Browse Feed the Future Peanut Lab Stories

67 results found for Feed the Future Peanut Lab
Peanut Innovation Lab student Joseph Gomis works with wild peanut relatives in Senegal. CAES News
Student Profile: Joseph Gomis
When Joseph Gomis finished a bachelor’s degree at Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, he wasn’t sure whether his studies would lead him to work with plants or animals. With a degree in natural science, he just wanted to make an impact. Similarly, he didn’t predict how important peanuts would become in his life until he was offered an internship to work with Daniel Fonceka, a well respected research scientist with CIRAD and the Centre d'étude régional pour l'amélioration de l'adaptation à la sécheresse (CERAAS).
Tabitha Lomotey studies peanut resilience to certain fungal diseases, but she also discovered that some varieties grow well in the middle altitudes of Uganda, giving farmers a potential new crop. CAES News
Student Profile: Tabitha Lomotey
When plant breeders talk about the benefits of their work, they usually focus on the benefits to the farmers. Higher yielding varieties that can withstand abiotic and biotic stresses such as drought or diseases bring both food and income security for farmers. But Tabitha Lomotey, who grew up in the city, talks about the consumer, how bringing more food to market makes lower prices for food insecure people who need to stretch their cash as far as they can.
Aflatoxin can't be seen by the naked eye, but is a dangerous contaminant in food around the world. CAES News
Aflatoxin course
Though scientists have known the source of aflatoxin for decades – fungi that infect crops like groundnut and maize and leave behind toxin – more work needs to be done to keep aflatoxin out of the food supply. That work involves educating producers and aggregators about proven ways to minimize the risk of fungal infection, continuing to build testing infrastructure and researching ways to fight contamination from the field to storage to manufacturing. To continue to spread basic knowledge of aflatoxin, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut has added a course to its digital learning platform, Groundnut Academy.
Researchers in the US and Senegal are studying why young people leave peanut farming behind and move to the city, an important question for the future of farming in Senegal’s Groundnut Basin. University of Georgia PhD student Pierre Diatta and Virginia Tech’s Brad Mills (far left and left), will present early findings of the study, along with UGA agricultural economist Genti Kostandini (far right), in a webinar next week. The team is working with Katim Toure, a collaborator at ENSA (École Nationale Supérieure d'Agriculture) in Senegal. CAES News
Young Senegalese Farmers
All over the world, farmers are aging and young people are moving to more urban areas for economic opportunities. Leaders wonder what factors push young people to abandon agriculture and whether technology or other tools can make farming a more attractive option for the next generation. Next week, researchers from the University of Georgia and Virginia Tech will present early findings from research exploring those questions in Senegal, where a team surveyed more than 1,000 peanut-growing households to explore challenges among peanut producers and learn the main reasons why young people turn away from agriculture.
Professor David Bertioli and his wife, Soraya Leal-Bertioli, senior research scientist, work together with peanut plants in their greenhouses at the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA) CAES News
Wild Peanut Genes
A decade ago, University of Georgia plant scientists David and Soraya Bertioli were living and working in Brazil when they began to wonder about peanut plants they encountered in different corners of the world with an astounding ability to withstand fungal diseases without the use of fungicides. The Bertiolis wondered if these different plants might all have something in common. Did they owe their natural resistance to a single genetic source?
Esther Achola is a PhD student at Makerere University in Uganda working with the Peanut Innovation Lab on a project to find the genetic source of resistance to groundnut rosette disease, a viral disease that can destroy peanut crops in sub-Saharan Africa. CAES News
Fighting GRD in peanut
Scientists have discovered that some varieties of peanut have natural defenses against a devastating disease that completely stunts the growth of other varieties. Now, they are homing in on where those resistant peanuts store that defense – where in its genome the disease-fighting weapon lies – so that they can tap into that resistance and give subsistence farmers a way to grow a more bountiful crop with less risk. Esther Achola has her eye on that prize.
Baffoe-Bonnie, an assistant professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness at Alcorn State, has joined the Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia heading a project on technology uptake in Ghana. CAES News
New peanut lab project
The Peanut Innovation Lab is adding another project to its portfolio, one that will help farmers in Ghana to see how improved farming practices can improve their bottom line. The project – Modern peanut technology adoption and smallholder farmers’ welfare – is led by Anthony Baffoe-Bonnie, an assistant professor at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi.
CAES News
Summer research on Uganda
U.S. college students interested in a future in international development could only ponder the possibilities from afar this summer, as the ongoing global pandemic kept most from any sort of study or work abroad. That limitation applied to students participating in a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergrads program at the University of Vermont, too, a program designed to prepare them for graduate school or professional work in international development, applied economics, sociology, demography or public policy.
Henry Ssendagire, a master's student at Makerere University in Uganda, is working on a project with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut at UGA to find the alternative hosts for a devastating peanut disease, Groundnut Rosette Virus. CAES News
Tracking peanut virus
Henry Ssendagire was supposed to become a medical doctor. At least, that was his mother’s dream. She may have to settle for a doctor of virology. Ssendagire, who grew up in a poor neighborhood in Kampala, Uganda, found himself studying horticulture on a government scholarship. Today, his research may help farmers control one of the most troublesome plant diseases that ruins groundnut yields and threatens food security.
Kaitlin Fischer, a PhD student in rural sociology at Pennsylvania State University working on a Peanut Innovation Lab project has won a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to Ghana and study peanut value chain interventions. CAES News
Fulbright Scholar
Women around the world play an important role in producing peanut, but how those nuts get to market is a complicated and critical part of the value chain. Kaitlin Fischer, a graduate student working with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to compare interventions to see how two types of commercialization schemes impact peanut farmers, especially women.