Rio+20, whitefly publications, Rwandan Parliamentary investigation and other news from NRI in the 2nd edition of our monthly update...
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         We are pleased to share with you the second edition of The Resource! We have had a great response so far. Don't forget, you can join us in discussion using our facebook or twitter pages. Please feel free to share The Resource with your friends and colleagues, signing up instructions can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.

June 2012

Rio+20: The economic forces behind land-use change in Guatemala since Rio92

Coffee farmer in Guatemala
As meetings for Rio+20 continue, Jeremy Haggar tells us how land-use has changed in Guatemala since the last Rio Earth Summit in 1992. At the end of the last century the Polochic Valley, and the lower slopes of the Pacific volcano chain of Guatemala, were covered with coffee plantations under the shade of a richly diverse tropical forest. With coffee prices crashing during the mid-90s and into the 00s, thousands of coffee producers were left in debt. Jeremy Haggar, our Head of Agriculture, Health and Environment, is hopeful that the Rio+20 agreements will provide a global framework to develop pathways for rural communities to improve their livelihoods through the conservation of the ecosystems and biodiversity they conserve. 

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Natural Resources Institute leads in whitefly research

Research by NRI on the whitefly is well represented in the Journal of Integrative Agriculture. Whitefly, one of the most destructive agricultural pests in the world, is a major threat to food and livelihood security affecting root crops, horticulture and cotton crops in the USA, Australia and China. Internationally recognised as whitefly experts, NRI staff have produced more than 70 scientific publications on whitefly and associated viruses since 2001, and five new articles in the Journal of Integrative Agriculture offer the reader a selection of their most recent work.  

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Rwandan Parliament consults farmers

The Rwandan Parliament consults 800 people from farming communities to investigate agricultural research and extension. NRI has set up a programme of support, led by Fedra Vanhuyse, to the Rwandan Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock Development and Environment with funding from DFID's Research Into Use Programme. This support has helped coordinate an investigation by the Parliamentary Committee, based on the method of participatory rural appraisal, whereby farming communities were consulted concerning the development of the Rwandan agricultural sector. During the interviews in Southern Rwanda, the population and cooperatives were linked up with the local government unit and the Parliament. The opinions of farmers, members of cooperatives and local administration were collected, and recommendations were formulated, on how to improve agricultural research and extension to better address the needs of the farmers in Rwanda.

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Dr Richard Colgan of NRI assessing apples

Produce Quality Centre

NRI is collaborating with East Malling Research in a centre of excellence for UK based research on fresh produce quality. The Produce Quality Centre (PQC) benefits from the expertise and resources of both Kent-based institutes, bringing together experts in the production, storage, marketing and supply of temperate, tropical and sub-tropical crops, with the best facilities for post-harvest research in the UK.

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MSc students published in ACSJ

MSc students published in African Crop Science Journal

African MSc students supported by the DFID funded SCARDA project, with assistance from RUFORUM have had 15 papers published in a Special Issue of the African Crop Science Journal.

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AFTER project meet at Medway

Food technology experts meet at Medway

Partners of the EC funded AFTER project (African Food Tradition Revisited by Research) meet at NRI. By generating and sharing knowledge on food technology, the AFTER project intends to contribute to improving the competitiveness of traditional food products and identifying marketing opportunities in African and European markets. 

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  • GCP21-II: 2nd Scientific Conference of the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century. Cassava: Overcoming challenges of global climate change: Speke Resort and Conference Centre, Kampala Uganda - 18th-22nd June 2012 Read more 
  • 16th Triennial symposium of the ISTRC (International Society for Tropical Root Crops): University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, Nigeria - 23rd-28th September 2012, open for registration now Read more
Job opportunities at NRI: 
  • Five funded PhD studentships in conservation agriculture, adaptation to climate change, crop disease, tsetse flies, and wolbachia. Closing date for applications: Friday 13th July. Read more.
  • Grain Postharvest Scientist - £35,938 to £52,706 - Closing date: Friday 22nd June 2012. Read more.
  • Project Controller - £24,520 to £29,429 - Closing date: Friday 22nd June 2012. Read more
Latest publications from NRI:

Clark, Christopher A., Davis, Jeffrey A., Abad, Jorge A., Cuellar, Wilmer J., Fuentes, Segundo, Kreuze, Jan F., Gibson, Richard William, Mukasa, Settumba B., Tugume, Arthur K., Tairo, Fred Donati and Valkonen, Jari P.T. (2012) Sweetpotato viruses: 15 years of progress on understanding and managing complex diseases. Plant Disease, 96 (2). pp. 168-185. ISSN 0191-2917

Colvin, John, Nagaraju, N., Moreno Leguizamon, Carlos, Govindappa, R.M., Manjunatha Reddy, T.B., Padmaja, S.A., Joshi, Neena, Hanson, Peter M., Seal, Susan E. and Muniyappa, V. (2012) Socio-economic and scientific impact created by whitefly-transmitted, plant- virus disease resistant tomato varieties in Southern India. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 11 (2). pp. 337-345. ISSN 2095-3119

Hall, David R., Amarawardana, Lakmali, Cross, Jerry V., Francke, Wittko, Boddum, Tina and Hillbur, Ylva (2012) The chemical ecology of cecidomyiid midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology, 38 (1). pp. 2-22. ISSN 098-0331 (Print), 1573-1561 (Online)

Read more for a full list of our latest publications.

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The Resource #2: 21/06/2012

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