating animals in Ethiopia and horses in the United States. Global tef popularity has increased due to it being gluten-free and its unique nutritional content. As a result of increased demand from around the world and drought-induced low yields, Ethiopia restricted exports of tef to reduce local prices and to secure its affordability to the 50 million people who rely on it as a staple food crop.

Israel is home to approximately 200,000 Ethiopians and Eritreans who use tef flour in their diet and cultural dishes. This created an annual market demand of approximately 8,000 tons, which is partially met by the 4,000 tons allowed for export by the Ethiopia government. There is currently an unmet market demand for high quality tef flour as a result of the Ethiopian export ban.

Tef experiment in Israel, 2019

Our Innovation

The researcher has a collection of 400 characterized tef varieties which provide the basis for breeding of high-yield, high-quality and lodging resistant tef varieties, which are better adapted to modern cultivation practices under Israeli and Mediterranean conditions.


We are seeking partners to further fund research and breeding towards the commercialization of high yieldingtef varieties for commodity and health food markets, well adapted to advanced agricultural systems. We have numerous tef lines, the scientific know-how and in-depth knowledge of the best breeding practices.

Contact in Yissum

Project manager

Ilya Pittel

Project researchers

Yehoshua Saranga
HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences
Plant Sciences and Genetics

Related keywords

  • Agro chemicals
  • Agriculture
  • Agricultural genetic engineering applications
  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Animal Husbandry and Related Products
  • agriculture
  • plant genetics

About Yissum - Research Development Company of the Hebrew University

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. Founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University’s intellectual property. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies, Yissum has registered over 8,900 patents covering 2,500 inventions; has licensed out 800 technologies and has spun-off 90 companies. Products that are based on Hebrew University technologies and were commercialized by Yissum generate today over $2 Billion in annual sales.

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