Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab

A blog about leading science in peanut and food security.

Nutrition innovation grants available through Eleanor Crook Foundation

The Eleanor Crook Foundation (ECF) is accepting applications for the 2018 RISE (Research, Innovate, Scale, Establish) for Nutrition.

ECF has pledged to invest $100 million in nutrition by 2030. The RISE for Nutrition annual grant funds research on cost-effective, scalable innovations designed to improve nutrition interventions in East Africa.

The 2018 RFA includes a multi-stage process starting with this open call for concept notes. The process now consists of:  (more…)

Global Food Security Act renewed for five years

The law that sets the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security strategy and lays out the Feed the Future Innovation Labs, the Global Feed Security Act, was reauthorized late last week.

Introduced by U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia, and Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, the reauthorization extends food security programs for another five years. The original Global Food Security Act became law in 2016 and streamlined the whole-of-government approach to addressing hunger and food insecurity across the globe.

“I appreciate President Trump’s willingness to join us in this life-saving effort that is a smart investment in our national security,” said Isakson, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. “Ultimately, the global food security strategy is about helping developing countries achieve self-reliance through research, the use of new technologies and agriculture development. Food insecurity leads to instability and violence, so helping our neighbors abroad bolsters our security by strengthening U.S. influence and fostering stability. This program is designed to ensure a maximum return on our foreign assistance and also allows our farmers and researchers in Georgia to share their knowledge and benefit from these investments.”

Specifically, the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act will: (more…)

With private sector, USAID helping farmers weather shocks

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Food Security (USAID’s BFS) is partnering with private sector businesses to empower smallholder farmers with tools and technologies they need to face the wide range of emerging threats and shocks.

These shared-value partnerships through the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation will leverage business growth for development impact and make solutions available to smallholder farmers to address pest, disease, and weather-related food security threats. Helping smallholders access capital and resources, build assets, and manage risk are important strategies to prepare for and recover from threats and shocks.  (more…)

FAO asks for feedback from young people in agriculture in Africa

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Government of Rwanda and the African Union, are holding a regional conference, Youth Employment in Agriculture as a Solid Solution to ending Hunger and Poverty in Africa: Engaging through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Entrepreneurship, on 20 and 21 August 2018.

For more information visit the conference website.

As part of the preparations for the conference, organizers are asking youth engaged in agriculture and rural development across Africa, especially those who may not travel to Rwanda, to share experiences, successes stories, lessons learned, and good practices, as well as raise questions on youth employment in agriculture and entrepreneurship, digital innovations and future of work in agriculture.

Go to the comment site here and log in to contribute your thoughts on the following topics:

  • Experience as a Youth in the Agriculture Sector: How would you describe your experience as an Africa youth engaged in the agriculture sector in your country? What motivated you to engage into the agriculture sector?
  • Major Achievements and Success Stories: What have been your major achievements? Do you have any experience or innovative ways that have helped you in your work that you would want to share? Do you have a success story – either your own or any other that you are aware of – of youth engaged in agriculture in your country? What is the story?
  • What the Rwanda Youth Conference Should Address: If given an opportunity, what question would you ask the experts at the Rwanda Youth conference on each of the three sub-themes – a). Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship, b). Digital Innovation to Overcome Agriculture Value-Chain Constraints, and c). Future of Work in Rural Economy – of the conference?





Peanut seed germination at 88% this year. It’s certified.

Peanut seed tested for certification by the Georgia Crop Improvement Association showed an 88 percent germination rate this year. … Eighty-eight percent!

Georgia Seed Development recently published an article explaining how the Georgia Department of Agriculture tests samples from Georgia and other states to ensure the seed will germinate and grow. It’s a big job, with more than 10,000 samples (each sample made up of 200 seeds) tested in 2018.

Check out how it’s done and learn a little about one farmer who’s spent his career growing certified peanut seed.


Program matches young African nutrition businesses with investors

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in partnership with Royal DSM and the SUN Business Network is organizing a Nutrition Dealroom for companies working in the agri-food value chain.

The first-of-its-kind program will be part of the Nutrition Africa Investor Forum scheduled 16 and 17 October 2018 in Nairobi. The forum will give an overview of investments in nutrition and current financing models, as well as identify gaps in investments. (more…)

Leal-Bertioli wins grant to breed ancient traits into modern peanut

Soraya Leal-Bertioli, a senior research scientist at the University of Georgia and part of the team that traced peanut back to its wild ancestors, has landed a $445,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the resilience found in the genes of those ancient species.

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant is aimed at creating modern varieties that are more resistant to fungi and root diseases, which might cut down on the cost American farmers pay for pesticides and other inputs.

“In the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, hundreds of wild peanut populations were collected from the wild and deposited in the USDA seed bank,” she said. “Several studies show that these species carry resistance to pests and diseases that affect the peanut crop.”

Using modern techniques, Bertioli plans to introduce ancient, naturally-occurring resistance traits into modern lines of productive peanuts. Breeding peanut varieties with the resistance of their wild relatives that can keep up with modern production levels will allow farmers to produce peanuts with fewer chemicals at a lower cost.

For more information on Bertioli’s proposal, go to tinyurl.com/sustainablepeanuts.