University of Exeter GCRF Global Research Translation Award: Sustainable Solutions to Food Security Challenges

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Biosciences

Abstract

Exeter's GRTA will co-design sustainable GCRF Food Security solutions that turn DAC country Food Security challenges into social and economic development opportunities. Since the launch of the GCRF, Exeter has established an interdisciplinary GCRF Food Security Portfolio that directly addresses ecosystem modification, nutrition, climate change, and destructive economies. Via strategic and equitable partnerships, we aim to deliver sustainable, challenge-led impact.

Exeter's GRTA is structured to deliver scalable solutions rapidly within the first six months, and across the lifetime of the award. Via competitive selection, we have pre-identified a portfolio of projects to be delivered through larger scale Strategic Priority and early stage Flexible Scaling Awards. Learning gained via delivery of these awards will shape a GRTA innovation and commercialisation model to be replicated across other thematic strands of Exeter's ODA portfolio. Strategic Priority Projects include:

1) Diversifying tree based grazing systems to create smallholder price premium opportunities for milk production in the Amazonian Arc of Deforestation. PI: Prof Toby Pennington.

Soils in the Amazon and many other parts of Latin America are often nutrient-poor and unsuited to long-term agricultural use. Land converted to agriculture from natural vegetation tends to remain productive for only a few years, necessitating continual advance of the agricultural frontier; leading to deforestation, and food insecurity and poverty. Agroforestry (AFS) and silvopastoral (SPS) systems incorporate trees into crop and livestock systems and can dramatically impact on the maintenance and restoration of long-term productivity in degraded and abandoned agricultural landscapes. They are well suited to use by poor rural smallholders and provide major benefits to livelihoods and food security, as well as to local economies.

Inga is a diverse genus of legume trees, found across tropical Latin America. These fast-growing trees capture atmospheric nitrogen and fertilise the soil around them. They can be grown in poor, degraded soils, out-competing weeds and invasive species. They are especially promising in Amazonian Brazil, where their use in SPS systems offers smallholders a price premium of up to 250% on milk.

Our project will solve the issue of availability of Inga seed, which cannot be stored, by planting community seed orchards as a basis for scaling up AFS and SPS systems across Mato Grosso State, Brazil. In addition it will develop 20 family-farm, Inga-based SPS systems as demonstration projects to provide the foundation to scale this approach regionally.

2) Removal and industrial conversion of Mexico's problematic seaweed bloom biomass into high quality, low cost sustainable agricultural fertiliser products. PI: Dr Mike Allen.

Mexico's Caribbean coast is under constant bombardment by invasive seaweed. Last year, millions of tonnes hit the Mexican Caribbean coastline. Currently, a record-breaking 550km long mass of rotting Sargassum biomass heads the same way. The impacts of this crisis are complex; seaweed damages and degrades coral reef and marine ecosystems. The impact on tourism ($23B annual market and responsible for 8.7% of Mexican GDP) is conservatively estimated to be a 30% decrease in affected regions. This is becoming the new normal.

This project aims to develop a novel hydrothermal processing technique that can utilise and convert this bountiful resource into a next generation agricultural fertiliser product. We aim to market test at least one fertiliser product within 18 months, delivered via a joint venture with Mexican partners with global reach. We anticipate fertiliser products will be highly competitive and deliver high quality crops. This therefore presents promising potential to strengthen Mexican and Latin American food security through reduced costs and higher incomes for farmers, and more nutritious food for consumers.

Planned Impact

University of Exeter's GRTA primary aim is to maximise opportunities for its GCRF Food Security Portfolio to co-develop and deliver sustainable social and economic development solutions at scale across DAC country terrestrial and marine environments. Exeter's GRTA impact will be delivered primarily via the following pre-identified, co-designed Strategic Priority Awards:

1) Diversifying tree based grazing systems to create smallholder price premium opportunities for milk production in the Amazonian Arc of Deforestation:

The principal short to medium-term impact of this project will be establishment of a framework necessary for the development of systems delivering more sustainable and productive agricultural landscapes in the humid Neotropics. This will be achieved through enhanced agroforest (AFS) and silvopastoral systems (SPS) for milk and livestock production. The project will leave a lasting legacy including: (i) increased awareness, knowledge and uptake among scientists, AFS/SPS practitioners (NGOs and smallholders), and local and national rural, environmental, and agricultural policy-makers in Latin America of the potential of Inga-based AFS and SPS; (ii) a solution to the inability to store Inga seed via availability from community seed orchards, allowing regional scale-up of Inga based AFS and SPS; and, (iii) development of community-developed SPS systems based upon Inga that can act of demonstration projects for the Mato Grosso region.

In the longer term, the ultimate beneficiaries of our work will be rural communities in lower-middle income countries in Latin America. Via the resilient AFS and SPS systems, in times of climatic change and population growth, rural communities can benefit from reduced poverty, improved food security, and reduced pressure on natural vegetation and biodiversity. The outcomes from the project will therefore directly support Brazil in delivery of its commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

2) Removal and industrial conversion of Mexico's problematic seaweed bloom biomass into high quality, low cost sustainable agricultural fertiliser products.

The principal short to medium-term impact of this project will be identification and exploitation of the biochemical engineering conditions, infrastructure and investment required to convert problematic seaweed biomass into a sustainable source of agricultural fertiliser at an industrial scale. The project will provide the Mexican and Caribbean governments with a viable option positively manage a pollutant that decimates the tourist industry and hinders commercial coastal activities. The project will identify, characterise and assess new, sustainably produced, fertiliser products for use in the local and export markets; improving local agricultural productivities.

In the longer term, the ultimate beneficiaries of our work will be both the coastal and rural communities in lower-middle income countries in Latin America. The former primarily from increased tourist activities, a reduction in poverty and improved health & environment as a result of industrialised seaweed removal; the latter from improved food security and a reduction in poverty as a result of improved fertiliser products and availability.

Institutionally, the GRTA will enable Exeter to invest in long-term, strategic and equitable partnership development. We will draw on this experience to maximise opportunities for positive economic and social development impact from across our ODA portfolio. In parallel, building on learning gained from delivery of UKRI and ODA innovation and knowledge exchange funds and HEIF allocations, delivery of this award will inform development of a GRTA innovation and commercialisation model that can be replicated across other thematic strands of our ODA portfolio.
 
Description SP1: Smallholder price premium opportunities of tree-based milk production
20 Silvopastoral areas (60 ha) have been created in four municipalities in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil.
1 technical training workshop for 30 participants & 7 x Individual monthly advice sessions (since group workshops not possible due to Covid-19) held with farmers covering: installation of electric fence, management of pasture with tree species, knowledge exchange on pasture management and silvopastoral systems, marketing support, legal aspects for the implementation of microcredit and regional training for credit committees. 4 publications created: 1.)1st edition of the Trees Guide for Pastures, 2.)Instructions for good pasture management, 3.)Guide to accessing microcredit,4.) Guide to evaluating microcredit applications.
Enrichment and complementation of SSP areas (60 ha), implementation of 4 orchards with emphasis on different ingá species (4 ha); monitoring of areas regarding the development of pastures and forest and agricultural species (carried out in 3 moments of 2021); continuity of technical follow-up to the implemented projects; Preparation and launch of the AmazonPasto App; continuity of the implementation of the microcredit action (1st. Stage); creation of two orienting posters on pasture and tree management in pastures; Opening of Microcredit Call (2nd. Stage) involving project development, implementation and monitoring of projects in the thematic silvopastoral systems and seed orchards; 01 Regional Meeting of Credit Committees - Banco Community Raiz; Construction of a Regional House for seed storage (main insum of agroflower and silvipastoral systems); Holding a Project Completion Meeting (Challenges and strategy for sustainable livestock farming in the Amazon Portal: the use of native tree species as a strategy of resilience and productivity of livestock)
SP2: Industrial Conversion of Seaweed Bloom Biomass into Agricultural Fertiliser.
Initial technoeconomic assessment undertaken for a sargassum based bio refinery with biofuel and fertiliser products. Technoeconomic analysis compared the operational and economic efficiency of each process and provided the Cost of Manufacture (COM) and minimum selling prices (MESP) of the aqueous phase and char. This data helps us to extrapolate economic incomes and potential revenue markets for fertiliser sales in Mexico, identifying the most suitable market for products, either domestic or industrial. Both HTL and HTC processes identified optimum conditions for conversion of Sargassum into useful products. Initial observations are that higher temperatures in both HTC and HTL (HTC 250, HTL350) produce larger volumes of aqueous fertilisers. Ultimately, we discovered that HTL produces a potentially viable plant fertilizer product, however we did identify some potential issues with toxicity and bioavailability. The recent COP26 and movement towards carbon capture raises an important application for sargassum biomass. We are currently developing this route of investigation with a commercial partner. In addition, whilst the fertiliser/biostimulant products are still in development, massive progress has been made in converting the process from bench scale to industrial, continuous flow process. This will need building on, but crucially, may well be driven not by the fertilizer industry, but by the oil industry. We are currently seeking funds with USA based industrial partners to investigate this avenue. In addition, other products from sargassum such as biodegradable plastics and cosmetics are also being investigated. Interest has grown in a process to remove sargassum seaweed, compact it and take it offshore for deep sea burial and develop a carbon credit scheme associated with it. Engaging with local fishing communities to help with the sinking of the seaweed, so they'd benefit from (1) a return to previous fishing accessibility and (2) a second potential income. Generating quantitative data associated with the permanent capture and sequestration of seaweed (depth, location, temperature, time of sinking). This data will form the basis for a commercially sellable carbon credits via Non Fungible Tokens (NFT), driven through commercial partner Seaweed Generation.

Flexible Funding Project 1: Bangladesh Aquaculture Industry Pharmaceutical Value Chain Stakeholder mapping - 30 Interviews with Farmers, Shop Owners, Company agents and Government Officials. Preliminary data showing level and nature of interactions between stakeholders, allows us to develop more detailed investigative approach for focus group workshops. Data suggested that shop owners and company agents are main source of pharmaceutical advice, with limited influence of independent sources (government officials). Data supported our hypothesis that lack of training is a major issue and potential future intervention. Key Findings Results are still being gathered and will be validated through the workshops in March 2022, but essentially we have shown that there is heavy pharmaceutical misuse, and that this is being driven by the private sector, with very little influence of independent sources (including the Government).
Exploitation Route SP1: Smallholder price premium opportunities of tree-based milk production
This project is acting as a showcase, promoting and highlighting the benefits of silvopastoral systems. The establishment of 20 silvopastoral areas in the Mato Grosso have led to increased interest from new producers wishing to establish silvopastoral systems and 5 producers involved in the project increasing their project areas beyond 3 ha (initial project size).
The first technical training workshop led to the creation of the 1st edition of the Tree Guide for pastures, which will be circulated widely, educating producers in the benefits of sivopastural systems.
This project is acting as a showcase, promoting and highlighting the benefits of silvopastoral systems. Within the scope of the project, there was the opportunity to offer resources through microcredit, realizing the desire to give greater scale to silvopastoral systems. In addition, the Community Bank Raiz, which has a fund of more than R$ 600,000.00, has as one of its central guidelines, the support to these projects. The AmazonPasto App was also the result of the project and a way of thinking about the future and increasing interest and adoption by these systems.

SP2: Industrial Conversion of Seaweed Bloom Biomass into Agricultural Fertiliser
The original estimate for creating a biorefinery was £100 M+, however our initial technoeconomic assessment is coming in at only £20 M, a fraction of the original estimation. Creating a cost effective technique to create fertiliser (and biofuel)will enable the system to be implemented quickly, as well as helping to attract private sector and government investment. The key barriers and challenge to progress the project are around further funding availability. However, we are engaging with a variety of stakeholders including Innovate UK, Venture Philanthropists, Philanthropists, Governmental Organisations, Digital Technologists to drive this research forwards. One ambitious step we are pursuing is to create a seaweed focused Doctoral Training Program (at least 30 PhD students working on multiple aspects of the problem/opportunity) with a unique applied focus and unique cooperative commercialization model.

Flexible Funding Project 1:Engaging all stakeholders in the issue of the use of pharmaceuticals in aquaculture provided preliminary data to support further impact work.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Other

URL https://pt.calameo.com/books/005529359bd345a174de3
 
Description SP1: Smallholder price premium opportunities of tree-based milk production Increasing the areas of silvopastural systems (60 ha), improves the soils in the Amazon, increasing food security and relieving poverty of rural smallholders as well as improving the local economies. Training food producers and creating educational booklets in agroforestry and silvopastural systems will increase community resilience to the impacts of climate change on food production, thereby increasing food security and biodiversity in these areas Measures have been put in place to ensure that there are opportunities for people of different genders to be involved in the project. 4 female and 16 male dairy producers are taking part in the project. This data offers the project a baseline from which to measure, monitor, and work towards improving gender dynamics. The implementation and monitoring of projects have brought us the certainty that forest systems from a look at the socioeconomic conditions of family farming in the Amazon region, with the use of suitable species, can be one of the sustainable forms of land occupation with livestock activity (the largest source of income for family farmers). One of the solutions for livestock farming is a degrading activity of the environment. The project was very short for the detailed measurement of impacts and their monitoring over time, since the SSP projects were implemented from the zero point. But results such as income improvement, either by food production between the lines of the system, by the improvement in the supply of food to cattle, by the rental of pastures due to the abundance from the correct management of the grass, were observed. One also has an impression of the format in which the systems were deployed, with positive and limiting points that also vary from the management of the area, climatic conditions etc. From the monitoring of the areas and interviews with the families involved, there will be the production of a material with lessons learned. This material will be of great use for microcredit action and may be of potential use for other institutions that work on this theme, including public sectors. The pandemic affected the most continuous technical follow-up since the beginning of the project, since it began in late 2020 and the pandemic in March 2021. The activities were carried out, but there was a change of strategy in the route. SP2: Industrial Conversion of Seaweed Bloom Biomass into Agricultural Fertiliser Creating a cost effective technique to create fertiliser out of nuisance seaweed that is threatening the viability of the industry worth 8.7% of Mexican GDP, and will improve both the economy and food security, as well as local environmental conditions. Successful new partnerships with Aston University for HTL and HTC processing, York University for biochemical analysis, as well as Southampton University and the SARTRAC project for satellite monitoring. The high profile nature of our project in the UK and international press, as well as an engaging social media and web presence has brought international partners to us from both local communities impacted by Sargassum (Mexico, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Nevis, Jamaica, Antigua, plus many more), local entrepreneurs, industry seeking to exploit it (Blue Evolution, Seaweed Generation, SeaWear, Algaenetic, Tribal Sports, Toraphene), as well as governmental organisations in Mexico (the original target), Dominican Republic and Chile. The vibrant, collaborative and hugely cooperative community which naturally grew during this project has been inspirational to work within. Flexi-fund project 1: Bangladesh aquaculture industry provides 60% of the populations animal protein. It is currently undergoing rapid intensification to meet local and global demand, yet in most cases this is not sustainable, with high use of pharmaceuticals and and other chemicals to compensate for poor water quality and prevent/treat the ever-increasing threat of disease. This poses an important risk to food safety and human health, with frequent reports of fish contaminated with high levels of various chemicals residues, including a number of pharmaceuticals, and has significant negative impacts on both the local environment and communities living downstream. New data from this project highlights the urgent need for independent information on pharmaceutical sales/usage for farmers and shop owners to ensure everyone is informed of usage amounts and other methods of improving the fish health. We will produce a policy brief recommending government officials be allowed to provide independent advice on all pharmaceuticals; currently they are only permitted to provide prescriptions on antibiotics, which means that they cannot prescribe other, possibly more appropriate treatments, and provides an opening for non-independent sources (ie pharmaceutical companies) to dominate this field.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Dr Mike Allen was formally invited, and subsequently joined the membership of The Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) which is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL http://www.unep.org/explore-topics/oceans-seas/what-we-do/addressing-land-based-pollution/global-par...
 
Description Project Presentation by Head of Newton Fund (Mexico) to UK Ambassador (Mexico)
Geographic Reach South America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Acordos de Cooperação / COVID-19: "RESILIÊNCIA FRENTE À COVID-19: ADAPTAÇÕES PARA O FORTALECIMENTO DAAGRICULTURA FAMILIAR NA FRONTEIRA AGRÍCOLA AMAZÔNICA"
Amount R$ 275,898 (BRL)
Organisation São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) 
Sector Public
Country Brazil
Start 03/2022 
End 02/2024
 
Description CEFAS Overseas Development Assistance Funding
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation Centre For Environment, Fisheries And Aquaculture Science 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 03/2021
 
Description Fertile Land from Fertile Seas, Newton Fund Impact Scheme (NFIS).
Amount £400,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 540936868 
Organisation Newton Fund 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 11/2021
 
Description Internal University of Exeter GCRF QR funding
Amount £55,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Exeter 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2020 
End 07/2021
 
Description REM Mato Grosso-CHAMADA 03/2020
Amount R$ 234,000 (BRL)
Organisation Funbio - Fundo Brasileiro para a Biodiversidade 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country Brazil
Start 06/2020 
End 06/2021
 
Description University of Exeter GCRF Facilitation Fund, "Diversifying tree based grazing systems to create smallholder price premium opportunities for milk production in the Amazonian Arc of Deforestation"
Amount R$ 175,000 (BRL)
Organisation University of Exeter 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2021 
End 03/2022
 
Description University of Exeter GCRF Facilitation Fund, "Diversifying tree based grazing systems to create smallholder price premium opportunities for milk production in the Amazonian Arc of Deforestation"
Amount R$ 59,220 (BRL)
Organisation University of Exeter 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2022 
End 03/2022
 
Description University of Exeter GCRF Facilitation Fund, "Investigating the contributions of women's agroforestry activities to renegotiating gender equality and food security in Brazil"
Amount £54,910 (GBP)
Organisation University of Exeter 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2020 
End 07/2021
 
Description Collaboration with researchers at York and Aston Universities via their project SARTRAC 
Organisation Aston University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Knowledge and insight
Collaborator Contribution Knowledge and insight
Impact This is a collaboration with researchers at York and Aston Universities. This is where it's a really nice added value: we made contact with them through their SARTRAC project https://www.sartrac.org/about/funder/ which is another UK GCRF project on Sargassum. This is a great example of two GCRF projects collaborating. They have obtained samples from Jamaica, so we are looking to include their samples alongside ours: Mexico, DR, Jamaica. Which is really powerful. We intend to outsource some seaweed analysis for a publication. Output - Publication (Biochemical and elemental composition of pelagic Sargassum biomass harvested across the Caribbean)
Start Year 2021
 
Description Collaboration with researchers at York and Aston Universities via their project SARTRAC 
Organisation University of York
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Knowledge and insight
Collaborator Contribution Knowledge and insight
Impact This is a collaboration with researchers at York and Aston Universities. This is where it's a really nice added value: we made contact with them through their SARTRAC project https://www.sartrac.org/about/funder/ which is another UK GCRF project on Sargassum. This is a great example of two GCRF projects collaborating. They have obtained samples from Jamaica, so we are looking to include their samples alongside ours: Mexico, DR, Jamaica. Which is really powerful. We intend to outsource some seaweed analysis for a publication. Output - Publication (Biochemical and elemental composition of pelagic Sargassum biomass harvested across the Caribbean)
Start Year 2021
 
Description GRTA - Biorganix Mexicana S.A. 
Organisation Biorganix
Country Mexico 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution It is hoped that this project will provide Biorganix with a sustainable new technology to process seaweed into fertiliser.
Collaborator Contribution Biorganix is providing in-kind knowledge on product formulation, regulation and legislation of fertilizers. Also, it is helping to set up relevant trials for different crops and climate/regions that will support and strengthen the data of the product's efficiency. Biorganix will be involveed in looking for investment (government/private) to install the technology in Mexico if the project proves to be successful and scalable.
Impact The partnership has led to knowledge on Mexican product formulation, regulation and legislation of fertilisers.
Start Year 2019
 
Description GRTA - Centre for Research and Extension in Family Agriculture and Agroecology of the State University of Mato Grosso 
Organisation Mato Grosso State University
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Exeter is the project lead, overseeing the research and monitoring of the silvopastoral systems.
Collaborator Contribution Silvopastoral systems: Technical support for the monitoring of silvopastoral areas to increase the quality and yield of the systems by defining corrective actions. Assisting with workshops and field days for farmers. Supporting data analysis and activity planning. Creating educational materials on pasture management and tree management in pastures. Microcredit scheme: Support in i) defining the working instruments for the technical field team (records, methodology of visits),ii) creating and disseminating publications of the community bank (guide to accessing credit - aimed at farmers in general and a project evaluation manual- aimed at the members of the credit evaluation committees).
Impact Outputs: Technical workshops and field days aimed at farmers. The following publications have been created: 1. Guide to Accessing Credit, 2. Project Evaluation Manual for Microcredit scheme, 3. Pasture Management Information sheet 4. Guide to Tree management in pastures booklet and 5. Tree App to be created. Outcomes: Technical corrective actions identified, farmers are implementing actions and have a good understanding of pasture and tree management. As a result the silvopastoral systems are more productive.
Start Year 2020
 
Description GRTA - Instituto Ouro Verde 
Organisation Ouro Verde Institute - Waldorf Education
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Exeter's support has allowed Instituto Ouro Verde to scale up sustainable agroforestry and silvopastoral systems in Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Collaborator Contribution Instituto Ouro Verde will provide the micro-credit system to help finance the producers set up costs of taking part in the scheme, expertise in tropical agroforestry systems and social organisation, monitor the demonstration silvopastoral systems and maintain the seed orchards beyond the end of the project.
Impact Providing the microcredit system to allow 20 producers to set up and establish 60 ha of land for silvopastural and agroforestry systems.
Start Year 2020
 
Description GRTA - Plymouth Marine Laboratory 
Organisation Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Exeter is working together with Plymouth Marine Laboratory, sharing knowledge and expertise in order to deliver a solution to the yearly algal blooms that are negatively impacting local ecosystems and the economy in Mexico
Collaborator Contribution Plymouth Marine Laboratory are sharing their knowledge and expertise in order to deliver a solution to the yearly algal blooms that are negatively impacting local ecosystems and the economy in Mexico
Impact Initial technoeconomic assessment undertaken for a sargassum based bio refinery with biofuel and fertiliser products.
Start Year 2019
 
Description GRTA - Universidad Autonoma de Baja California 
Organisation Autonomous University of Baja California
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Exeter is developing bio technologies to help turn the negative impacts yearly algal blooms have on the local economy and ecosystems and turn it into a business opportunity.
Collaborator Contribution Universidad Autonoma de Baja California is providing assistance with product trials in their greenhouse facilities and laboratory, support experimental design and provide insights into local markets. Furthermore, the University is incorporating this project into a community development project aimed at enabling indigenous woment to benefit from the highly lucrative value chain of gastronomic tourism by developing organic farming in their communities.
Impact Initial technoeconomic assessment undertaken for a sargassum based bio refinery with biofuel and fertiliser products.
Start Year 2019
 
Description GRTA - University of Bath 
Organisation University of Bath
Department School of Health Bath
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project is an extension of the GCRF project Eco Via Bio held by University of Bath. Researchers are continuing to share knowledge and expertise.
Collaborator Contribution University of Bath provided the initial GCRF project on which this is based (Eco Via Bio).Researchers are continuing to share knowledge and expertise.
Impact An inititial technoeconomic assessment undertaken for a sargassum based bio refinery with biofuel and fertiliser products.
Start Year 2019
 
Description GRTA-Promoting prudent pharmaceutical usage in Bangladesh aquaculture 
Organisation Bangladesh Agricultural University
Country Bangladesh 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Exeter will lead on designing and analysing the data collection, Leading research scientists in aquatic biology and ecotoxicology research will provide guidance and advisory support throughout the project. The research team includes a social scientist who will provide essential expertise and guidance on analysing the qualitative data collected.
Collaborator Contribution Professor Haque is a leading in aquaculture practice who has worked with rural aquaculture communities in the Mymensingh area and other parts of Bangladesh for over 20 years. BAU will be responsible for collecting information from different stakeholder groups (including farmers, farm shop owners, pharmaceutical company agents and fisheries officers) from the finfish value chain, through interviews, focus groups and structured surveys. This will capitalise on the experience and communication networks that Professor Haque is an active participant of, including the 'Fish Farmers of Bangladesh' (20,000 members) and the 'Aquaculture Society of Bangladesh' (500 members) Facebook groups. He is also currently preparing a YouTube channel, to take advantage of the prolific use of social media in Bangladesh. We will use these social media platforms to engage with communities throughout the project, and if COVID-19-induced social distancing measures are still in place at the time of this data collection, the Bangladesh team will use telephone/video interviews and these social media platforms to collect these data.
Impact Focus group discussions engaged a range of stakeholders: farmers, farm shop owners, private sector (pharmaceutical company agents) and government officials. Feedback from the latter has been very positive, with participants commenting on the novelty of both the topic (pharmaceutical misuse) and of the inclusive, participatory approach in engaging with stakeholders. New data highlights the urgent need for independent information on pharmaceutical sales/usage for farmers and shop owners.
Start Year 2020
 
Description 'Green gold' tree offers Brazil deforestation hope 
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 Press release created at the start of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-50200142
 
Description 4 x Microcredit workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A series of 4 workshops in Alta Floresta to promote the opportunity to apply for microcredit to start/build on agroforestry activities. Workshop participants will help Instituto Ouro Verde to spread the word and encourage people to apply from their communities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://twitter.com/toby_pennington/status/1356625784878862336
 
Description Algal Biotech: You go your way, and Al'ga my way. Departmental University Seminar (Sheffield). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mike Allen discussed his solutions to world problems which go beyond the theory and lab scale, and what he thinks the solutions might look like in the future.
The lecture created a lively discussion around academic-industrial-citizen science and how and integrated approach is often needed to solve multifacited environmental problems. This event raised the profile of the work in the UK, developed contacts with chemical engineers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description AmazonPasto App Launch Event 
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 Online event for the launch of the AmazonPasto Application http://www.amazonpasto.com.br/#, built during the execution of the project as a dynamic and more accessible tool that informs, communicates and interacts with professionals, students and farmers who are interested in knowing the importance of wooded pastures. The event was broadcast live and recorded by the partner channel NAFA/Unemat and was attended by IOV, professors from The Unemat, UFSCar and University of Exeter Universities, as well as recorded testimonials from family farmers for the benefit of some forest species.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=NAFA+UNEMAT
 
Description Aquaculture Pharmaceutical Value Chain Stakeholder Focus Group Discussion 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact New data highlights the urgent need for independent information on pharmaceutical sales/usage for farmers and shop owners. We will produce a policy brief recommending government officials be allowed to provide independent advice on all pharmaceuticals; currently they are only permitted to provide prescriptions on antibiotics, which means that they cannot prescribe other, possibly more appropriate treatments, and provides an opening for non-independent sources (ie pharmaceutical companies) to dominate this field.
Capacity building: Bangladesh team increased their knowledge of the development and analysis of quantitative data collection UK team benefitted from an increased understanding of the issues and sensitivities of different stakeholder groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Banco Raiz - Community Microcredit workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The IOV credit team visited the municipalities of Portal da Amazonia in order to publicise the microcredit scheme and create the decision making committees. 31 people attended a regional meeting to review and be trained in the Bank's operating rules, credit lines.
7 Credit Analysis Committees formed in 06 municipalities. These committees are responsible for approving and monitoring the microcredit applications in their area, with advice from IOV. The process for applying for microcredit has been revised to enable those who have never accessed credit before the chance to apply by creating personalised and flexible repayment plans. The use of credit has to be related to productive aspects, and can be used to purchase consumables and vehicles to take produce to fairs and other spaces, sales stalls, etc. In the case of collective loans, the resource can be used, for example, for the purchase of tractors and community equipment. Resources should always relate to agroecological practices and sustainable use of forests.
With the expansion of the microcredit program, the Institute's activities have the potential to involve 12 municipalities.
Previously, the technical advice provided by IOV to farmers was not included in the credit, and instead supported through other projects. This is now included in the loan instalments, which will have interest of approximately 2% per month. This figure has been widely discussed with rural communities in a transparent manner and is fundamental for the community management of the initiative.
IOV is working on changing their business model to become less dependent on external funding and charitable donations, seeking to expand the microcredit scheme and support the commercialisation of family farming products. It is hoped these actions will lead to long-term financial sustainability and expansion of the impacts arising from increased performance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/ingasystems/2021/03/01/university-of-exeter-supports-the-expansion-of-inst...
 
Description Call of Microcredit projects in the theme silvopastoral systems and seed orchards 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact In 2021, thematic calls were made due to the growing interest of farmers expanding their silvopastoral systems (SSP) or even for new farmers to start their systems. There was also demand from the Amazonportal Seed Network in increasing future areas of seed reserve and collection (seed orchards), which are also important elements for the SSP. Thus, a specific call via microcredit for these themes was made. The IOV team toured 09 municipalities in the Portal da Amazônia territory in order to meet with farmers to publicize the call, support the elaboration of projects, its approval and subsequent monitoring of the implementation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description European Algae Biomass Association (EABA) Technical Webinar on Atlantic Sargassum Belt 
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 This EABA Technical Webinar aimed to increase the interest and motivations to develop science, technology and business projects and activities related with the 'Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt'. This was an intensive technical webinar where participants had the chance to present a short pitch and where interaction was promoted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://algaeworkshops.org/atlantic-sargassum-belt/
 
Description Fertile thinking:seaweed in science and art - Royal Albert Memorial Museum (Exeter) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The talk introduced the participants to Mike Allen's research with the aim of inspiring creative writing ideas from seaweed research. General public informed and inspired by seaweed research: taking local solutions and research and applying them at an international setting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.visitexeter.com/whats-on/fertile-thinking-seaweed-in-science-and-art-p2791023
 
Description Group webpage www.bluemicrobe.co.uk with a sustainability section www.bluemicrobe.co.uk/sustainable-development 
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 Group webpage www.bluemicrobe.co.uk shares updates and news articles that relate to the GRTA SP2 project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL http://www.bluemicrobe.co.uk
 
Description Invited lecture, University of Exeter Global Challenges Symposium, "Addressing global challenges from the University of Exeter" 
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 by Toby Pennington that shared experiences of best practice around global challenges related research. Broad themes related to building partnerships across different geographies and sectors, coupled with personal reflections on the GCRF agenda and what it has meant for your research (e.g., promoting interdisciplinarity and engagement with the humanities and social sciences). This stimulated diverse questions, especially around building sustainable partnerships and what constitutes effective capacity building in the global south.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited seminar, Universidade do Estado do Mato Grosso, Alta Floresta, Brazil "Inga: a model for Amazonian evolution, ecology and agroforestry" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Toby Pennington gave a seminar about the biology and uses of the genus Inga to a general audience at the State University of Mato Grosso. Questions focused on the uses of Inga species in agroforestry systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited to contribute to a Case Study on Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment, compiled by the Society for Applied Microbiology. It was a case study to present to policy makers and other learned societies at COP26 
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 Invited to contribute to Case Study on AMR in the Environment, compiled by the Society for Applied Microbiology. The case study was presented to policy makers and other learned societies at COP26. The outcomes for contributing to the AMR in the Environment Case Study are as follows: 6 MP's (their positions included the Shadow Higher Education Minister, the Chairman Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and Former Chair of Science and Technology Committee, the Defence Committee , the Shadow SNP Spokesperson Infrastructure, the Treasurer of the APPG on Antibiotics, the Member, Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Committee and the Education (Careers Guidance in Schools) Bill Committee were spoken with during the Evidence Week and all were sent follow-up emails and the brief from The Society for Applied Microbiology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://sfam.org.uk/knowledge/policy/priority-areas/antimicrobial-resistance-amr.html
 
Description Invited to give talk on "Promoting Responsible Antibiotic Usage in Aquaculture" at the online 5th international conference "Responsible usage of antibiotics in animals" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to give talk on "Promoting Responsible Antibiotic Usage in Aquaculture" at the online international conference "Responsible usage of antibiotics in animals"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description PhycoMExUK Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The PhytoMExUK blog aims to provide regular updates on the project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://phycomexuk.wixsite.com/blog
 
Description PhycoMExUK Twitter Account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Twitter account set up to share the project's results, post information and project assistance requests, share event information and project updates.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://twitter.com/PhycoMExUK
 
Description Project Completion Event - Challenges and strategy for sustainable livestock farming in the Amazon Portal: the use of native tree species as a strategy of resilience and productivity of livestock 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Project completion event - To disseminate the positive experiences of the project "Diversifying tree based grazing systems to create smallholder price premium opportunities for milk production in the Amazonian Arc of Deforestation" in order to socialize the knowledge generated and contribute to the expansion of sustainable systems in pastures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Regional Meeting of Credit Committees - Banco Raiz 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Event to evaluate microcredit support actions carried out in 2021 and planning activities for 2022. The event was important for the integration of the Committees (new and old), in order to reinforce the positive work of 2021 and the importance of thematic calls with mixed resources (given and financing), the need to offer credit on more topics and the importance of stimulating these fears with communities to arise more individual and collective demands, the need for the involvement of young people in microcredit actions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Solve invasive seaweed problem by turning it into biofuels and fertilisers 
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 The take up of this press release was huge with articles featuring in a number of high profile newspapers including the Guardian. Due to these articles we received phenomenal interest in the project. We were invited to join the Sargassum Commission , the IAEA are including our research in their Sargassum report. Other interested parties include: Energy Transmissions Commission and ABTA.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/30/how-do-you-deal-with-9m-tonnes-of-suffocating-se...
 
Description Sustain This? Podcast 
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 A public podcast to share the benefits of seaweed farming for the environment: carbon capture, biodiversity and ecosystems and the many various uses macro algae has, such as biofuels, manufacturing, bio plastics, fertilisers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.vivobarefoot.com/uk/sustainthis
 
Description The seaweed bloom that covered an ocean 
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 As a result of this article, the research team received numerous requests for information and further activity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201119-atlantic-ocean-the-largest-seaweed-bloom-in-history
 
Description Website for project ("(Ingasystems"), also covering related funded projects that have arisen from our work 
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 Project website to disseminate background and results of this project and the related projects that have been funded as a result of it.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/ingasystems/
 
Description Workshop (Alta Floresta, Brazil) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A workshop aimed at all project participants to clarify and discuss the project outcomes. Discussions included the importance of the role of trees in pastoral systems and analysing tree species suitable for these systems. The final analysis of 10 tree species, led to the completion of the 1st edition of the Tree Guide for pastures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://pt.calameo.com/books/005529359bd345a174de3