Improving Teff agronomic performance to ensure food security in Ethiopia

Status

GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards Round 1

Location

Ethiopia

Theme

Crops

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About the project

UK-registered Partner: NIAB – Dr St├ęphanie Swarbreck
Africa-registered Partner: Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research – Prof. Solomon Chanyalew Kassa

Teff (Eragrostris tef) is a crop widely cultivated, covering 30% of the total cereals area cultivated and critical to food security in Ethiopia. Unlike rice, wheat and maize, teff has not benefited from the Green Revolution in terms of yield enhancement and yields are generally low compared to other crops (e.g. 1.5 t.ha-1 for teff compared to 3.2 t.ha-1 for maize).

It is well adapted to Ethiopian conditions and both the straw and grains are highly valuable to small-scale farmers. However, teff production is particularly sensitive to weed competition especially during the crop establishment.

Within this project, we have developed an imaging system to record the canopy development and soil coverage. Teff lines that can cover the ground quickly can suppress weed competition and would be valuable to farmers. We have screened 3,200 teff mutant lines using this system.

We organised a three-day workshop at the MakerSpace Bahir Dar University to engage with researchers and students, and to transfer the technical knowledge on teff agronomic performance between the UK and Ethiopia.

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