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UGA’s Kemerait awarded Fulbright funding

University of Georgia plant pathologist and the expert behind the state’s risk management tool for peanut, PeanutRx, Bob Kemerait has been awarded funding as a Fulbright Specialist to lecture and advise through Mariano Marcos State University in the Philippines.

Kemerait will work in the Philippines in the last part of March and the first part of April, providing advice to small-scale farmers who have limited mechanization and other resources, but rely on peanut as one of their few cash-crop options. While there, he also will meet with graduate students, lecture in several venues and draft a proposal for on-going work.

While he currently isn’t working on a Peanut Innovation Lab project, Kemerait has worked with the program in the past.

Upcoming webinar reviews Nagoya Protocol for sharing genetic resources

 The American Institute of Biological Sciences is holding a webinar on Thursday, February 27 when Patrick Reilly from the U.S. State Department will discuss the Nagoya Protocol, the system of rules for sharing genetic resources. 

During “Life Finds A Way: An Overview of the Nagoya Protocol from the U.S. Government,” Reilly will give a short history of how the protocol was developed, what it actually says (and what it doesn’t), the difference between monetary and non-monetary benefit sharing, and how the U.S. government can help.

 The Nagoya Protocol is a multilateral treaty that sets up a legal framework for utilizing genetic resources. It should be a part of every researcher’s thinking, from how to conduct research, to manage collections, and how to work with partners. Even for researchers based in the United States, familiarity with the protocol, and what it requires, is important as provider countries may have rules/regulations/laws that carry obligations that apply to samples even after they have left the country, such as restrictions on use, third party transfer, and tracking of any shared benefits.

The webinar will be February 27 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The session is free, but registration is required.

For more details or to register, go to

Funding offered African scientists to present bioeconomy research in Argentina

Funding is available for 20 scholars from African universities or research institutes to attend this year’s International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research, but the deadline to apply is fast approaching.

This conference, held in Cordoba, Argentina, has the theme “Accelerating Bioeconomy Growth Through Applied Research and Policy Change.”

Applicants go through the regular abstract process to present a paper at the conference  and then fill in a form  which can also be accessed through the ICABR website,

The deadline for applications is February 25, 2020.



New Crop Innovation Lab looking to partner with NARS institutions

The Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement soon will begin accepting applications for Centers of Innovation, National Agriculture Research System institutions that would work with the innovation lab on crop improvement research, variety development and release.

Projects through the ILCI must be led by a Principal Investigator (PI) based at a NARS institution from a Feed the Future target or aligned country in East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe), West Africa (Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone), Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Burma, Cambodia, Georgia, Tajikistan) and Latin America and the Caribbean (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, Mexico).

Applications must clearly define all product profiles for target crops described in the application. ILCI target crops include root and tuber vegetables, legumes (excluding peanut and soybean), sorghum and millets. (more…)

USAID taking concept papers for Animal Health Innovation Lab

USAID is accepting concept papers for a consortium-style Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Animal Health. The solicitation is an Annual Program Statement (APS), which allows for implementing partners to co-design, alongside USAID and other stakeholders, programmatic solutions to priority development objectives. 

The goal of this APS is to provide a framework and mechanism through which BFS will engage with implementing partners to improve animal health in multiple livestock systems. The Bureau for Food Security (BFS) intends to support research for technology development and testing for new, improved animal health interventions such as vaccines, preventative or curative veterinary pharmaceuticals and pen-side diagnostic tests. Additionally, research to develop new or improved animal health interventions may be combines with appropriate market, economic social science, epidemiological, and operational research to determine how best to disseminate or scale the envisioned end product in the defined target region.

 The funding opportunity — $6 million over five years with an option to reach $10 million with buy-ins, will build the capacity of local universities in Feed the Future or Resilience countries to do laboratory and laboratory-supported based animal health research as well as to support research for the development and testing of new or improved animal health interventions such as vaccines, preventive or curative veterinary pharmaceuticals, or pen-side diagnostic tests for identified livestock diseases. 

Find more information at the website. 

Planters kills off Mr. Peanut character

Planters, the Virginia-based snack food company known for peanuts, is getting a lot of media attention after killing off its iconic mascot, Mr. Peanut.

The company released a commercial last week depicting the top hat-wearing character driving the Nutmobile (a peanut-shaped mini-bus) over a cliff. As Mr. Peanut and two passengers – actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh – cling to a branch on the side of the cliff, the 104-year-old character voluntarily lets go to save his friends.

The video sets up his funeral, an advertisement which will air during Sunday’s Super Bowl, the most-watched broadcast on television in the U.S.

A child, Antonio Gentile, created Mr. Peanut in 1916, when 10-year-old Planters held a contest to design a character for the company.