90,000 farmers taking advantage of new opportunities to increase their incomes thanks to the C:AVA project, and other latest news from NRI in the May edition of our monthly update

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We are pleased to share with you the 13th edition of The Resource giving you the latest news from the Institute. A full list of our news stories can be found on our website at

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Cava project
NRI cassava project boosts incomes of world's poorest farmers 

Over 90,000 of the world's poorest farmers, many of them women living on less than a dollar a day, are taking advantage of new opportunities to increase their incomes thanks to the C:AVA (Cassava: Adding Value for Africa) project. The ambitious international collaboration, led by NRI, has developed a network of 103 organisations in 5 African countries, who are working together to enable small-holders to gain more income through value addition to one of their main crops, cassava. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project supports the small-holders to turn cassava into High Quality Cassava Flour. An overview of C:AVA is presented in the new video: 

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Progress review meeting held for Gratitude project - reducing waste from root and tuber crops

All partners from the EU FP7 project 'Gratitude' gathered recently in Bangkok, Thailand to conduct a successful mid-term review planning meeting. 'Gratitude' is investigating solutions in west Africa and south east Asia that will reduce waste from post-harvest losses of root and tuber crops, and turn unavoidable waste into something of value. During the meeting, interesting findings were presented on several aspects, including expanding small-scale mushroom production in Ghana that could benefit from using cassava peel in the substrate, and the production of fructose syrup from cassava starch in Thailand.  

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Keith Tomlins Inaugural lecture

Keith Tomlins Inaugural lecture - Food quality and acceptance in Africa

Keith Tomlins, Professor of Food Science at NRI, and international expert on tropical root and tuber crops, will be giving his Inaugural Professorial Lecture on Wednesday 12th June 2013 at Medway. In his lecture, Keith will be exploring how resource-poor people can and should have access to foods of the right quality that are also acceptable to their culture. The lecture will draw upon Keith's experiences over the past 25 years, including work on a wide range of commodities from maize to orange-fleshed sweet potato.

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Parliamentary report 'Home Grown Nutrition'

Parliamentarians urge government to invest in agriculture

In their report on "Home Grown Nutrition" parliamentarians of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development are calling on the UK Government, and specifically the Department for International Development, to invest in agriculture to combat the hunger and undernourishment faced by 925 million people around the world. In the report, a HarvestPlus project, in which NRI is a contributing partner, is used as an example of successful 'Home Grown Nutrition'.

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Forthcoming events: 
  • Professor of Food Science, Keith Tomlins of NRI will be giving his Inaugural Professorial Lecture: 'Let them eat cake: food quality and acceptance in Africa' on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 in the Pilkington Lecture Theatre, Medway Campus, Chatham. The lecture will start at 6pm with tea/coffee available from 5.30pm in Pilkington cafe area. Please contact Heather McAvoy Marshall at before the 5th June to book a place.
  • All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development are hosting the event: 'What can the UK do to help put an end to the current nutrition crisis?' on Tuesday 4th June, 4.00pm - 5.30pm Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, Westminster. Please contact Dominic Foster at for more details.
  • Faculty Research Symposium, to showcase the range and quality of research taking place within the Faculty of Engineering and Science. The event will include presentations by Andrew Westby and Debbie Rees of NRI - 13th June 2013 - Wardroom, Pembroke Building, Medway Campus. Please email for more details.
Job opportunities at NRI: 
  • PhD Scholarship: Novel approaches to cassava value addition - This PhD research project will investigate the prebiotic potential of cassava by-products and will tie-in with the EU-funded projects led by NRI. Closing date: 11th June 2013. Read more.
Latest publications from NRI:


Atkinson, C. J.Davies, M. J.Taylor, J. M. and Longbottom, H. (2013) Linking ascorbic acid production in Ribes nigrum with fruit development and changes in sources and sinks. Annals of Botany.

Cheke, R. A. and Garms, R. (2013) Indices of onchocerciasis transmission by different members of the Simulium damnosum complex conflict with the paradigm of forest and savanna parasite strains. Acta Tropica, 125 (1). pp. 43-52. 

Wright, G.A.Baker, D.D.Palmer, M.J.Stabler, D.Mustard, J.A.Power, E.F.Stevenson, P.C. and Boland, A.M.(2013) Caffeine in floral nectar enhances a pollinator's memory of reward. Science, 339 (6124). pp. 1202-1204. 

Read more for a full list of our latest publications.
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The Resource #13: 24/05/2013

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