News Stories - Page 2

Sean Posey CAES News
Student Profile: Sean Posey
Sean Posey didn’t see how agricultural economics would feed his love of math, but a decade into his grad school journey, he’s using those skills and interests to help improve farming practices in Africa. From information communication technologies to gender roles in information-sharing and incentivization programs that will improve groundnut health, Posey has been focused on improving agricultural practices and public safety for the past four years. At the University of Georgia completing his PhD, Posey is working on a research project led by professor Nick Magnan through the Peanut Innovation Lab
The Peanut Innovation Lab has posted the second in a pair of animations giving farmers valuable advice on growing groundnut. This edition focuses on late-season information related to harvest and storage, and might be shown together with the first animation or separately. CAES News
Groundnut animation
The Peanut Innovation Lab has posted the second in a pair of animations giving farmers valuable advice on growing groundnut. This edition focuses on late-season information related to harvest and storage, and might be shown together with the first animation or separately. The animations, produced by Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO), relay to smallholder farmers proven methods to protect and improve yield. The message of the videos was shaped through interviews and surveys with partners in Africa to ensure that the information is prioritized to have the most impact.
Danielle Essandoh, a master’s student at Makerere University in Uganda, grew out 376 lines of plants derived from peanut ancestors and looked for resistance to modern diseases. The project, headed by Soraya Leal-Bertioli at the University of Georgia, could result in new varieties that allow African farmers to fight plant diseases that can decimate a crop. CAES News
Student Profile: Danielle Essandoh
Danielle Essandoh always liked plants, but as she prepares to defend her master’s thesis for a degree in plant breeding from Makerere University in Uganda, she sees how her love of plants grew into a passion for helping people. Specifically, the work could lead to improved varieties that can withstand two particular diseases that can destroy groundnut crops in eastern Africa – groundnut rosette disease and late leaf spot.
Ivan Chapu has worked with hand-held sensors in groundnut test plots in Uganda as past of a three-country project to use the technology for high-throughput phenotyping. Now that he’s completeing a master’s degree from Makerere University, he hopes to continue on to a PhD. (Photo by Allison Floyd) CAES News
Student Profile: Ivan Chapu
Ugandan graduate student Ivan Chapu has dedicated himself to adapting handheld sensors to help groundnut breeders generate resilient varieties that will help farmers to succeed. His passion for new technology led him in an unexpected direction – into a peanut field – where the Makerere University master’s student also discovered a love for research.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut at the University of Georgia worked with Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) to create the first of two animations covering good production practices in Malawi. CAES News
Peanut animation
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut and SAWBO (Scientific Animations Without Borders) have released the first of two animations highlighting peanut production practices that bring the highest yield and best quality groundnuts. The animations specifically address production in Malawi, but are broad enough to be used elsewhere.
Social scientists working with a Peanut Innovation Lab project in Ghana piloted a phone-based survey system this summer to begin to find how men and women use their time during peanut-planting season. Enumerators worked at a distance, while extension agents in two outlying villages made sure the correct person answered the questions. CAES News
Women's time in Ghana
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, researchers in northern Ghana are working to better understand how men and women use their time in order to target interventions that would reduce drudgery for women and bring in a healthier peanut crop. Working with a Peanut Innovation Lab project in Northern Ghana, the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI) adapted an in-person survey into a pandemic-safe study this summer, employing enumerators and regional agriculture extension agents to conduct household surveys over mobile phone.
Leslie Commey, a graduate student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, studies at Texas Tech University and works with Venugopal Mendu, the lead scientist on the “Developing Aspergillus flavus-resistant peanut using seed coat biochemical markers” project. (Photo courtesy of Leslie Commey) CAES News
Student Profile: Leslie Commey
Leslie Commey’s interest in plant breeding came from watching his mother work as a vegetable trader in Ghana. A graduate student in biotechnology, Commey now is studying for a master’s degree at Texas Tech University and working on a Peanut Innovation Lab project to find peanut’s natural defenses against aflatoxin.
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.