Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab

A blog about leading science in peanut and food security.

Borlaug Award comes with cash prize for young scientist

It’s time to nominate young scientists for the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, a $10,000 prize that recognizes exceptional, science-based achievement in international agriculture and food production by an individual under 40. The award, endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation, goes to someone who “has clearly demonstrated intellectual courage, stamina, and determination in the fight to eliminate global hunger and poverty,” according to organizers.

Nominations are sought through June 30 for the sixth-annual award, which will be presented at the World Food Prize events in October. (more…)

African Journal of Rural Development taking articles for special issue

The African Journal of Rural Development (AFJRD) is seeking for papers for a supplementary issue on research, processes and related works on multi-stakeholder engagements in rural development from within and outside Africa.

AFJRD is an online open-access scientific journal that publishes articles on a quarterly basis (March, June, September, December). It is a multi- disciplinary peer-reviewed journal with an ultimate purpose of sharing and increasing the depth of knowledge on aspects of sustainable rural development. The Journal welcomes submission of manuscripts that meet the general criteria of domain significance and scientific excellence. All articles published in AFJRD will be peer reviewed.

The AFJRD publishes original research articles, short communications (which can give results of small investigations or  details of new models or hypotheses, and innovative approaches or methods, for example), and reviews (perspectives covering topics of current interest).

The AFJRD is supported by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a Network of 66 Universities in Africa. The Supplementary Issue on multi-stakeholder  research  and  innovations  is  inspired  by  the  increased  focus  on  multi-

Deadline for submission is 15 July. Following peer review and editing, the selected articles will be published 30 November.

The guide to authors and other details are available on Email to register and access the online platform or for queries. All manuscripts will be received and processed via the Open Journal System Platform and authors will have opportunity to view status on their manuscripts via this system.

AflaNet seeking papers for upcoming conference

AflaNet, a partnership between the scientific and development communities in German and Kenya/East Africa, is soliciting abstracts for its one-day-conference in Nairobi on 9 October.

The aim of the conference is to bring together scientists, stakeholders, institutes, farmers and governmental institutions seeking for long-lasting, innovative and practicable ideas to combat aflatoxin from the food value chain.

The project funded by the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2016 is designed as an initial study that is planned to be followed by a more intensive, overall collaborative project with African partners.

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 June; and notice of acceptance will go out 15 August. Send abstract to

African ag information conference set for 2018

The International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD) Africa Chapter and the Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) is seeking proposals for papers and workshops to be presented at the 4th IAALD Africa Conference in Pretoria, South Africa, 30 May through 1 June, 2018.

Papers should reflect the conference theme – “Agricultural innovations, information and knowledge: Catalyzing the attainment of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the African Union Agenda 2063.”

Find out more or explore sub-themes here.

Capacity development is a major component of the IAALD Africa Conference; organizers encourage proposals for interactive workshops intended to convey knowledge or skills to agricultural information professionals in areas relating to the sub-themes of the conference. Workshops may be organized during pre-conference events for two-thirds of the day (27-29 May) or half the day (31 May).

Proposals for papers or workshops should be sent to Gracian Chimwaza ( cc. no later than 30 September.

Webinar explores how formal/informal seed systems can complement

GFAR – the Global Forum on Agricultural Research – is holding a webinar on May 30 at 4 p.m. Rome time (3 p.m. GMT, 10 a.m. EST) about how informal and formal seed systems can complement each other to benefit farmers.

In the webinar, “Farmers’ Rights: Achieving Complementarity Between the Informal and Formal Seed Systems,”  presenters will share how this balance has been achieved and identify some obstacles that still need to be addressed; and an expert will share how holistic policy and legal measures are also needed, identifying their relevant elements and sharing national examples. The session is meant to distill information and best practices that can be applied to strengthen the complementarity between the informal and formal seed systems and motivate participants to work together by strengthening partnerships and collective actions.

Presenters include:

  • Mr. Mario Marino, Technical Officer, Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
  • Ms. Gloria Otieno, Associate Expert, Genetic Resources and Food Security Policy; Bioversity International Regional Office in Uganda
  • Mr. Marvin Gomez, leader in participatory plant breeding; Foundation for Participatory Research with Honduran farmers
  • Ms. Szonja Csörgõ, Director of Intellectual Property and Legal Affairs of the European Seed Association
  • Mr. Bram de Jonge, Seed Policy Advisor at Oxfam Novib, the Netherlands

Register for this webinar by emailing

Cancer specialist studying foods that fight aflatoxin damage

Some 750,000 people die of liver cancer each year, most before age 50, and more 80 percent of them lived in developing countries, according to the National Institutes of Health. Researchers are looking at the way aflatoxin consumption, combined with hepatitis and other factors, are leading to more cancer diagnoses.

“Liver cancer is one of the most profoundly important cancers on our planet,” said John Groopman, a Johns Hopkins professor of oncology and public health said in a recent lecture. He and colleagues are documenting a two-pronged approach—reducing consumption and chemical detoxification—in high-risk human populations.

An MIT-trained toxicologist, Groopman, who also trained at NCI’s Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention years ago, and his team focused on natural products as interrupters of the metabolic path by which aflatoxin produces dangerous DNA adducts that promote cancer.

“The challenge was finding foods with enough compounds to modify protective enzymatic pathways,” he said. “Our colleagues found that broccoli turned out to be most useful.”

Check out the NIH coverage of the talk. A link to the video is at the bottom of the page.

Nitrogen fertilizer workshop planned for London in June

The International IFA and IFDC are holding a workshop 26-30 June in London.
“Nitrogen Fertilizer: Advances in Technology, Products, Safety and Global Impact” is open for registration at the event webpage.

Since 2001, through biennial events, IFA and IFDC have been conducting the Nitrogen Fertilizer Technology workshops to share knowledge and exchange information with representatives of the nitrogen fertilizer industry regarding different production technologies. At first, these workshops were designed for engineers working in the fertilizer industry, but the workshops attracted other socio-professional categories such as C-level executives, senior managers and those involved in areas of marketing, agronomy, environment and research, as well as private sector entrepreneurs investing in the fertilizer industry. (more…)

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