Diversifying Agriculture for Better Lives

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29 October 2013 Add Comments

The BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona has announced the 2014 “Tucson Plant Breeding Institute” to be held January 6-10, 2014. The course encompasses 4 modules: 1) Introduction to Plant Quantitative Genetics, 2) Introduction to Plant Genomics, 3) Advanced Statistical Plant Breeding, and 4) Bioinformatics for Breeders. One of the instructors, J.B. Walsh, also teaches at the upcoming African Plant Breeding Academy that focuses on “orphan” crops, and alerted us to the fact that much of the January course material  will be on the use of new statistical, genomic, and bioinformatic tools that will be of interest to researchers working on orphan crops.

23 October 2013 Add Comments

Three new training courses on neglected and underutilised species have just been announced by Bioversity International and partner organisations to take place in November and December this year in Uganda and Benin. The courses seek to strengthen research capabilities of African researchers and specifically address: 1) scientific writing and communication, 2) value chain research, and 3) food systems. The call invites holders of at least a Master’s degree and not older than 40 years from Benin, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal (Benin course) and Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda (Uganda courses) to apply not later than 28 October.

17 September 2013 10 Comments
3rd International Conference on Neglected and Underutilized Species: For a Food-Secure Africa (NUS 2013)

3rd International Conference on Neglected and Underutilized Species: For a Food-Secure Africa (NUS 2013)

As part of the conference coverage for NUS 2013, New Agriculturist – a widely read and well – recognised online journal, will be helping to share your stories about how agricultural knowledge and innovation regarding neglected crops are helping to address major development challenges and make a real difference in the lives of the poor. In particular, the New Agriculturist is interest to feature case studies that show how the author’s work is helping to achieve developmental change in increasing environmental resilience with NUS, in enhancing food and nutrition security, or benefiting people’s lives and livelihoods through the upgrading of NUS value chains.

The conveners of the conference kindly invite participants who may be interested to collaborate and have their stories published to submit a short outline for articles that correspond with the following conference themes:

Theme 1: Resilience of agricultural and livelihood systems

  • Diversification for food security in sub-Saharan Africa
  • NUS for nutrition and health

Theme 2: Upgrading value chains of neglected and underutilized species

Interested contributors are advised to write directly to Olivia Frost at email hidden; JavaScript is required, and copy to email hidden; JavaScript is required by no later than 30th September 2013. Please visit the official website of the “3rd International Conference on Neglected and Underutilized Species: For a Food-Secure Africa (NUS 2013)” for more information and article submission guidelines.

03 September 2013 Add Comments
3rd Bambara Groundnut Workshop

3rd Bambara Groundnut Workshop

The Crop Research Institute of Ghana (CSIR) and Crops for the Future Research Centre (CFFRC) will be organising the “3rd International Bambara Groundnut Workshop”, to take place on 24 September 2013 in Ellking Hotel, Accra, Ghana. The workshop will be held in conjunction with the 3rd International Conference on Neglected and Underutilized Species (NUS 2013) and is an open meeting for anyone who wishes to attend, particularly NUS 2013 delegates.

Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L.) is an indigenous African legume which fills the same ecological niche as the introduced South American groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) but it is believed to have greater drought tolerance and pest resistance. The workshop is an opportunity for the wider community working on Bambara groundnut (and underutilised legumes more generally) to discuss collaborative links which will help to broaden the international scope of the research effort and dissemination of findings concerning this legume.

Interested participants are advised to register directly with the organisers of the workshop, Ms. Razlin Azman at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Please visit the official website of the 2012 Crops for the Future Research Symposium for further details and a report on the previously held 2nd International Workshop on Bambara Groundnut.

01 August 2013 2 Comments
International Symposium on Indigenous Vegetables

International Symposium on Indigenous Vegetables

The World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) and the International Society for Horticulture Science (ISHS) will be organising the “International Symposium on Indigenous Vegetables”, to take place 18-20 August 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. The symposium will be held in conjunction with the 29th International Horticultural Congress (IHC2014).

The conference aims to increase agricultural systems diversification – focusing on indigenous vegetables – in order to improve human nutrition through better balanced diets and to achieve more resilient, profitable, and sustainable small-holder production and marketing systems. The target region of interest of this symposium will be confined to the Pacific Island communities and other locations in Africa and Asia, where poor current dietary choices have led to critically high human health costs to society.

International Symposium on Indigenous Vegetables” is now calling for abstracts to be submitted by 01 November 2013 on the following topics:

  1. Germplasm and seed systems;
  2. Sustainable production for more resilient systems;
  3. Postharvest and commercialisation; and
  4. Nutrition and consumption

Applicants are advised to write directly to the conveners of the symposium, Dr. Dyno Keatinge or Dr. Jaw-Fen Wang, at email hidden; JavaScript is required. Please visit the official website of “International Symposium on Indigenous Vegetables” for more information.