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Queens Anniversary Prizes 2015

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Awards and new appointments for NRI experts

Dr Maruthi Gowda, Dr Aurelie Bechoff and Professor Ben BennettA reception was held with the University of Greenwich Court of Governors to recognise all newly appointed Professors and Readers, and the winners of the Early Career Research Excellence award. Professor Ben Bennett, Dr Maruthi Gowda and Dr Aurélie Bechoff of NRI were invited to attend the reception, at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, on the 1st July 2013.

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Give a man a fish...

artisanal-fishing origAnd you will feed him for a day. Teach a man or a woman to fish and you will almost certainly upset someone, somewhere. The fisheries and aquaculture sectors have certainly not benefited from great PR, and commonly held perceptions are almost universally negative: depleted cod stocks, the common fisheries policy, illegal fishing in Africa, corruption, over-fishing, the plight of the blue fin tuna, environmentally unsustainable aquaculture practice, wild salmon stocks in danger from disease introduced from aquaculture, Hugh's big fish fight – the list is endless.

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‘Leaf my plant alone’: experts’ view on the growing risk of plant disease.

leaf-my-plant-alone origPest management specialist Jerry Cooper from the Natural Resources Institute's European Union Centre for Integrated Pest Management (EUCIPM) co-authored an informative Q&A article for British gardeners in Wilkinson's Hardware 'Wilko Life' blog, addressing the growing risk of plant disease in Britain.

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Tales of a travelling scientist in Africa in the 1970s

tales-of-travels origMargaret Haggis, a former employee of the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), has recently published a fascinating book called 'Tales of travels with and without a porter' based on her diary and field note entries assembled during her fieldwork in the 1970s, in Africa and Canada.

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Food quality and acceptance are important at all stages of the food chain

a-westby k-tomlins t-barnes origKeith Tomlins, Professor of Food Science at the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich gave his Inaugural Professorial Lecture 'Let Them Eat Cake: Food Quality and Acceptance in Africa' yesterday, 12 June 2013 to an audience of over 100.

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NRI articles highlight the importance of reducing postharvest losses

stored-grain-in-shinyanga origReducing food losses after harvest is an important means of improving food availability. Since the food crisis of 2006/2007 the international community has taken an increased interest in loss reduction.

A special issue of Rural21 (The International Journal of Rural Development), containing two articles authored by NRI experts, is devoted to many aspects of postharvest loss reduction, from new approaches needed, to 'who does what'. Both the articles are related to the reduction of losses of cereal grains. One, written in collaboration with the University of Zimbabwe, considers the potential effects of climate change on losses. The other, written in collaboration with the German Federal Agriculture and Food Agency and the European Commission, considers how postharvest grain losses should be tackled in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

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New food safety report to facilitate agricultural trade in Central Asia

food-safety-report origA new report prepared by Dr Robert Black of the Natural Resources Institute has recently been published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that assesses existing border controls on agricultural products in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) group of countries.

The key issue is the application of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks to ensure food safety and public health, whilst facilitating trade of goods and commodities. It hopes to contribute to driving positive change in the Asia-Pacific region and reducing poverty through economic development.

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Cassava project boosts incomes of world's poorest farmers

cassava women origOver 90,000 of the world's poorest farmers, many of them women living on less than a dollar a day, are taking advantage of new opportunities to increase their incomes, thanks to the C:AVA (Cassava: Adding Value for Africa) project, an ambitious international collaboration led by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI).

NRI and its major partners in five African countries have developed a network of 103 organisations, both public and private, who are working together to enable small-holders to gain more income through value addition to their principal crop, cassava.

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Parliamentarians urge government to increase investment in agriculture to end global hunger

parliamentary-report fullParliamentarians of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agriculture and Food for Development are calling on the UK Government, and specifically the Department for International Development (DFID), to invest in agriculture to combat the hunger that 925 million people around the world are undernourished face every day - in a Parliamentary Report, on "Home Grown Nutrition".

In the report, a HarvestPlus project, in which NRI is a contributing partner, is used as an example of successful 'Home Grown Nutrition'. The project improved the vitamin A status of women and children through adoption of orange-fleshed sweet potato in place of traditional white-fleshed ones.

Andrew Westby, Director of NRI says: "The Natural Resources Institute welcomes this timely report, we believe that smallholder farmers are crucial to addressing the challenges of global hunger, and more sustained support for them would be a positive step towards greater food and nutrition security worldwide."

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Inaugural lecture at NRI for Professor Keith Tomlins – Food quality and acceptance in Africa

yam-sellers-nigeria origKeith Tomlins, Professor of Food Science at the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich will be giving his Inaugural Professorial Lecture 'Let Them Eat Cake: Food Quality and Acceptance in Africa' on Wednesday, 12 June 2013. All are welcome.

'Let them eat cake', said by Marie Antoinette during the reign of Louis XVI, acquired great symbolic importance as an indication of people in power being out of touch with the reality of life faced by poor people. In his lecture, Keith will be exploring how resource-poor people can and should have access to foods of the right quality that are also acceptable to their culture.

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