Professor George Rothschild, Emeritus Professor of International Agriculture at NRI, was recently named Development Agriculturist of the Year in the 2015 Honours of the Tropical Agriculture Association (TAA).
New research for the UN on empowering dryland women: capturing opportunities in land rights, governance and resilience
Findings from research recently conducted by NRI reveal the importance of supporting women's empowerment in dryland regions. Drylands are highly diverse, encompassing vast geographical areas. In general they are characterised by environmental conditions of low and variable rainfall and water availability, and by a mixture of agriculture- and livestock-based systems. These conditions mean that drylands people often have unique relationships to land and practice adaptive strategies that respond to the seasonal, climatic and environmental change of drylands.
NRI recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Nelson Mandela Africa Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) which is based in Arusha, Tanzania. The agreement is a reflection of the close collaboration that has developed between the two organisations in the fields of agroecological research and pesticidal plants – plants with properties that control pests.
Research led by NRI scientists shows that extracts of plants with pesticidal properties effectively control insect pests while facilitating ecosystem services, plus they are less costly than synthetic pesticides. The research, published recently in open-access journal PLOS ONE, is good news for the smallholder farmers of sub-Saharan Africa, who are largely 'organic' farmers – by default rather than by choice – as their access to pest control and other resources is limited. Consequently, their crops suffer from severe insect damage, and their yields remain low.
World-leading research and development on cassava by the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich has been honoured with a prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
The award was announced tonight, 19th November, at a ceremony at St James' Palace in London. Her Majesty the Queen is to present the university with a silver gilt medallion and prize-winner's certificate during a special reception at Buckingham Palace next year.
The prize recognises NRI's research and development in the field of cassava, the tropical root crop predominantly grown by smallholder farmers in the developing world, especially in Africa, where it is an important staple food for millions. NRI's work has been sustainably improving the cassava value chain for over 25 years.
Are you looking for a food-focused Master's degree with real 'gourmet' quality? Look no further than NRI's MSc in Food Safety and Quality Management which recently gained accreditation from the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), the leading qualifying body for food professionals in Europe and the only professional body in the UK concerned with all aspects of food science and technology. The Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich is one of the first institutes in the country to receive IFST accreditation, ensuring that our students are receiving the best of what is on offer in food-related education.
‘Midges to Mars Bars: safeguarding pollination on cocoa farms’ is the title of the lecture being given on Thursday 5th November, from 5–6pm in Lecture Theatre 106, Jellicoe Building, Medway Campus. If your imagination is piqued by this enticing title, you might be further attracted by the chocolate samples to be shared amongst audience members!
Are you interested in increasing food security, conserving the environment and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Africa? Would you like to be involved in generating new evidence and decision-making support tools to create an enabling environment for poorer smallholder farmers to engage in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification?
If so, apply today for the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning Programme in Africa (SAIRLA) research opportunity.
Entitled ‘Sex, drugs and dinner: the hidden poisons in nectar and pollen’, this lecture deals with the ‘Elvis’ of the pollinating insect world. Indeed, the showy and colourful world of flowers and the insects that visit them is filled with many of the same excesses for which the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was famous; the insect equivalent would be the stimulants and toxins imbibed by the nectar-guzzling pollinators. Unquestionably though, Elvis' contribution to music was phenomenal. Similarly, this lecture deals with the massive importance of bees and other pollinators to life on Earth, highlighting how a decline in these species would have a severe impact on society and the world economy.
At a number of events earlier in the year, NRI and other colleagues from the Universities at Medway pulled together to fire up community interest in plant science, enthuse the public about food hygiene and food programmes across the University of Greenwich, and garner support for local charities.
The events began with a captivating look at plants during the Fascination of Plants Day held on Sunday 17th May at the University of Greenwich Medway Campus. Science-curious people of all ages had the chance to look, touch, smell and taste plants or plant products, and understand our interaction with plants on a daily basis.