AAAE News Brief

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April 21, 2021 | No. 22
Kenyans are starting to drink their own coffee

Some of the world’s best arabica beans are grown on the fertile land around Mount Kenya. But like the citizens of many former British colonies, Kenyans are partial to tea. Now an expanding middle class is getting a taste for coffee. Domestic consumption is expected to reach 3,600 tonnes this year, almost a tenth of total production. The pandemic has shown just how important a local market can be, as logjams at ports and a sharp drop in global demand crush exports. “Covid has been an eye-opener,” says Gloria Gummerus, who runs the Sakami estate in western Kenya. READ MORE

source: economist
Defeating late blight disease of potato in sub-Saharan Africa

Potatoes have been grown in South America for over 7,000 years. Spanish explorers brought them to Europe in the 16th century where it took almost two centuries to become a widely grown staple food. Today, it ranks third after rice and wheat. The potato was introduced in Africa in the 18th century. Now in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), potato is cultivated on 1.7 million hectares in 14 countries at mid to high elevations. It is grown by about 7 million farmers for food and income. It brings a higher amount of carbohydrate, and protein per ha compared to cereals and is a good source of vitamin C, B12, potassium and fibres. READ MORE

Hitting hoppers without harming the environment

For over a year now, East Africa has been going through a massive Desert Locust infestation that has stripped farming families of food and income and threatened the food security of millions throughout the region. In such large-scale emergency situations, killing locusts with pesticides is a necessary evil to limit the crisis and prevent swarms from multiplying exponentially. Traditionally, chemical pesticides have been the only effective method to control extreme locust infestations. And because they work the quickest, they remain a key tool in extreme cases like the large-scale infestations that have hit the greater Horn of Africa region. READ MORE 

source: FAO
Transparency in Science: Invitation to participate in a survey on pre-analysis plans

This study is being conducted by researchers from Arizona State University and The Ohio State University, USA. The purpose is to identify how researchers think about Pre-Analysis Plans and study Pre-Registration. It is hoped that by studying this, knowledge can be gained on the perception and usability of both. Results from the study will inform researchers and research institutions, which may ultimately benefit researchers, such as yourself. READ MORE 

source: ASU
AES Awards Dr. Adewale Adenuga Outstanding Young Researcher Award

Dr Adewale Adenuga is a senior economist in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland, undertaking research of high policy relevance and strongly orientated to publishing his work and to building collaborative research networks. He obtained an MSc in Agricultural Economics with Distinction in 2014 from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He was a recipient of the Ondo State undergraduate scholarship award and the Africa Rice Graduate Scholarship Award, and lectured in the University of Ilorin. Adewale was awarded a prestigious Teagasc Walsh Fellowship to undertake a PhD programme in Queen’s University Belfast, AFBI, and Teagasc, successfully completing his Doctorate on the Economic Analysis of Nutrient Balances in the Dairy Sector in 2019. His strong work ethic and dedication to research were evident from the start. Adewale has demonstrated a strong understanding of the characteristics of dairy farming across Ireland. He has applied a range of quantitative modelling approaches to farm business data to address associated research questions and has been active in publishing in prestigious journals. In AFBI, his research focuses on the economic and environmental impacts of agricultural and agri-environmental policies, including their effects on the welfare and livelihoods of farming households. He is an active member of the AAAE. READ MORE

source: AES
Supporting rural women’s land rights

In many parts of the world, full participation in society – including the ability to earn an income – is still dependent on owning (or having the rights to) land. Yet in many of these places, discrimination against women’s rights to property and tenure remains the norm – and the existing policies and legal frameworks in these regions often provide little recourse for women to realize these rights. With few paths to land ownership, many women in these areas are effectively excluded from key decision-making processes. READ MORE

source: IFAD
Sierra Leone is Home to a Climate Resistant Coffee Plant

Scientists say a "forgotten" coffee plant that can grow in warmer conditions could help future-proof the drink against climate change. They predict we could soon be sipping Stenophylla, a rare wild coffee from West Africathat tastes like Arabica coffee, but grows in warmer conditions. As temperatures rise, good coffee will become increasingly difficult to grow. Studies suggest that by 2050, about half of land used for high-quality coffee will be unproductive. To find a wild coffee that tastes great and is heat and drought tolerant is "the holy grail of coffee breeding", said Dr Aaron Davis, head of coffee research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Ke Coffea stenophylla is a wild coffee species from West Africa which, until recently, was thought to be extinct outside Ivory Coast. The plant was recently re-discovered growing wild in Sierra Leone, where it was historically grown as a coffee crop about a century ago. A small sample of coffee beans from Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast were roasted and made into coffee, which was then tasted by a panel of coffee connoisseurs. Over 80% of judges could not tell the difference between Stenophylla and the world's most popular coffee, Arabica, in blind tastings, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Plants. READ MORE

source: BBC
Kampala has Figured Out How to Create High Value Products from Waste

Ugandans have always eaten a lot of bananas. Now a local start-up reckons it can extract even more value from overlooked parts of the crop. TexFad is using natural banana fibre to produce environmentally friendly items such as carpets and biodegradable hair extensions. "The hair extensions we are making are highly biodegradable," he said. "After using, our ladies will go and bury them in the soil and they will become manure for their vegetables." TexFad is also testing a process to make banana fibres as soft as cotton so they can be used to produce clothes. The company expects to export carpets for the first time in June, to customers in the United States, Britain and Canada. Owners reckon the light, organic material could replace some synthetic fibres and be used to make paper products like bank notes among a range of possible applications. READ MORE

source: Reuters
Global Model United Nations 2021

IFAD will virtually host the 3rd edition of the Global Model United Nations Simulation (GMUN) on 7 - 9 July. This event – organized by the three Rome-based Universities within the IFAD Memorandum of Understanding - is a simulation of the working bodies of the United Nations, where students attempt to resolve global issues. The broad aim of the event is to create a real environment for students to debate and test their dispute resolution skills. The students will be part of one of five committees: the United Nations Social Humanitarian & Cultural Committee, United Nations Security Council, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations International Law Commission, and the IFAD committee. Application forms for chairpersons, (open until 30 April 2021) and  delegates (open until 20 May 2021) are available online. READ MORE

source: IFAD
Virtual Policy Conference— Improving gender equity in Malawi’s farm input subsidies

You are cordially invited to participate in a virtual policy conference to discuss findings from a new study that highlights the impact of farm input subsidies on the bargaining power of women in Malawi. Researchers from PEP (Kenya), AFIDEP (Malawi), Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and University of Clermont Auvergne (France) and the Government of Malawi will share the findings of their new paper “The negative impact of farm input subsidies on women's agency in Malawi's matrilocal settlements” with an audience of policy makers, civil society organizations, community members and academics. There will be opportunity for discussion on the role of the Affordable Inputs Programme in promoting gender equity. Please RSVP for the event at the READ MORE

source: SARE
Call for applications: Impact Evaluation of Development Policies— Concepts, Methods, Applications.


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