Professor John Colvin will present his Inaugural Professorial Lecture on Thursday 31 May 2012 on 'Insects, Plants and Viruses: Dynamic Interactions in a Changing World'. All are welcome to attend.
First prize won by African PhD student solving deadly cassava disease affecting food security in Africa
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed, a recent PhD graduate from the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich was awarded the 'Raymond/Roger Hull' prize for best poster presentation at the International Plant Virus Symposium, of the Association of Applied Biology (AAB) in Dublin last week.
Dr Peter Greenhalgh, Marketing Economist and former colleague at NRI, has been awarded the title of Visiting Fellow. Having worked for many years with what was then the Economics and Marketing Department at NRI, he is a recognized expert on agricultural markets, including tree crops, horticultural products, essential oils and spices and many other tropical commodities.
NRI has been successful in gaining funding from the Defra led 'Darwin Initiative' for a new 3 year project, named Agroforests: A Critical Resource for Sustaining Megadiversity in Guatemala, expected to start in April 2012. It is designed to improve the public and private policies that recognize the role of agroforests in meeting the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Guatemala.
Rats are arguably one of the most neglected pest problems across the world. Rodents attack virtually any crop, and their damage and contamination of food is problematic at every stage of the food value chain. Despite this, accurate valuations of loss due to rodents in both pre and post-harvest agriculture are virtually unheard of in any country. More often than not, rodent-borne diseases are not recognized, are poorly diagnosed and treated, with many thousands of poor rural people dying from rodent-borne diseases across the Tropics each year.
Experts from NRI gave training last week to 37 early career scientists in Papua New Guinea, as part of an EU African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Science and Technology Project, in how to write winning research proposals with a view to bolstering research on root and tuber crops, which are important to the food security and incomes of many poor people. It was hosted in collaboration with the International Society of Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC) who currently have over 320 registered root and tuber crop scientists.
C:AVA project: Awoyo village, Ogun State, Nigeria
For International Women's Day, the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) is celebrating the women it works with all over the world. The Institute works with thousands of female farmers and entrepreneurs in developing countries, who often not only have the responsibility of childcare and the household, but also of food security and income generation. All this in the context of increasing environmental degradation and increasing food prices.
Staff at NRI has been engaged in a wide range of studies relating to Fairtrade since the late 1990s in Latin America, Africa and Asia, including a number of on-going pieces of work that will be published this year. The Institute has contributed to a large amount of detailed information on the topic, focusing on different aspects of Fairtrade impact (social, economic and environmental) across many different countries.
As recently published by BBC News Africa, Andy Jarvis of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) has reported on the climate change hope of cassava: "Whilst other staples can suffer from heat and other problems of climate change, cassava thrives".
Cassava and yam are important food security crops for approximately 700 million people. However, physical and economic losses that occur after harvest during processing and marketing can be as high as 60%. This is not only detrimental to food security and the environment, but also opportunities to increase the value of these crops are lost.
A new European Union Framework 7 funded project entitled 'Gratitude' (Gains from Losses of Roots and Tuber Crops) led by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich, will help find solutions that will reduce waste from post-harvest losses of root and tuber crops and turn unavoidable waste into something of value.