Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab

A blog about leading science in peanut and food security.

Journal article covers peanut production, constraints in Malawi and Zambia

In a new paper published by the American Phytopathological Society, ICRISAT’s Sam Njoroge makes a critical review of peanut production in Malawi and Zambia, along with a look ahead at the options for improving quality, quantity and marketing of peanut in the region.

Peanut yield has increased over the past two decades – from 240 to 595 kg/hectare in Malawi and 307 to 454 kg/hectare in Zambia, according to FAO numbers Njoroge cites. But constraints still keep that productivity well below the 2,000 kg/hectare potential and aflatoxin contamination keeps producers from participating in European or South African markets, Njoroge explains.

Njoroge holds a PhD in plant pathology from Clemson University and has worked as an associate scientist on peanut pathology for ICRISAT based in Malawi since 2010. He served as a collaborating partner with the Feed the Future Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab (PMIL), as well.

A Critical Review of Aflatoxin Contamination of Peanuts in Malawi and Zambia: The Past, Present, and Future is available here.



Peanut Institute launches online library for nutrition research

The Peanut Institute has launched a searchable research library to serve as the hub of all peanut nutrition research publications. The resource gives anyone instant access to the latest and most noteworthy research in the nutrition field.

The database will allow users to search the library by topic, year of publication, journal, article title, study authors or keywords. A summary of publications will be provided, as well as links to the original studies online.

Research Director Samara Sterling launched the library and expects that by August 2019 it will have at least 250 publication summaries. Developing the research library is a continuous process, both of identifying and summarizing research articles, and of identifying the most user-friendly database design methods, Sterling said.




New drug could ease peanut allergy in kids

A year-long trial involving methodical exposure to small amounts of peanut protein shows promise in  alleviating the most serious peanut allergies.

The results, announced Sunday at a conference of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in Seattle, may lead to the first oral medication that could eliminate severe peanut allergies in children.

After six months of treatment followed by six months of maintenance therapy, two-thirds of the 372 children who received the treatment were able to ingest 600 milligrams or more of peanut protein — the equivalent of two peanuts — without developing allergic symptoms.

Check out this article in the New York Times.





Share images of global food security work in Agrilinks contest

The first place photo from Agrilinks 2013 contest was titled “Using Technology to Grow More with Less.”

The Agrilinks 2018 Photo Challenge is accepting pictures of agriculture and food security work around the world.

People who want to share pictures can submit up to 10 images. Entries will be judged on relevance to one or more Agrilinks topic areas, composition, originality and technical quality. A judging panel and social media crowd voting will combine to choose one overall winner, in addition to winners in each topic area. Winning photos will be announced in mid-January, subsequently featured in Agrilinks communications and highlighted on the website’s topic pages.

Agrilinks is especially looking for photos depicting resilience, policy and governance, and monitoring, evaluation and learning.

All entries should be submitted via this online submission form by 20 December. For any questions or issues, contact the team at agrilinks@agrilinks.org.

Here are the  requirements and rules.


President Carter put in Hall of Fame for years of peanut farming

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter speaks at the 2017 Georgia Peanut Tour.

Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States and a lifelong peanut farmer, was inducted into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame last week.

His experiences on the farm in Southwest Georgia helped shape his world view, which is shared in many of the 30 books he has authored. Though he also had a  a career as a naval officer, Carter returned to farming near Plains, Ga., where he still lives with his wife Rosalynn.

He welcomed the 31st annual Georgia Peanut Tour to his family’s farm in 2017. The homestead is now a National Historic Site.

Read more about Carter’s induction into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame here.





Funding available for scientist partnerships through USAID

The Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) program is accepting proposals from developing country researchers interested in collaborating with counterparts who are funded by selected U.S. government-supported agencies.

PEER is an international awards program that brings developing country scientists and engineers together with researchers funded by U.S. federal science agencies to address global development challenges. Through catalyzing collaborative research and strategic partnerships and leveraging existing U.S. investments in research, PEER is designed to elevate the use of science and technology in addressing local and global development challenges in USAID-presence countries. (more…)

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…)