Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab

A blog about leading science in peanut and food security.

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.


Leaders inducted into the Peanut Hall of Fame

The American Peanut Council Hall of Fame recently inducted retired Birdsong Peanut executive Jeff Johnson into its ranks. 

Johnson, who serves on the Peanut Innovation Lab’s External Advisory Panel, joined Birdsong Peanuts in 1974 and has been active in the American Peanut Council throughout his career, serving as chairman of the APC as well as the APC export board and working on export market development for the industry. He also helped found the Peanut Institute in 1996 and served as its president during its first three years.

While Johnson is a leader in developing export markets for peanuts, he also advocates for the use of peanut-based therapeutic food and guided the industry to take it on as a humanitarian project now known as Peanut Butter for the Hungry.

Along with Johnson, JLA’s Jim Leek was inducted to the Hall of Fame. An expert in the area of quality systems, Leek helped position Proctor & Gamble’s JiF brand to become the leading peanut butter brand in the country earlier in his career.


Job opening for ag scientist in Africa

The West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) is looking to fill a Manager Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education and Development (PAIRED) position. This position will report directly to the Director of Research and Innovation.

CORAF (www.coraf.org) is a not for profit international association of National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) from 23 countries in West and Central Africa. CORAF harnesses partnerships to drive agricultural innovation in view of achieving prosperity and food and nutrition security in West and Central Africa. Under the auspices of the Regional Economic Communities of West and Central Africa (ECOWAS, UEMOA, ECCAS and CEMAC), CORAF designs programs that contribute to the attainment of the goals of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

CORAF received a grant from the United States Agency for International Development/West Africa Regional Mission (USAID/WARM) to implement a Partnership program for Agricultural Research, Education and Development (PAIRED) over a period of five years (2017 – 2022).

The PAIRED specific objective is to improve agricultural productivity and market access in West Africa, through the following three components: (i) Support for strengthening CORAF institutional capacity, (ii) Increasing availability and use of agricultural technologies and innovations at scale and (iii) Enabling policy environment for regional Trade in Agri-Inputs and Products. The PAIRED is aligned to the CORAF Strategic Plan 2018-2027 and contributes to achieving the objective of the USAID Global Food Security Strategy.

CORAF seeks to hire a Manager to lead the implementation of PAIRED and invites suitable qualified candidates from one of the 23 Western and Central African members countries to apply. The position will be based at CORAF’s Executive Secretariat in Dakar, Senegal with frequent travel.

The successful candidate should have:

An advanced degree (MSc or PhD) in social science (Agricultural Economics, Education, Extension), or related science

With a proven record of program management acquired through a minimum of 10 years of demonstrated capacity to lead in an international, multidisciplinary, and cross-cultural environment.

Work experience in Western and Central Africa and prior professional experience interacting with donors, national government departments and non‐governmental organizations are distinct advantages.

Experience in results-based management and USAID procedures will be an advantage.

Excellent skills in writing and editing scientific literature and/or ‘general’ material, computer literacy and full familiarity with the Microsoft Office® Suite of softwares are required.

The candidate must be willing to travel regularly in the region.

Fluency in either French or English with working knowledge of the other is highly desirable, as is the ability to communicate complex subjects succinctly.

Email bvida@carrhure.com or go to http://www.carrhure.com to find out more.



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