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Queens Anniversary Prizes 2015

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All aboard the climate change bus: Connecting farmers to their possible climate futures

matengo-pits fullNick Nathaniels, Lebai Nsemwa

The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) has been commissioned by the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) programme of the CGIAR to test the CCAFS 'Farms of the Future' approach, which introduces farmers to places where the current climatic conditions are similar to those projected for the farmers' home areas in the future.

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Bumblebees discovered to change their behaviour in different visual environments

bee-flower fullNew bumblebee research from scientists at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) and Queen Mary, University of London teaches us how bees cope with complex visual environments in nature. Guided by scent and vision, foraging bumblebees are known to continuously seek and collect nectar, however a new paper has found that the bees find it challenging to distinguish the colours of succulent blooms when the transition from broad daylight to leafy shade alters the flower's hue.

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NRI researchers discover new potential weapon against crop pests

armyworm crop damage fullInsect pests are a major threat to food production everywhere, but they are especially devastating in Africa where poor farmers are unable to afford chemical pesticides. Concerns about the environmentally damaging effects of pesticide use are also driving EU efforts to develop new safer biological controls for crop pests. These biological pesticides or Biopesticides are a major focus of research worldwide as scientists strive to identify new ways of controlling pests. Now a team of scientists from the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich, Lancaster University, and Tanzania (EcoAgriConsult Ltd.) have made a novel discovery that could provide a new tool for controlling globally important crop pests.

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Rio+20: The economic forces behind land-use change since Rio92 and its impacts on biodiversity in Guatemala

guatemalan-farmer fullAmong the UK commitments at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 was the establishment of the Darwin Initiative, which promotes conservation in countries rich in biodiversity, but poor in economic resources. Since its establishment it has financed over 700 projects in 155 countries, and a few of these have been implemented by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), including most recently a new project entitled: "Agroforests: A critical resource for Megadiversity in Guatemala". As described here, a tour of the areas where the project will work shows the magnitude of changes since 1992.

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A new Fairtrade impact study covering cotton in West Africa and India published by NRI

harvested cottonThe Natural Resources Institute (NRI), in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies, has completed a four-country study assessing the impact of Fairtrade cotton. Covering Mali, Senegal, Cameroon and India, the study identifies the main areas of impact for cotton producers and their organisations, and explores the value chain issues which play a role in shaping impact. Organisational research partners for the study included ENDA Pronat (Environment and Development Action in the Third World) Senegal, and the Gujarat Institute of Development Research.

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Establishing a centre of excellence for UK based research on fresh produce quality

produce facility fullThe Natural Resources Institute (NRI) is collaborating with East Malling Research (EMR), a Kent based research institute with an international reputation for horticultural research, to establish the Produce Quality Centre as a centre of excellence for UK based research on fresh produce quality.

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Food technology experts meet at Medway

after fp7 fullThe Natural Resources Institute (NRI) hosted an international workshop from 9 to 11 May 2012 with experts attending from France, Portugal, Madagascar, Senegal, Cameroon, Benin, Ghana and Egypt. The purpose of the meeting was to bring together partners from a European Union funded FP7 project, AFTER, (African Food Tradition Revisited by Research).

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Insects, plants and viruses: dynamic interactions in a changing world

jun12 colvin1 fullFor his Inaugural Professorial Lecture, Professor John Colvin gave a dynamic account of his extensive research, of over 25 years, tackling problems in developing countries caused by insects and associated plant diseases. Through his pioneering research, he has contributed an enormous amount to ensuring food security in the developing world.

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NRI launch ‘The Resource’

resource launchThe Natural Resources Institute has launched 'The Resource', a monthly update with the highlights of our latest activities, to keep colleagues, friends and followers informed via email.

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Rwandan Parliament consults farmers on way forward for agriculture

rwanda fullAn investigation into agricultural research and extension in Rwanda was undertaken by the Rwandan Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock Development and Environment, from 11-24 May, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Institute (NRI).

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