Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab

A blog about leading science in peanut and food security.

Feed the Future plans webinar on women, cross-border trading

On this year’s International Women’s Day, Feed the Future’s communications team, Agrilinks, will host “Women Without Borders: Gender and Informal Cross-Border Trade,” a live event in Washington, D.C. that you can stream online. The webinar will be March 8 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. EST. Links to register, both to participate in-person or for the webinar, can be found on the event page.

Around 70 to 80 percent of informal cross-border traders (ICBT) in the southern Africa region are women. Although this trade can empower them economically, it can also make them extremely vulnerable to harassment and gender-based violence from corrupt border agents. These women also experience high taxation and trade regulations, unsanitary working conditions, and limited access to credit facilities and information on market opportunities.

The seminar will discuss the obstacles many of these women encounter. Presenters will evaluate research and recommendations on how to improve conditions for these women to ultimately promote gender equality and economic empowerment.

Deadline extended for postharvest innovation award

The organizers of the inaugural All Africa Postharvest Technologies and Innovations Challenge extended the deadline for entries to today (24 February) to give researchers and innovators more time to participate.

The challenge is part of the All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition which being hosted from the 28 to 31 March 2017 by the University of Nairobi in partnership with a consortium of Kenyan universities, Research and Development Organizations, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in conjunction and the World Food Preservation Center. The challenge will be judged by a panel of judges from across Africa; the top 20 postharvest technologies and innovations will be profiled during the Congress and on its online platforms.

The top 10 innovators will receive a shared cash award amounting to $35,000 and get a chance to showcase their ideas to leading investors attending the Congress. The overall goal is to identify technologies and innovations that can address the challenges faced by farmers and other value chain actors in postharvest management across a range of food value chains.

The postharvest conference will be held at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.

Read more about the awards or submit an entry here.


Photo contest shows success of work toward food security

Feed the Future has picked the winners of its most recent photo contest, and they are worth a look.

More than 100 entries showed Feed the Future in action – from Nepal to Kenya to Guatemala – with partners in universities, nonprofits, NGOs and the U.S. Government.

The images tell the story of what it looks like when development works: farmers connect to markets, women and young people have opportunities to build a better future, children get a better start on life with better nutrition, entrepreneurs find support to launch new ventures, research and innovation lead to marketable solutions, and economies and global stability grow.

Check out this year’s top photos. (This is the winning entry, submitted by USAID’s Business Literacy Program, showing a farmer in Nepal heading to a collection center to sell her fresh harvest of vegetables.)

Check out this new video about proper drying of groundnuts

A new video about aflatoxin — where it comes from, how it spreads and how to discourage it — is available through AccessAgriculture. The video combines interviews with local farmers, indigenous music and engaging landscape scenes, as a narrator gives practical advice about drying and storing groundnuts.

The video, which was funded through the McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program and produced by Agro-Insight, explains that groundnuts are nutritious and sell for a good price, but can develop mold. Fighting that mold and the aflatoxin it produces is important in the field, but even more so during drying and storage.

InterDrought-V conference live-streamed this week

The InterDrought-V conference held in Hyderabad, India this week will be streamed live through Blue Jean Communications.  The conference continues a series meant to serve as a platform for discussing strategies to respond to drought.  The event will include speakers, a panel discussion, and new publications related to the topic.
The event takes place on Indian Standard Time (five and a half hours ahead of GMT and 10 and a half hours ahead of Eastern Time).  The conference’s opening session will begin Tuesday evening (Tuesday morning in the West).  The discussions begin the following day organized into two-hour sessions for the remainder of the conference.
Both the program for the panel discussion and an Abstract Book published by Nature India are available on the event website.

MFK interns defend research thesis

Congrats to two Meds & Food for Kids interns, Gary Benoit and Exan Desamours, who have successfully defended their thesis. The Université Roi Henri Christophe students now will make modifications to their final document before submitting it.

MFK, the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab’s partner in Haiti, provides students research opportunities on its campus in Cap-Haïtien. In exchange, MFK uses the research findings to help smallholder farmers produce a larger, safer crop of peanuts.

Benoit and Desamours studied timing of fungicide application.

Administrators at the university said the internship program through MFK has been an integral part of the agronomy program and important in helping students gain research experience and complete their end-of-studies theses.

Pictured here are Benoit and Desamours, along with current students Rodnie Valmy and Rodemane Saint Louis, who are currently preparing for their thesis defense.

Time to nominate for APRES honors

The American Peanut Research and Education Society is soliciting nominations for awards recognizing an individual’s service to the peanut industry or APRES, outstanding paper, outstanding research project, outstanding education project and outstanding graduate student speaker during its Annual Meeting.

This year, that meeting will be held July 11-13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Eligibility rules and nomination criteria for APRES’ Annual Recognition Awards can be found on the APRES website at under the Member tab. Nominations should be sent to the chairman of the award.

Submission deadline for all awards is May 1, unless otherwise noted.


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