Building on a long history of research and development on integrated pest management [IPM] technologies for agriculture in developing countries and in the UK, NRI has inaugurated the European Centre for IPM. The EUCIPM was publically launched at the annual meeting of the Royal Entomological Society held at the UoG Medway campus in September 2011.
Scientists at the University of Greenwich are in a race against time to tackle a deadly virus threatening to cause a famine in Eastern Africa.
A team from NRI recently gave presentations at the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) Working Group meeting at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva about their work on the "Agrifood Standards - Compliance Increases Trade for Developing Countries (ASEC)" Programme. The presentations took place on 21 October 2011 and the NRI team consisted of Ulrich Kleih, Hanneke Lam, and Dr Diego Naziri. They were accompanied by project collaborator Andrew Edewa, who works for UNIDO in Nairobi, Kenya. Andrew is also registered as a PhD student at NRI.
Dr Helena Posthumus of NRI attended the 5th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture (www.wcca2011.org) in Brisbane, Australia (26-29 September 2011). Conservation Agriculture is a farming system approach based on three principles (minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and appropriate crop rotations to reduce pests and diseases) that is seen as a sustainable way of rainfed agriculture in areas with erratic rainfall and degraded soils. Scientists from all over the world came together for four days to discuss the latest findings and advances in conservation agriculture and farming systems design. Helena made a poster and oral presentation on the ABACO project (Agroecology Based Aggradation-Conservation Agriculture: targeting innovations to combat soil degradation and food insecurity in semi-arid Africa).
A very successful training course on proposal writing, research methods and intellual property rights for early career researchers and extensionists working with tropical root and tuber crops from six Pacific nations was held at the University of the South Pacific in mid-September 2011 by an NRI-led team.
The impact of postharvest losses of staple cereal grains in Sub-Saharan Africa is being shown to the world on YouTube. Following the publication by the World Bank of 'Missing Food: The case of postharvest losses in Sub-Saharan Africa' (prepared from an initial draft by NRI staff Rick Hodges, Ben Bennett, Tanya Stathers and Paul Mwebase), the essentials from the report are displayed in a very imaginative cartoon, relaying the message that "reducing postharvest losses is an essential pillar in a successful food strategy":
Dr Gabriella Gibson (NRI, University of Greenwich) and Prof Ian Russell (University of Sussex) and their team of scientists have discovered that mosquitoes use that irritating whine to communicate with each other (Gibson & Russell, 2006 and Pennetier et al 2009).