Browse Feed the Future Peanut Lab Stories - Page 5

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Jennifer Abogoom studies at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, where she is pursuing a master's degree in seed science and technology and investigating the consistency of groundnut seed that farmers use. CAES News
Student Profile: Jennifer Abogoom
Jennifer Abogoom, a student researcher supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut, seeks to better understand why farmers choose the seed they do and what quality their seed has, compared to certified seed.
Justus Chintu (far right), the principal agricultural research scientist for groundnut breeding, and the rest of the team at the Chitedze Research Station near Lilongwe, gained approval for three new varieties after testing for resilience and market acceptability. (Photo by Jamie Rhoads) CAES News
New peanut varieties for Malawi
Three new groundnut varieties soon will be available in Malawi after the national program released new drought-tolerant Spanish-type varieties through a regional research collaboration and with support of the Peanut Innovation Lab.
William Ofori Appaw, who worked on aflatoxin-mitigating research with the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, presented results of the work recently at the American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting, including how the outcome of the project won recognition in 2019 for its innovation. A package of solutions from the PMIL research ranked in the top six for innovation at the International Union of Food Science and Technology's 2019 Elevator Pitch Contest, seen here. CAES News
APRES presentations
Several students and alumni who worked on innovation lab projects presented at the recent 52nd annual American Peanut Research and Education Society conference, held this year online.
A project spearheaded by a team from the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) through the Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia plans to use voice recordings and biometric devices to capture a more vivid picture of the demands on a woman’s time and energy. Women in Senegal will wear wrist-mounted devices, one to record heart-rate and another to capture voice recordings, to gauge how much time and energy women have to adopt new peanut-growing technologies. CAES News
Woman's work in peanut
Asking a busy woman to report her daily activities can give researchers insight into how she spends her limited time and whether child-care and other household responsibilities leave her with enough bandwidth to adapt to changes and accept new technologies. Traditional time diaries have limitations, though, particularly in places where women often aren’t literate and don’t follow time on a clock. A project spearheaded by a team from the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) through the Peanut Innovation Lab plans to use voice recordings and biometric devices to capture a more vivid picture of the demands on a woman’s time and energy.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut recently surveyed partners involved in peanut production in Malawi to gauge their priorities for educational materials and research in the future. (Photo by Jamie Rhoads) CAES News
Malawi partners' survey
The Peanut Innovation Lab includes several projects to improve peanut productivity in Malawi. To get a general idea of the priorities stakeholders have for improved practices, the innovation lab recently conducted a simple online survey with a small group of agriculture professionals in Malawi to rank the activities and messages they find most important to improve farmers’ outcomes.
The Peanut Innovation Lab at UGA recently held its annual meeting online. More than 100 scientists and students from around the world attended. CAES News
Virtual meeting
At the end of any multiple-day meeting, the Peanut Innovation Lab would survey participants to solicit opinions on the most helpful (and, not so helpful) aspects of the gathering. Following the program’s first all-virtual annual meeting and June, that feedback was even more important than usual, leading the lab to conduct an in-depth survey about what worked, what failed and how participants would like to attend meetings in the future.
Ivan Chapu, a graduate student at Makerere University in Uganda, uses handheld sensors to evaluate peanuts growing in the field. Scientists in three countries are using the sensors as part of a Peanut Innovation Lab project to speed up the process of assessing peanut varieties for various traits. The work could help peanut breeders in their work to create varieties resistant to disease and resilient to climate shocks. (Photo provided by Ivan Chapu) CAES News
High-Throughput Phenotyping
Commercially available high-tech sensors can give farmers more information about the overall health of a crop, showing a clearer picture of how widely disease or drought is stressing the plants. Those same sensors can help plant breeders more quickly and objectively to assess the phenotypic characteristics of a particular variety, enabling the breeder to work quicker to develop varieties with resiliency traits.
Participants work through an activity at training held by the Peanut Innovation Lab through Gender-Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation in Kampala, Uganda. The training for students and scientists working with the lab in southern and eastern Africa was conducted March 10-12 by GREAT, a partnership by Makerere and Cornell University to show agricultural researchers the impact gender considerations have on their studies. CAES News
Gender training
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut recently held three days of gender training executed by the GREAT (Gender-Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation) team and Makerere University, the first in a series of intensive workshops to help researchers understand how best to consider gender in their work.
Steve Brown (left), executive director of the Peanut Research Foundation, and Jeff Johnson, a retired Birdsong Peanuts executive who serves on the Peanut Innovation Lab’s External Advisory Panel, discuss project proposals as the lab started a new five-year program in 2018. (Photo by Allison Floyd) CAES News
Peanut school snacks
Because peanut is nutritious, relatively inexpensive and shelf stable, the nut already is the main component in Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to help children recover from severe malnutrition and in supplementary foods to prevent malnutrition. Numerous studies show cognitive benefits to people who consume nuts; research currently under way through the Peanut Innovation Lab could directly show that eating peanuts can help children succeed in school.
Gender workshop
Women make up half of the agricultural workforce in sub-Saharan Africa, yet researchers don’t always consider how the details of women’s lives might have a huge impact on the outcome of the research or whether resulting technology succeeds or fails on the farm. With Gender and Youth as both a key focus area and a cross-cutting theme of all projects for the program, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut is looking to inspire and empower scientists to explore how men and women live and farm differently and how those differences can impact the objective data that comes from research.