Modelling and genomics resources to enhance exploitation of the sustainable and diverse Ethiopian starch crop Enset and support livelihoods

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Department Name: Natural Capital and Plant Health

Abstract

Enset is a large perennial herbaceous plant similar in form to the related banana. It is distributed across central, eastern and southern Africa, a crop in the banana (Musaceae) family, and currently provides a food source for ~20 million people in Ethiopia alone via its corm and stem base supplying dietary starch. It also supplies fibres, medicines, animal fodder, a key food source for bees, is culturally significant and stabilises soils.

Enset is potentially very important as a climate-smart crop for the future because of its apparent ability to withstand long periods (>5 years) of drought. However, little is currently known about its biology, including the genetic variation of both wild and cultivated forms, its fruiting biology, soil fungal associations or ability to withstand pests and diseases. We seek to promote enset as a source of dietary starch build collaborative UK/African research strengths in four principal ways:

1) Gathering a range of data from across its distribution in Ethiopia including the physical traits of enset alongside information about the local climate and soil in each area sampled and data from farmer interviews. This will then be used to create a data resource via computer models that will generate the understanding to underpin breeding, food security and supply of products and enhanced government policy in this crop.

2) Studying enset in the field so that its flowering, fruiting and seed production is fully understood to assist in developing a breeding programme.

3) Unravelling the genome of the banana family, and especially enset, to understand overall diversity patterns and discovering the genes associated desirable characteristics such as control of flowering, disease resistance and root and corm development.

4) Surveying the occurrence of disease-causing organisms in the field to discover non-susceptible populations and varieties for genetic study and conservation at in-country seed banks and living plant collections with those displaying other useful traits.

These research activities will help improve security of food supply and help to plan for and breed varieties that can withstand climate change and disease. They will prevent enset being supplanted by a global crop such as maize, reducing the diversity of both agriculture and diets. It will be protected as a source of pharmaceutical products and potentially could be more widely grown in Africa as a source of starch for food, biofuel or industry. It is already a low input crop in terms of fertilisers and pesticides and research can make it lower still. We also plan to unlock the value of wild forms as sources of key traits and the genes that underpin them for breeding into cultivated plants such as drought resistance or formation of suckers so plants can be divided vegetatively. The research we plan to undertake helps the UK and the global community to meet its obligations under the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Most importantly, the project will support improvement of people's standards of living within five years by providing disease free planting material through tissue culture methods and methods to identify (and therefore help treat) diseases or remove diseased plants.

Technical Summary

Enset is a large perennial herbaceous plant similar to the related banana distributed across central, eastern and southern Africa. Despite its widespread distribution in Africa it has only been domesticated in Ethiopia with hundreds of landraces of varieties found in diverse climatic and agroecological systems providing multiple ecosystem services. Despite the current and potential importance of enset, relatively little is known about its biology. We aim to develop the resources needed to provide the biodiversity science and fill critical knowledge gaps to enable the exploitation of enset diversity as a resilient climate-smart crop of the future.

In order to do so we will undertake reseach in four areas. 1) Developing a multi-dimensional, multifunctional, baseline resource for enset cultivation. This will combine morphological trait, genetic diversity and pest and pathogen occurrence data with farmer interview and soil and climate data using proven, state-of-the-art species distribution model (SDM) methodologies into an electronic resource. 2) Investigating flowering phenology and development, morphology, pollination mechanisms and seed germination biology to enable conservation and breeding 3) Realising the potential of the genetic diversity of cultivated and wild enset using genetic markers and genotyping by sequencing approaches using comparative analysis with banana, identifying genes associated with developmental processes of flowering, starch storage, and disease resistance 4) Determining the resilience of enset to pests and pathogens via field surveys supported by lab-based and molecular diagnostics.

The project will answer fundamental questions about the diversity and biology of enset in order to address some of the major challenges facing the crop in near and longer term in biological, societal and policy terms, while achieving international-quality research excellence alongside training, partnership and capacity building and knowledge transfer.

Planned Impact

Impact in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is an African LDC ranked at 185/194 on GDP per capita by the United Nations, with over 30% of the population earning less than $1.25 per day. Our research will improve its food security and nutrition, and secure availability of enset for the future, directly benefitting ~20M people in Ethiopia for whom enset is currently a staple starch source and provider of multiple ecosystem services. Enset has the potential to help many other LDCs/LMICs in Africa. The project seeks to progress UN SDG2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) and SDG15 (use terrestrial ecosystems sustainably/halt biodiversity loss) and to contribute to SDG1 (End poverty), SDG3 (Ensure healthy lives) and SDG13 (Combat climate change).

Development will be made via tissue culture of disease-free, resilient varieties. Their provision to farmers in Ethiopia will make a measurable difference to livelihood indicators within five years. Protocols for propagation by local cooperatives will underpin a rural industry. Disease diagnostic tools developed and delivered to key actors via the project website and/or a smartphone app during the project will positively impact livelihoods by allowing evidence-based removal or crop protection. Conservation collections will protect and promote planting of optimal regional and locally appropriate varieties. We will make enhanced agrobiodiversity information on enset available to Ethiopian farmers, NGOs and the Ethiopian Government, enabling dissemination of best practice and more effective decision making through a cross-ministry national strategy for enset in Ethiopia

UK Impact
A novel research partnership between UK and Ethiopian institutes will be developed, mutually enhancing capacity and capability. It will enable all parties to develop their ability to deliver significant research outcomes - and expand their research portfolios - by facilitating access to the genetic diversity involved and developing a consortium that is enabled to undertake a future comprehensive research programme on enset with a view to expansion of its cultivation to other regional Low and/or Middle Income Countries (LMICs) and thus helping tackle the sustainable development goals (SDGs) described above. Kew has a strong track record in working in biodiverse LMIC countries, with seven projects under way with Darwin Initiative funding. A CoI (Leicester) is part of the project with professional expertise in delivering of practical development impact in projects with LMICs. This will model a general approach to the development of a collaborative research effort that can provide an agile response to future threats to global food security and sustainable development.

The project will yield seven high impact, open access publications ranging from bioclimatic modelling, inflorescence development and pollination to gene function of flower, fruit and starch storage development and in stress response. Popular science articles, blogs and external media products on the project will be developed in partnership with the respective press and impact teams. Team members will present the project including via interactive activities at science festivals across the UK. They will include the Kew Science festival. RBG, Kew will play a particular role in engagement with the UK public via its 1.8M visitors per year, tropical greenhouses and learning environment based around tropical plant biology and its role in tackling global challenges.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title An enset seating area in the Family Restaurant at RBG Kew 
Description On Monday 6th December, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew opens a brand-new Family Kitchen & Shop. Situated next to the interactive Children's Garden, this multi-sensory new eatery not only offers families a place to eat and drink, but also to engage with the natural world and learn more about where food comes from, discovering the important role which plants and fungi play in all our lives. With a capacity to host up to 250 diners, the restaurant is a space where the wonder of nature combines with an interactive food laboratory. The restaurant has been shaped around a series of colour-coded zones, with seasonal food stories coming to life in each of the different sections. Mirroring the design of Kew's Children's Garden, interactive areas include the Spring Garden, the Water Garden, the Autumn Garden and the oversized Enset (otherwise known as the 'false banana'- a hugely versatile staple crop which has been cultivated for tens of thousands of years in Ethiopia.) As well as this, a dedicated seating quiet zone in the shape of a giant apple provides the perfect space for neurodiverse visitors to enjoy the Family Kitchen in a calm and relaxed way. Larger-than-life sculptures of plants and fungi populate the space, creating a fun and engaging learning experience for visitors of all ages. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Thousands of people will be exposed to enset research and interpretation each week. 
URL https://www.kew.org/about-us/press-media/family-kitchen-shop
 
Title BBC Earth Game Changers enset feature 
Description Climate change is threatening the production of this vital crop in Ethiopia Game changers is the series shining a light on the innovative and extraordinary work developed and discovered by those in STEM. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers 
URL https://www.facebook.com/bbcearth/videos/7055639977783304/
 
Title Enset installation and interpretation signage in the Temperate House at RBGKew. 
Description https://temperate.house/plant/false-banana/ Feeding 20 million people While it resembles its Asian cousin (the banana) E. ventricosum is not cultivated for its fruits, but rather for its vegetative parts. It's typically grown in smallholdings with other crops providing year-round food and balanced nutrition. Farmers report that 15 plants can feed a family of five for a whole year and it supports among the highest population densities in Africa. Using the whole plant People chop and grate the pulp from the leaf sheaths and pseudostems, using it as a flour for bread, porridge or soup. The underground stem (corm) is boiled and eaten like potatoes. The only parts that aren't eaten are the roots. The leaves can be used for thatch, umbrellas, mats and wrapping materials or as animal fodder. Crop wild relatives Enset is a wild relative of banana. The main crops that feed the world today have been bred to cope with different threats, like disease resistant rice or drought tolerant corn. Crop wild relatives such as enset represent valuable gene pools that may help growers face future threats. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Millions of visitors will learn about enset. 
URL https://temperate.house/plant/false-banana/
 
Title Video to engage public at Kew Science Festival 
Description A short video shown on a loop via a large screen at the Kew Science festival, showing enset in the agrolandscape in Ethiopia, its propagation, starch extraction and fermentation and enset in Kew's collections. This was a key engagement resource given that 99% of the attendees were unaware of enset in profiling the work funded by BBSRC/GCRF. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Success in enagaging with general public at Kew Science Festival (see separate record). 
URL https://youtu.be/PbyyHhy7w24
 
Description Ethiopia has historically been the world's largest recipient of targeted food aid, yet little food-insecurity has been reported for the southern Ethiopian highlands even during the devastating famines of the 1980s. Enset is the dominant staple of the southern highlands, therefore a key aim in our proposal was to understand the vernacular, spatial and genetic diversity of enset landraces in Ethiopia. We have recorded >1500 unique landrace names from farm surveys and the literature.
In this project we have provided the first genome-wide and range-wide assessment of enset diversity. We sequenced 233 unique accessions, encompassing 194 extant indigenous landraces, as well as wild and semi-domesticated individuals across the cultivated distribution. We find that domesticated enset is monophyletic and that numerous landraces probably arose as separate clonal lines. Consistent with farmer perception, we find sexual recombination is rare.
Importantly, we find evidence of reduced heterozygosity, suggesting a domestication bottleneck and emphasising the importance of conserving wild populations. Concerningly, there is also evidence that domesticated linneages are accumulating deleterious mutations, and may have reduced adaptive potential under climate change. We hypothesise our findings support a two-stage domestication scenario, where an outcrossing population first underwent selection, prior to the development of clonal propagation.
These findings are important for the long term sustainability of enset cultivation, and have important implications for maintenance of food security in Ethiopia via discovery and promotion of landraces with resilient and locally adapted
In concurrent research themes, we have completed a large number of enset seed germination trials, and discovered optimum temperatures, and alternating temperature cycles that deliver high germination success. Our research shows a highly variable seed viability rate from enset landraces, highlighting the need for further work to eventually enable sustainable seed banking of enset diversity. We have also demonstrated high concentrations of essential free amino acids in enset tissues, and significant differences in amino acid composition pre- and post-fermentation to form enset-derived food products. Enset is also high in Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc and Magnesium - higher than many locally available cereal and tuber crops. Better understanding of nutritional differences across enset landraces will enable better informed breeding, and ultimately improve the nutrition and livelihoods of enset farmers.
Finally spatial analysis indicates there are several areas suitable for enset where it is not currently cultivated, potentially due to a lack of indigenous knowledge associated with this crop. This suggests there are several opportunities to bring the food security benefits of enset to new communities, and potentially regional ODA countries in the future. This knowledge will enhance the use of enset as a crop in Ethiopia and potentially elsewhere to enhance food and nutritional security, and enable better conservation of its rich diversity.
Exploitation Route Our research programme has made significant amounts of phenotypic, spatial and genetic data available to the enset and agricultural community. We anticipate that this will be of significant use in the selection or breeding of enhanced enset varieties, as well as (for example) identifying climate- or disease tolerant genotypes. Enset has the potential to be cultivated in new areas outside of its current range, particularly in the context of climate change over the next century.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Other

 
Description Clonally propagated crops underpin global food systems and are disproportionately common in tropical agriculture. Clonal propagation allows favourable genotypes to be rapidly multiplied and widely used. However, the ubiquity of specific genotypes may make clonal crops less resilient to pathogens and environmental change. Enset (Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman) is a clonally propagated and indigenous African relative of bananas (Musa), providing a major starch staple for 20 million people in Ethiopia. Enset has traditionally been underexploited and neglected by national and international research, despite being the staple food for up to 20 million people in Ethiopia. Ethiopian partners have highlighted concerns over erosion of genetic diversity and emergence of novel pests and pathogens. This has important implications for its future resilience to climate change and ability to continue providing food security. In this project we have provided the first genome-wide and range-wide assessment of enset diversity. We report a comprehensive assessment of 194 extant indigenous landraces, as well as wild and semi-domesticated individuals across the cultivated distribution. Our research effort, in collaboration with a wide network of local partner universities, institutions and agriculture offices has helped renew interest on enset in Southern Ethiopia, and will provide a critical resource to local research activities. For example, dozens of existing studies are non-comparable because enset landraces cannot be identified on phenotype alone. Our dataset will resolve relationships between farmer-identified named landraces, allowing reinterpretation of an extensive literature integrating modern next-generation genomics. A major outcome, based on our work and the associated renewed interest, is progress towards the establishment of an Enset Center of Excellence in Ethiopia, led by Ethiopian partner organisations. Ethiopia is an African LDC ranked 174/193 on GDP per capita by the UN and 104/119 in the most recent Global Hunger Index, with 28.8% of the population undernourished from 2014-16. The annual costs of malnutrition have been estimated at $4.7 billion, equivalent to 16.5% of GDP, with significant long-term socio-economic consequences. By bringing together disparate and disconnected research efforts on enset, our research has catalysed and accelerated genetic and spatial analyses to enable improved landraces and advice for farmers. By improving the future resilience of enset, through development of climate-smart landraces, we are helping safeguard the food security and livelihoods of up to 20 million Ethiopians who depend on enset as a starch staple. This research has enabled progress towards UN SDG2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture), SDG15 (Use terrestrial ecosystems sustainably/halt biodiversity loss) with SDG17 (Partnerships for the goals) in the context of Ethiopia. It will also contribute to SDG1 (End poverty), SDG3 (Ensure healthy lives) and SDG13 (Combat climate change) there. As a GCRF Foundation Award, we have successfully used this project to secure two subsequent grant awards from GCRF, and a further NERC Responsive mode project that has recently been funded (NE/W005689/1). This has enabled us to build an extensive team and collaborative network in the UK, Ethiopia (and increasingly collaboratively across Europe) to tackle questions around enset, agri-systems and food security in Ethiopia. There has been significant media interest and activity in 2021-22 as detailed under Engagement Activities.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Policy & public services

 
Description Contribution of enset research to design of new MSc course between RBGKew and Royal Holloway on food security.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studying-here/postgraduate/health-studies/msc-food-security-sustaina...
 
Description Contribution to Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Science Strategy 2021-25
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.kew.org/sites/default/files/2021-10/RBG%20Kew%20Science%20Strategy%202021-2025%20%285%29...
 
Description Enset research forms a major component of Kew/Queen Mary joint MSc programmes on food security and agrobiodiversity loss
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL https://www.kew.org/science/training-and-education/msc-courses/msc-biodiversity-and-conservation
 
Description Hawassa declaration for a pathway towards the Enset Center of Excellence
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact A commitment to broad collaboration between partners in Ethiopia is beginning to change overall attitude towards Enset, which has become a marginalised crop.
 
Description BB/S014896/1 GCRF Agri-systems research to enhance livelihoods in developing countries
Amount £1,215,867 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 04/2021
 
Description Bentham-Moxon Trust grant
Amount £1,536 (GBP)
Organisation Bentham-Moxon Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2020 
End 03/2020
 
Description Enhancing enset agriculture with mobile agri-data, knowledge interchange and climate adapted genotypes to support the Enset Center of Excellence
Amount £59,678 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S018980/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2019 
End 02/2020
 
Description Evolutionary dynamics of vegetative agriculture in the Ethiopian Highlands: integrating archaeobotanical and genomic science
Amount £804,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/W005689/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2022 
End 05/2025
 
Title Enset cultivation in Sub-Saharan Africa - current range and expansion potential 
Description This data set contains spacial data on the modelled suitability of domesticated and wild enset in south eastern Africa under current and future climates, as well as a priority map for the introduction of enset cultivation based on socio-economic indicators. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://figshare.com/articles/dataset/Enset_cultivation_in_Sub-Saharan_Africa_-_current_range_and_ex...
 
Title Enset cultivation in Sub-Saharan Africa - current range and expansion potential 
Description This data set contains spacial data on the modelled suitability of domesticated and wild enset in south eastern Africa under current and future climates, as well as a priority map for the introduction of enset cultivation based on socio-economic indicators. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://figshare.com/articles/dataset/Enset_cultivation_in_Sub-Saharan_Africa_-_current_range_and_ex...
 
Title Enset cultivation in Sub-Saharan Africa - current range and expansion potential 
Description This data set contains spacial data on the modelled suitability of domesticated and wild enset in south eastern Africa under current and future climates, as well as a priority map for the introduction of enset cultivation based on socio-economic indicators. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://figshare.com/articles/dataset/Enset_cultivation_in_Sub-Saharan_Africa_-_current_range_and_ex...
 
Title Enset genotype-environment model 
Description This model enables us to predict the optimum enset landrace for a given environment to support farmer decision making 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This model will contribute to our Enset App after robust testing 
URL https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ensetemap&hl=en
 
Title Tandem and simple sequence repeats database 
Description Database of enset simple sequence repeat targets, generated in silico. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We anticipate downstream impacts 
URL http://www.enset-project.org/EnTrs@base.html
 
Title Transcription factor database 
Description Database of putative enset transcription factors mined in silico from published genomes. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We anticipate downstream impacts 
URL http://www.enset-project.org/EnTrf@base.html
 
Description Collaboration with Archeology department at University College London 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We collaborated to write a NERC research proposal that was successful
Collaborator Contribution We collaborated to write a NERC research proposal that was successful
Impact None yet.
Start Year 2022
 
Description Developing collaboration with Tulane University 
Organisation Tulane University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are collaborating with researchers at Tulane University, particulary through our expertise on south western Ethiopian agriculture, to understand the economic basis and drivers of food security and vulnerability.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners have led a research theme seeking to maximise use of a Gates Foundation agrobiodiversity survey dataset.
Impact Manuscript articles are in development
Start Year 2019
 
Description Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Collaboration with the Southern Agricultural Research Institute 
Organisation Southern Agricultural Research Institute (SARI)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Our research team has contributed reagents and advice to support a tissue culture programme for enset.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners have led development of tissue culture protocols for enset.
Impact https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcy214
Start Year 2018
 
Description Royal Botanic Gardens Kew collaboration with Hawassa University 
Organisation Hawassa University
Country Ethiopia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hawassa University has provided extensive local support in Sidama zone, Ethiopia, including translators, organising vehicles and field assistants.
Collaborator Contribution Kew has provided training through long-term collaborative fieldwork, collaborative paper writing and a public lecture to Hawassa University stuff. A Kew PDRA has also assisted with the co-supervision of two Hawassa MSc students, conduing research on Enset
Impact https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcy214
Start Year 2017
 
Description Royal Botanic Gardens Kew collaboration with Wolkite University 
Organisation Wolkite University
Country Ethiopia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Kew has provided training through long-term collaborative fieldwork, collaborative paper writing and a public lecture to Wolkite University stuff.
Collaborator Contribution Wolkite University has provided extensive local support in Gurage zone, Ethiopia, including translators, organising vehicles and field assistants. Wolkite University also gave access to Yerefezy enset research station and their germplasm collection located there.
Impact https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcy214
Start Year 2017
 
Description Royal Botanic Gardens Kew partnership with Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia 
Organisation Addis Ababa University
Country Ethiopia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution As part of our collaboration we have contributed equipment (laptops, GPS units, measuring tools) and working together on fieldwork to provide training. We have provided access to Kew laboratory facilities to PhD student Solomon Tamrat.
Collaborator Contribution As part of our collaboration, Professor Sebsebe Demissew (ForMemRS) has visited Kew on three occasions to discuss progress on our research, to provide input on our analysis and help develop publications and follow on grant applications. Addis Ababa University have also contributed the research time of two MSc students and one PhD student to collaborate on the project. Addis Ababa University is also our key Ethiopian partner organisation. In this role, they have overseen our network of collaborating organisations including Wolkite University, Hawassa University, the Southern Agricultural Research Institute and the Ethiopian Biodiversity Insititute.
Impact https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcy214
Start Year 2017
 
Description Royal Botanic Gardens Kew partnership with the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute 
Organisation Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute
Country Ethiopia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Kew has contributed research on enset seed and germination biology to our joint collaboration
Collaborator Contribution The Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute has supported Kew in all aspects of material transfer and export of enset tissue for DNA analysis.
Impact https://academic.oup.com/aob/advance-article/doi/10.1093/aob/mcy214/5303834
Start Year 2017
 
Description University of Greenwich and Bioversity International PhD studentship 
Organisation Bioversity International
Country Italy 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Supervision of PhD studentship
Collaborator Contribution Supervision of PhD studentship
Impact PhD studentship
Start Year 2020
 
Description University of Greenwich and Bioversity International PhD studentship 
Organisation University of Greenwich
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Supervision of PhD studentship
Collaborator Contribution Supervision of PhD studentship
Impact PhD studentship
Start Year 2020
 
Title Enset App (Android) 
Description The Enset App is a free Android application aimed at Agricultural extension agents in Ethiopia. It has three main functions: 1. It provides disease diagnostic digrams and photographs on a field portable device. 2. It provides information on management best practice. 3. It uses genomic analysis performed by the project to identify landraces optimally suited to local climates. Thereby support the climate adaptation of farmers. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2020 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact This application was presented at a project workshop for enset researchers in Ethiopia and received broad positive feedback. 
URL https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ensetemap&hl=en
 
Description 2017 RBG, Kew Science Festivals 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The GCRF Enset project and BBSRC funding of it was profiled to the general public at the two RBG, Kew Science festivals. Approximately 1200 people at Kew's main site (August 4 - 6) and 550 at Kew's Wakehurst Place site (July 22 and 23) interacted with project team members, viewed a video about enset and living plants, handled RNG, Kew enset collections and took away a trifold leaflet. There was also a bat pollination game for children and a species distribution modelling-based activity (At Wakehurst). On one of the five days cooked enset bread and porridge were also available to sample.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.kew.org/blogs/kew-science/enset-bananas-on-steroids
 
Description BBC Gardners Question time interview on enset 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview in the temperate house and featuring kew collections of enset, discussing it's importance as a food security crop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description BBC News interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact James Borrell provided a BBC news interview on Kew's work on drought tolerant species such as enset
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description BBC World Service interview on enset 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact BBC World Service interview on enset research, to package into a 17 minute programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description BBC World Service interview on enset research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact James Borrell provided an interview for BBC World Service on Kew's work on enset
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Bioversity lecture on enset 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact James Borrell provided a lecture on our enset and agri-systems associated research to the Musa Genetic Resources team at Bioversity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Enset Research at Kew Science Festival 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interactive sessions with child-friendly components (competitive harvesting starch from enset plant) in science cafe format.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Enset article about our new Koch et al 2021 paper 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Enset (Ensete ventricosum) is a wild African banana relative, domesticated in the Ethiopian Highlands.

Whilst wild enset is bitter and unpalatable, the domesticated form provides the staple food for 20 million people, around a fifth of the entire Ethiopian population.

But new research suggests that this crop could feed many more people across Ethiopia, and perhaps the African continent.
Crops and climate change

Feeding a growing population at a higher standard of living, whilst weathering the impacts of climate change will test the capacity and resilience of our food systems.

Although the scale of this challenge is unprecedented, human ingenuity is not.

Throughout our recent history, as humans spread around the world, we co-opted plants for our own purposes.

We domesticated and selected them, sometimes turning unpalatable or poisonous species into staples upon which we now depend.

Enset is an unusual case. For most crops, their success has led to them becoming globe trotters.

Through trade, migration and colonization, many species have expanded far beyond their origins.

For example, potatoes and tomatoes, which originated in South America, are found all around the world.

It is curious then, that enset, despite a wild distribution across Africa, has only ever been used as a crop in Ethiopia, and strangely has never been adopted elsewhere.

In our recent paper, the reasons behind this anomaly are something we sought to test and understand.

Why? Because enset is a truly remarkable plant.
A group of tall green enset plants growing next to a small area of maize
Enset (Ensete ventricosum) growing next to maize © James Borrell/RBG Kew.
Bananas on steroids

Reaching ten meters tall, as few as 15 plants can feed a person for a year.

It has flexible harvest times, stores well, and is relatively drought and disease tolerant.

This combination of attributes has earned it the name, 'the tree against hunger' amongst the communities who grow it.

So why then is enset only grown in such a small region?

We think it is a combination of history, culture and geography.

The southern Ethiopian highlands are like an island. Ethiopia is also known as the roof of Africa, isolated by dry lowlands unsuitable for enset to grow.

This natural barrier likely hindered the spread of enset-based agriculture.

Moreover, a vast treasure of local knowledge has formed around the procedures for enset cultivation and preparation over centuries, now deeply engrained in the local cultural identity.

This extensive knowledge required for enset cultivation probably formed a second barrier for the expansion of enset cultivation.
Two yellow bananas laid next to three enset fruits on the grass. The enset fruits are small, stubby and orange
Bananas and enset © James Borrell/RBG Kew.
'Wondercrop'

Could enset help support the food security of more people, particularly under climate change?

We found that yes, enset has potential to be grown over a much larger area, expanding perhaps even 12-fold.

Foremost in Ethiopia, but also elsewhere in places like Kenya and Uganda.

In those regions enset could make a valuable contribution to food security with persisting suitability even under high emission climate change scenarios.

Another key finding was the importance of conserving wild enset.

The species occurs in steep river valleys across Eastern and Southern Africa.

We find that wild enset tolerates slightly different conditions, and so contains diversity that could be useful in the future for plant breeding.

It really is an exemplar of the synergies between agriculture and conservation.

Helping farmers and societies adapt to climate change will be one of the major challenges of the 21st century - our crops and where we grow them will change, whether we like it or not.

Diversifying farming systems with orphan crops is an major pathway on that road, and one where Kew and it's partners are playing a major role.

With its outstanding food security traits and high expansion potential, enset could become an integral part of that story.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.kew.org/read-and-watch/enset-false-banana
 
Description Enset food security interview with Science News 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Enset food security interview with Science News
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Enset project banner, discussion and outreach at monthly University of Leicester Open Days 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Discussion and outreach at monthly University of Leicester Open Days, targeting prospective students and the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL http://www.enset-project.org/index.html
 
Description Enset public-facing website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Our Ensete Knowledge Base is a repository of information, sharing knowledge on Ensete (Ethiopian banana, sometimes called false banana). This online resource is built to share knowledge including history, domestication, diversity, cultural practices, cultivation techniques, recent research progress, genomics resources, genetic resources, and molecular information about this plant species.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL http://www.enset-project.org/
 
Description Ethiopian TV interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Ethiopian TV news stations interviews with Dr James Borrell and Dr Paul Wilkin on enset, IFLIP and agri-systems research and collaborations between UK partners and Ethiopian partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Food 4 Ever engagement event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A large group of chefs visited Royl Botanic Gardens Kew to learn about underutilised crops including enset
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Food Forever engagement event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Dr Oliver White and Dr Paul Wilkin participated in an interactive Food Forever event exploring underutilised species including enset.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Guest lecture Queen Mary University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Guest lecture to an undergraduate conservation course at Queen Mary University of London
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Guest lecture to University of Kent 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Guest lecture to the MSc course at the University of Kent.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Hawassa enset meeting for the development of an Enset Center of Excellence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In September 2018, initially led by Mark Goodwin (University of Leicester), and subsequently by Kew team members, we held a workshop bringing together enset research and policy makers from across Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) universities and SNNPR government. We updated all parties on progress towards the sustainable development of Enset in Ethiopia, and facilitated discussion towards the establishment of an Enset Center of Excellence. Key policy makers from the SNNPR Agricultural Bureau were in attendance and very engaged with our work, expressing strong support and a commitment to continue working together towards policy driven by our science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.enset-project.org/
 
Description Hawassa lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Presentation of the project objectives and findings to date by Dr. James Borrell at WHawassa University entitled "Modelling and genomics resources to enhance Enset in Ethiopia".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.enset-project.org/
 
Description ITV filming of enset and Kew's herbarium specimens 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Alan Titchmarch and ITV interviewed James Borrell about Enset and Kew's associated work for the broadcast programme '50 Shades of Green'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.itv.com/presscentre/ep1week45/fifty-shades-green-alan-titchmarsh
 
Description International student visit and talk on enset 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact 15 international students visited Kew and learned about enset research in the Temperate House.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Interview with Thompson Reuters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact James Borrell provided and interview to Thompson Reuters on our enset research at Kew.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited lecture to University College London on my agrobiodiversity loss and enset related research programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited lecture to University College London on my agrobiodiversity loss and enset related research programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Invited talk to Cambridge Global Food Security group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Delivered an invited talk on enset and ethiopian agrobiodiversity research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.globalfood.cam.ac.uk/events
 
Description Kew Science Blog - Ethiopia's Tree Against Hunger 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Kew Science blog to introduce enset to a wider audience. Publication timed to coincide with a paper publication in Annals of Botany.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.kew.org/blogs/kew-science/ethiopia-tree-against-hunger
 
Description Kew in Bloom enset feature 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In a year like no other, Channel 5 was granted unprecedented access to Kew and Wakehurst to capture the fascinating life in our gardens throughout 2020.

The new four-part documentary series, Kew Gardens: A Year in Bloom, takes you behind the scenes of our world-leading horticulture and science, and includes never-before-seen footage.

Spanning a year, from winter to autumn, the four hour-long episodes each focus on a season at Kew and our wild botanic garden in Sussex.

You'll get a glimpse of the important work our passionate staff do for our incredible living collections and their scientific research that has a global impact, such as our study into enset, the plant nicknamed the 'tree against hunger'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.kew.org/read-and-watch/channel-5-documentary-kew-gardens-a-year-in-bloom
 
Description Kew/Wakehurst Science Festival 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of the Kew/Wakehurst Science Festival, we held an open-air event to talk about the remarkable food-security properties of enset in Ethiopia. This was followed by a demonstration of how to harvest and prepare an enset plant. Children in attendance were able to participate and try scraping pulp from an enset pseudostem.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.enset-project.org/
 
Description Lecture for Portsmouth University students 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture for Portsmouth University students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Lecture on enset and Ethiopian crop agrobiodiversity to the Royal Geographical Society, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I gave a guest lecture to members of the Royal Geographical Society on the topic of enset, agrobiodiversity, food security and field research in Ethiopia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Lecture to Cambridge Conservation Initiative about enset and agrobiodiversity conservation research at Kew. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact An invited lecture to Cambridge Conservation Initiative about my NERC funded research programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.cambridgeconservationforum.org.uk/event/cci-conservation-seminar-unifying-the-conservati...
 
Description Lecture to Convulvulaceae network on enset research and agrobiodiversity conservation in Ethiopia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lecture to Convulvulaceae network on enset research and agrobiodiversity conservation in Ethiopia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Lecture to Kent University students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture to Kent University students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Lecture to Kew's volunteers team 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Lecture to Kew's volunteers team on enset and agri-systems research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Lecture to Maastrict postgrad students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture to Maastrict postgrad students on enset and agri-systems research at Kew
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Massive international media coverage associated with our Koch et al publication across 20+ news outlets and multiple virtual and in person interviews. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Science - (Enset)
There was broad media coverage linked to a new paper about the potential of Ensete ventricosum as a solution to food shortages - from James Borrell and partners in Addis Ababa.
BBC Radio 4 (21/01/22) Today Programme: Interview with James Borrell live - listen from 1 hour 23 mins 20 secs via this link here.

BBC 2 (21/01/22) BBC News, Live interview with James Borrell speaking about how the plant can be used

BBC World Service Radio (21/01/22) NewsDay Programme - James Borrell interviewed live, listen here from 36:09-39:40

BBC Radio Scotland (21/01/22) Lunchtime Live: Pre-recorded interview with James Borrell played here: Listen from 48 mins 59 secs, interview with James at 49 mins 29 secs. Also played on:

BBC Radio Shetland

BBC Radio Orkney

BBC Radio Highlands & Islands

BBC Radio Berkshire (21/01/22) Afternoon show - Listen from 2 hours 39 mins 05 secs via this link here. James Borrell interviewed live at 2 hours 39 mins 38 secs

BBC Radio London (21/01/22) James Borrell interviewed by Vanessa Feltz - listen from 1 hour 35 mins Vanessa Feltz - 21/01/2022 - BBC Sounds James interviewed at 1 hour 35 mins 32 secs

BBC World News (21/01/22) Live interview with James Borrell

Al Jazeera UK (23/01/22) Newshour, Interview with James Borrell live from Madagascar. Plus reported on their news website.

bbc.co.uk (Online, 21/01/22) False banana: Is Ethiopia's enset 'wondercrop' for climate change? Enset story & images

telegraph.co.uk (Print & Online, 21/01/22) 'False banana' could solve food shortages caused by climate change Kew's research

Also on the following radio news reports including a report by Helen Briggs, BBC Science journalist and clips of the BBC interview with James Borrell:

BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 3, BBC World Service Radio, BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Cumbria, BBC Radio Tees,

independent.co.uk (Online, 21/01/22) Could Ethiopia's 'false banana' be a wonder crop in face of the climate crisis?

thetimes.co.uk (Print & Online, 21/01/22) 'Banana on steroids' could be new superfood thetimes.co.uk

The i (Print, 22/01/22) 'False banana' plant could feed millions globally

Irish Independent (Print, 22/01/22) 'False banana' could be true saviour to remedy world food shortages
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-60074407
 
Description Media interview with associated press on enset 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact James Borrell provided a media interview for Associated Press on enset research and food security
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation at Anthropology and Conservation conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at Anthropology and Conservation conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://therai.org.uk/conferences/anthropology-and-conservation
 
Description Presentation at Crop Science Center workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at Crop Science Center workshop
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Presentation at Welkite University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Presentation of the project objectives and approached by Dr. James Borrell at Welkite Campus, Welkite University entitled "Modelling and genomics resources to enhance Enset in Ethiopia"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation for State of the World's Plants and Fungi 2020, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a lecture on enset and Ethiopian agrobiodiversity in Session 3 of State of the World's Plants and Fungi, the programme had up to 3000 delegates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.kew.org/read-and-watch/state-of-the-world-plants-fungi-2020
 
Description Presentation on enset research to DEFRA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact James Borrell provided a lecture and discussion on enset research to a team from DEFRA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project websites 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Website-based activities profiling the project and its researchers, engaging collaborators and starting to build platform for data dissemination to stakeholders. A preliminary static website to disseminate information about the project (see URL below) will be augmented by the first version of the interactive project website in late March 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.kew.org/science/projects/modelling-and-genomics-resources-to-enhance-exploitation-of-the...
 
Description Royal Society 'Meet the Scientists' event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact James Borrell attended the Royal Society - Meet the scientists - event at the science museum to talk to media and other scientists about our enset research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description TV documentary filming on enset in Kew's temperate house 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TV interview with documentary film makers in Kew's temperate house. We discussed enset research, Ethiopia, food security and orphan crop research. We used Kew's living collection of enset as a wonderful prop for the piece, and also brought in seed collections and enset food products to discuss.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Tropicon twitter conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The British Ecological Society Conservation Ecology and Tropical Ecology Special Interest Groups are coming together to bring you an exciting virtual conference, surrounding the theme of "advances in technology and innovative methods". Join us on Twitter on the 5th and 6th of November for a plenary from Prof. Jennifer Powers, individual presentations, lightning Tweets and discussions surrounding the theme advances in technology and innovative methods. We even have a live Zoom Closing Ceremony! You do not have to be a member to get involved! If you are interested in the fields of tropical ecology and/or conservation ecology, please join us.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://besconservationsig.wordpress.com/2020/11/02/join-us-at-tropicon20/
 
Description Workshops with project stakeholders and Ethiopian partners 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshops in July and October 2017 were used to start the process of engagement with Environment, Agriculture and Science and Technology Ministries to generate a national policy on enset promoting its use as a diverse, resilience, low-input food source. They also engaged Ethiopian partners, in particular Hawassa University (HU), Welkite University (WKU), The Southern Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) and Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI) in addition to Addis Ababa University AAU), the lead national partner in order to deliver project outcomes and deliver capacity building. MoUs between AAU and EBI, HU and WKU are now in place to drive those collaborations at that with SARI will be signed shortly.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018