5th Trapnell Lecture: Two Ethiopian crop domesticates with potentials for the future and their challenges

School of Geography and the Environment with the generous support of The Trapnell Fund for Environmental Research in Africa

5pm / Lecture / Halford Mackinder Lecture Theatre
6pm / Drinks reception / Gottmann Room

Ethiopia has been recognized as one of the few centres of origin and diversity of cultivated crops globally both by Nikolai I. Vavilov (Russian) and Jack Harlan (American) who pioneered the work on cultivated crops. Among the many cultivated crops in Ethiopia, two indigenous cultivated crops, the use of Enset (Ensete ventricosum) known as false banana (a multipurpose crop providing a range of services such as food, forage, medicine, ritual, construction and soil protection) and an annual grass species, Teff (Eragrostis tef) with the smallest grains providing a balanced nutritional value and also is gluten free together with the challenges will be highlighted. These crops are resilient to climate change. These two crops collectively are utilized as a food source by the major proportion of Ethiopians (of 100 million) and occupy huge areas in the Ethiopian landscapes (Fig. 1). Although these crops have been domesticated and cultivated by indigenous communities, both occur in the wild in other parts of Africa, thus providing an opportunity with a potential to be exported to other communities in Africa.