News Stories - Page 3

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.
Drying tarps for peanuts
When Ghanaian groundnut farmers are given tarps for free, they will use them to dry their crops, one of the proven ways to reduce the risk of aflatoxin-producing mold. But, when they have to buy the tarps -- even when they are given an economic incentive to produce low-aflatoxin nuts -- farmers are reluctant to spend the money. A paper recently published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reported those findings in research led by University of Georgia agricultural economist Nick Magnan under the Feed the Future Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab.
Professor and Head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences Lynn Bailey speaks about the importance of nutritional interventions for maternal and childhood health at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Global Food Security Summit. CAES News
Food Security Summit
When it comes to the goal of feeding the world’s growing population, the only certainty is that it will take a multipronged approach.
Ibrahima Diedhiou of the University of Thies in Senegal talks to Peanut Innovation Lab Director Dave Hoisington. Diedhiou studies how wild shrubs in the arid Sahel region of Western Africa may improve crop yields and remediate degraded soils. Now – with the support of the Peanut Innovation Lab – he’s testing how the shrubs work in Senegalese farmers’ peanut fields. (Photo by Allison Floyd) CAES News
Shrub helpers
Shrubs that grow wild in West Africa could be key in boosting yield and giving farmers assurance that they can make a profitable crop, even in the drought prone, food insecure Sahel region. Through the Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab, researchers are exploring how best to use two shrubs species in cultivated peanut fields in Senegal to improve the soil health, tap into moisture far below ground and lower soil temperatures.