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Improving root system architecture for enhanced drought tolerance and nutrient use efficiency in semi-arid agriculture of chickpea


Department for International Development UKAID

Titre : Improving root system architecture for enhanced drought tolerance and nutrient use efficiency in semi-arid agriculture of chickpea

Pays : Ethiopie

Numéro du projet : GB-GOV-13-FUND—GCRF-BB_P023487_1

Organismes de mise en œuvre : University of Edinburgh

Durée : Actual Start 01 May 2017 // Actual End31 Oct 2019

The objectives of this project are : 1) Partnership and capacity building : Develop close scientific collaborations between a multidisciplinary team of scientists in Edinburgh (plant biologist, image analyst, economist and soil scientist) and a team from Ethiopia (chickpea breeder, plant scientists). First result of this collaboration is the co-developed proposal, and will be followed by a workshop in Ethiopia, to make public the aims and approach of the project to develop new breeding tools ; reciprocal visits, and onsite training in Edinburgh in the use and maintenance of the new technologies to be developed for those carrying out the work in Ethiopia ; and overall, joint work on the six work packages of the project. The transfer of this knowledge and technical skills and innovations will enhance the capacity of our partners and beyond them, Ethiopian breeders, to apply cutting edge tools to solve problems of food security sustainably. 2) Technology advancement : The development of a novel, powerful but affordable technology based on commodity optical and electronic components and open source machine-learning software to quantify root growth and root growth patterns, jointly and in a re-iterative process in Edinburgh and Ethiopia. Ethiopia is on the list of least-developed ODA-eligible countries, and the target crop is a staple food of poor subsistence and smallholder farmers. Easy gains in chickpea breeding have already been achieved, and the deployment of advanced technologies in now required for further sustainable intensification of production and enhanced yields to feed Ethiopia’s growing population. The use of such technology using modular cheap components and to be developed open-source software will make the technology robust and resistant to catastrophic failure due to easy maintenance and help its further development and adaptation in Ethiopia in the future. 3) Disseminating knowledge : Make the knowledge and technology broadly available by publication and public domain access to the technology. Knowledge transfer is a key part of capacity building and inspiring a new generation of Ethiopian breeders to use powerful tools in the breeding process. 4) Technology dissemination : Support Ethiopian colleagues to secure broad adoption of the technology to be developed for incorporation into tailored breeding programs to benefit subsistence and smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. The partnership will extend to joint efforts to secure international and national follow-on funding subsequent to this project to ensure financing for broad uptake of the technologies in a breeding programme, and their dissemination to other ODA eligible countries and within Ethiopia for other crop breeding programs. 5) Enhancing sustainability : Deliberately, this project targets not only aims to be completed within the proposed 30-month project, but also addresses measures that will ensure their sustainability long beyond the project’s funding period. Together with Ethiopian colleagues the joint analysis and evaluation of approaches for a) facilitating uptake of innovations through development and strengthening of financial tools, and b) the strengthening of sustainable crop production by identifying suitable pathways for building up long-term soil fertility are important to ensure rapid uptake of innovations and long-term sustainability in the face of climate change.

Financement : UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Project budget : £547,573

Présentation (UKAID)

Page publiée le 1er novembre 2022