Landscape scale genomic-environment diversity data to model existing and novel agri-systems under climate change to enhance food security in Ethiopia

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Department Name: Biodiversity Informatics

Abstract

Context: 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. Today, the agri-systems of the southern Ethiopian highlands successfully support one of the highest rural population densities in Africa (up to 1000persons/sqkm). Here, we investigate the landscape scale dynamics, interactions and resilience of these agri-systems, using interdisciplinary environmental modelling, crop genomics and natural capital approaches to understand how best to manage their response to climate change whilst continuing to provide food security for a growing Ethiopian population - predicted to reach 172 million by 2050.
Ethiopia is an important center of diversity for food crops, with an agricultural history defined by the domestication of numerous species including coffee, tef and enset. Southern Ethiopian agri-systems include more than 78 cultivated species encompassing roots, tubers, cereals, vegetables, fruits and pulses, including a very high proportion of indigenous crops. Typical farms average 19 different crop and livestock species underpinned by over 120 species of useful trees and shrubs co-occuring across the homegarden landscape. Research on individual crop species also indicates extremely high diversity, for example we have recorded >600 enset varieties, including up to 24 on a single farm, and 37 varieties of yam. This diversity aggregated at multiple scales may be the key to the past resilience of the southern Ethiopian highlands in times of famine, and the source of future resilience to climate change.

Aims: Building on previous research, we hypothesize that the biotic drivers of high agri-system productivity and resilience are: (1) cultivation of a high crop diversity within farms, (2) cultivation of high genetic diversity within crop species and (3) cultivation practices that commonly involve diverse mixes of annual and perennial, indigenous and alien, semi-domesticated and domesticated crops. This rich diversity at multiple scales can in principle support food security and sustainable intensification whilst buffering seasonal food deficits, emerging pests and diseases and facilitating agronomic adaptation; despite an average farm size of only 0.9 hectares and very few off-farm inputs such as irrigation systems and fertilizers.
In contrast to this indigenous diversity, farmers also grow highly domesticated introduced crops such as maize, avocado and banana, providing an ideal opportunity to evaluate these hypotheses. These crops are high yielding but likely to contain less genetic diversity. This may limit their capacity for adaptation to new or altered environments and their resilience to climate change. The prevalence of these introduced crops is increasing, together with a reported loss of indigenous crop diversity and a shift away from agro-forestry. The impacts of these trends as well as the projected impact of climate change on the resilience of Ethiopian agri-systems is unknown.

Applications and benefits: Our research will generate landscape scale environmental suitability, genomic and natural capital data to underpin a decision making tool for sustainable agri-system development and climate adaptation in the region. By enhance future resource provision and resilience, we will generate clear economic and social impact on the livelihoods they support. The novel methods employed here will be of both broader academic interest in the fields of agronomy, crop breeding and conservation and provide immediate knowledge-transfer and resources to enhance Ethiopia's research capability. Most importantly, capitalizing on our strong existing UK-Ethiopian partnerships and links to regional government we will seek development and implementation of science-based regional agri-systems strategy to bring immediate impact within the life of the project.

Technical Summary

The performance of agri-systems (i.e. yield and other ecosystem services) depends on multiple drivers across multiple scales, including; the genomic composition of the crops (i.e. genetic variation, local adaptation), the environment (i.e. soils, temperature, rainfall, annual variability) and management practices (i.e. the composition of species grown, interactions).

Field observation together with landscape scale environmental data will be analysed using a rigorously ground-truthed ensemble environmental niche modelling framework, supported by a network of climate stations. Multiple species-models will be combined to understand agri-system distributions.

High-density genome-wide markers will be developed using tuneable Genotyping by Sequencing approach (tGBS) across ten key study species (2500 samples). In addition to phylogenetic analyses among crop cultivars and metrics of neutral and adaptive variation these data also provide the basis for genome-environment association (GEA) analysis. The principal of GEA methods is to identify genetic differentiation resulting from biotic or abiotic selection, on the basis that similar selective pressures should result in similar genomic patterns of allele frequencies across populations or landraces. By correlating allele frequencies with environmental variables, GEA seeks replicated signatures of selection across independent populations to identify adaptive loci. We have recently developed a way to extend this approach by combining GEA with climate projections to measure the current- or future- risk of non-adaptedness in plants.

Agro-ecological and natural capital data will be underpinned by landscape-wide soil sampling (500 samples), quantification of inputs (i.e. fertiliser), total carbon stocks, and yield. Potential net primary productivity will be assessed through measures of LAI (vertically through the vegetation profile) and NDVI (drone based) combined with sentinal2 imagery.

Planned Impact

Who might benefit from this research?
Ethiopia has historically been the world's largest recipient of targeted food aid and is 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, resulting in significant long-term socio-economic consequences.
Ethiopia currently has the second highest population in Africa (>108 million) where agriculture accounts for 80% of exports and 75% of Ethiopians are smallholder farmers. Thus food security is a priority for the Ethiopian government, particularly with the population predicted to reach 172 million by 2050 and increasing climatic uncertainty due to climate change.

Our research will fill a critical knowledge gap delivering key insights on the drivers of sustainability and resilience of current and future Ethiopian agri-systems under climate change. The project outcomes outlined here will be critical to develop strategies to safeguard food and nutrient security, maintain sustainable livelihoods and enable climate-smart adaptation for the agricultural economy with impact specifically targeted to benefit the millions of farmers across the region who depend on the resource provisioning of their indigenous agri-systems.

More broadly, sustainable intensification and resilience to climate change are global agricultural challenges faced by millions of small holder farmers and the value chains that depend on them. Our findings are anticipated to have high applicability to other diverse farming systems as well as providing insights to sustainable agricultural intensification. Our series of workshops will not only seek to engage regional stakeholders, but also invite participation by researchers and policymakers from other African LDCs and LMICs with similar high-diversity agri-systems.

How might they benefit from this research?
Our principal goal is to synthesise our research outcomes into a i) a format that can inform and influence agri-system policy in the Ethiopian highlands, ii) a toolkit for improving agri-system resilience and food security, particularly under climate change and iii) a resource that provides the basis for accelerated and enhanced agricultural research by stakeholders in the region. This includes much needed phylogenetic classification of diverse indigenous crop landraces.

To achieve these outcomes, development of a decision making toolkit will be based on our combined modelling (of current and novel agrisystems), ecosystem provisioning (i.e. yield) and genomic data (i.e. diversity, local adaptation) to map the performance of different agri-systems (combination of crops) at the landscape scale under both current and future climate conditions. Through stakeholder workshops and agri-system information pamphlets targeted across districts, farmers will benefit from agro-ecological advice on how to optimise existing agri-systems in their local area and pathways to future climate adaptation (i.e. climate-appropriate crops, climate-optimised varieties). Supporting and as an early-project pilot strategy, will be nurseries geared towards dissemination of climate-optimised enset cultivars based on the outcomes of our existing enset GCRF research programme.

In the longer term our evaluation of diversity across important indigenous crops will enable us to better safeguard that diversity through existing germplasm collections and seedbanks together with in-country partners. Finally, the training and knowledge-exchange within the network developed over the course of the project will build skills and capacity in Ethiopia to sustainably enhance and monitor it's indigenous agri-systems.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Despite COVID in Ethiopia and the UK, we completed collection, processing, DNA extraction and sequencing of 4000 accessions encompassing 10 species across eight transects in Ethiopia. This included completing a large sequencing tender process. We collected extensive phenotypic trait and fitness data associated with the accessions, and collated relevant environmental variables for modelling. Concurrently, extensive soil samples (~1500, >1 ton) were collected and remote-sensing imagery acquired for the same locations. The main impact of the pandemic (and instability in Ethiopia) was on later project in-country workshops and analysis of the above data streams. We were pleased with the quality and quantity of data once it was in hand. Initial analyses indicated that cultural diversity and environmental variables interact to generate agrobiodiversity patterns that are remarkably concordant with linguistic diversity patterns. We have found contrasting signals of exchange between land races for different crops, indicating potential local adaptation. The first paper developed through project-derived data will be submitted imminently and a second, on soils, in the near future.
The project has brought together partners within and beyond the project who continue to work together, including via a PhD at the University of Greenwich (female candidate), and nine completed and examined MSc projects at project partner Hawassa University in Ethiopia (6 male, 3 female) and 3 in the UK (1 male 2 female). The UK-based MSc students were from the global north.
Exploitation Route Findings are of significant interest to the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute who urgently need a clearer understanding of the distribution of species and genetic agrobiodiversity. This will enable them to fulfil their national responsibility to sustainably manage and develop Ethiopia's bioresources. The project has been invited to input into the new Ethiopian Agricultural Development Policy.
Additional outcomes of this funding will be used by government, NGOs and other players in Ethiopia to adapt crop and crop variety selection to delivery of current and future climate- and environmental conditions-appropriate agricultural systems, enhancing yield and resilience to deliver food and nutrient security. It will develop recommendations to be integrated into regional agriculture strategy both from a top-down and bottom-up evidence-based approach in a region that is home to at least 20 million people.
As reported under Further Funding, experiences from this project have already contributed to securing GCRF Challenge Cluster funding, and developing a Darwin Initiative proposal aiming to effectively manage Ethiopia's bioresources through novel, equitable protected areas. This approach has significant relevance internationally, particularly in other agrobiodiversity hotspots such as Colombia. Subsequently, funding for a project in Ethiopia testing a novel approach to agrobiodiversity conservation has been secured from a philanthropic source,
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Other

 
Description We have been asked to present our findings at an Ethiopian Government-led workshop organised by the Ethiopian Biodversity Institute. There is interest in applying our data and findings to the new Agricultural Development Policy in Ethiopia. The challenges engendered by drought and conflict in Ethiopia continue to underline to all stakeholders the importance of work to better characterise and utilise the resilient agrisystem based on Enset and its associated crops, hence governmental interest. Given the COVID and instability-related project delays reported under COVID Impact and Key Findings we expect economic, policy (especially agricultural) and environmental sustainability impacts to be derived in subsequent annual reporting periods
First Year Of Impact 2022
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Government, Democracy and Justice
 
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 Defra grant oak condition survey sequencing
Amount £126,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Future Proofing Plant Health TH1_21 
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 03/2021
 
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
 
Description Goodman foundation
Amount $180,000 (USD)
Organisation Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2022 
End 04/2025
 
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
 
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 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 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 21/9/20 Knowable Magazine. The accidental tree killers. 
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 I was interviewed for this article by Stephanie Pain.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.knowablemagazine.org/article/living-world/2020/accidental-tree-killers
 
Description 27/9/20 The Atlantic The plant pandemics just keep on coming - how the world's trees got so sick 
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 I was interviewed for this article by Stephanie Pain.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/09/worlds-trees-got-so-sick/616506/
 
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 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 BBSRC Plant Health Working Group - Richard Buggs 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Richard Buggs was on BBSRC Plant Health Working Group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
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 Defra TAW-SAG 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Richard Buggs sitting on Defra Trees and Woodlands Scientific Advisory Group
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/trees-and-woodlands-scientific-advisory-group
 
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 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 Genome Animal Plant invited talk at a conference in USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Delivered an invited talk on genomic research associated with the agrisystems project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://dovetailgenomics.com/gap2022/
 
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 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 Interview with BBC journalist to explore filming potential 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 National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Discussions over filming in Ethiopia on our research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 The third pathway meeting towards the Enset Center of Excellence 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We organised a two day workshop and meeting in Wolkite Ethiopia, attended by 101 registered delegates. These included representitives from all project partners, other Universities across Ethiopia, Agricultural organisations, policy makers, the media, and the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences.

The following declaration was agreed:


WOLKITE DECLARATION
In the two days conference hosted by Wolkite University in collaboration with Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, Addis Ababa University, Hawassa University, Leicester University, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a number of institutions have participated (list attached herewith).
During the conference presentations and discussions that followed, it was realized that the various aspects of enset crop encompasses various disciplines including agriculture, anthropology, biology, biotechnology, engineering, social sciences, etc.
Cognizant of the fact that the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences
• has six working Groups (Agriculture, Engineering, Health, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities and Fine Arts)
• is mandated to help develop capacity building, promote technology transfer, and provide scientific based advice and contribute to policy making at national level; and
• has extensive networking and collaboration with international and regional activities with national academies worldwide
The participants of the conference collectively agreed to request the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Council Secretariat to create a platform for all stakeholders present in this conference and other potential stakeholders o chart the way forward around enset crop and to provide priorities in the following subthemes (and other critical subthemes not considered here, if any)
o food security and other ecosystem services
o economic innovation and value chain
o resilience to climate change, stress, pests and pathogens
o nutrition and health
o management
o expansion of enset cultivation
o processing
• to present the activities the institutions are involved with the enset crop

To realise the points mentioned above it is agreed that:
• The EAS Secretariat will collaborate with RBG Kew and partners involved with Agri-systems and the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Council Secretariat to fund the creation of a platform
• All interested national and international stakeholders (currently participating and others that will be identified) to cover their own expenses to participating in the meeting
Wolkite - Agena, Dessalegne Hotel
11 February 2020
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.wku.edu.et/index.php/en/2013-11-08-03-53-43/366-wolkite-university-is-preparing-to-hold-...