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Edition 31 – December 2015
End of Year Message from NRI Director

Dear friends and colleagues,

2015 was an excellent year for NRI
in many ways. We began work on a variety of new projects, forged new partnerships, and progressed with ongoing initiatives and alliances – all in the fulfilment of our mission ‘to discover, apply and share knowledge in support of global food security, sustainable development and poverty reduction’.

From undertaking novel research and development initiatives to advancing our specialised undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, our achievements and impacts are down to the dedicated team of staff, students, partners and collaborators across the globe who put our mission into practice every day. For the first time, this year it is possible to study undergraduate degree programmes in Geography, Earth Sciences or Biology with NRI.

This teamwork and desire to help the world’s poorest people through our work also resulted in a number of prizes for NRI this year, including the Guardian University Prize for International Collaboration of the Year, and a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education for our portfolio of work on cassava during the last quarter century.

As NRI continues to grow, we thank you for your interest in our work and look forward to working with you in the New Year.

All the best for 2016,

Andrew Westby
NRI awarded Queen's Anniversary Prize for ground-breaking work on cassava

In November, world-leading research and development on cassava by the NRI was honoured with a prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The prize recognises NRI's research and development in the field of cassava, the tropical root crop grown predominantly by smallholder farmers in the developing world, especially in Africa, where it is an important staple food for millions. NRI's work has been sustainably improving the cassava value chain for over 25 years.
New research for the UN on empowering dryland women: capturing opportunities in land rights, governance and resilience

Findings from research recently conducted by NRI reveal the importance of supporting women's empowerment in dryland regions. Dryland populations are frequently marginalised and face major climatic, environmental, demographic and socio-economic challenges. Women play an important role in drylands development and in the management of natural resources in this challenging context. Read more about this study and access the three thematic papers, accompanying policy briefs and overall synthesis paper.
Opportunity at NRI: Head of Food and Markets Department 

NRI’S Food and Markets Department is an internationally recognised, multidisciplinary group of natural and social scientists addressing the challenges faced by farmers and fishers in the postharvest arena. We work with public and private sector partners around the world to find viable and sustainable solutions to value chain challenges and apply our knowhow and skills to implement globally important programmes of research and innovation in rural and natural resource development. We are currently seeking an experienced manager to be Head of the Food and Markets Department, to lead this dynamic team of scientists carrying out world-leading research. The post is available at Professorial level for a suitability qualified candidate. Apply before 6th January 2016. Application details here
NRI postgraduate programme awarded professional accreditation by food science body

This year, NRI was one of the first institutes in the country to receive accreditation from the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), the leading qualifying body for food professionals in Europe and the only professional body in the UK concerned with all aspects of food science and technology. This ensures that our students are receiving the best of what is on offer in food-related education. If you are looking for a food-focused Master's degree with real 'gourmet' quality, look no further than NRI's MSc in Food Safety and Quality Management, now with the IFST seal of approval. Read more and apply here
NRI ‘taster’ lectures offer slice of university life for students hungry for science

NRI is running a monthly lecture series over the academic year 2015–16, which highlights the global impact of NRI’s research, the unique expertise of NRI staff and gives students a glimpse into a possible future career in biological and environmental sciences or international development. The series is primarily for students on NRI’s new undergraduate programmes, though all interested students are welcome to attend. Local A-level and IB students of biology and environmental science have also been invited, so they can experience science at university, meet staff who deliver the programmes and have a short tour of the facilities and campus.
Pesticidal plants: the viable alternative to synthetic pesticides, NRI-led research reveals

Research led by NRI scientists shows that extracts of plants with pesticidal properties effectively control insect pests while facilitating ecosystem services, plus they are less costly than synthetic pesticides. The research, published recently in open-access journal PLOS ONE, is good news for the smallholder farmers of sub-Saharan Africa, who are largely 'organic' farmers – by default rather than by choice – as their access to pest control and other resources is limited.
NRI signs MoU with The Nelson Mandela Africa Institute of Science and Technology in Tanzania

NRI recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Nelson Mandela Africa Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) based in Arusha, Tanzania. The agreement is a reflection of the close collaboration that has developed between the two organisations in the fields of agroecological research and pesticidal plantss.
NRI Emeritus Professor named Development Agriculturist of the Year

Professor George Rothschild, Emeritus Professor of International Agriculture at NRI, was recently named Development Agriculturist of the Year in the 2015 Honours of the Tropical Agriculture Association (TAA). 
NRI Visiting Professor awarded the International Plant Protection Award of Distinction 2015

Professor Anthony Youdeowei, NRI's Visiting Professor of Capacity Strengthening in Agricultural Research for Development, has been awarded 2015's International Plant Protection Award of Distinction by the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS), for major contributions to the promotion of global plant protection.
Food Chain is an international journal for all those involved in developing the supply of high-quality foods from ‘farm gate to plate’ and those who use food processing to alleviate poverty and hunger. Volume 5, Issue 1-2 published in June 2015, was guest edited by NRI, with input from researchers across the institute and partners – reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the work we do. It includes the following articles:
  • Guest editorial: Smallholder cassava production and the cassava processing sector in Africa | Ben Bennett
  • Crossfire: ‘Nigeria has implemented a cassava incentive and subsidy scheme that has given the sector a competitive advantage. Other cassava producing countries could learn lessons from this model’ | Gideon Onumah, Sanni Lateef Oladimeji
  • Cassava market development: a path to women’s empowerment or business as usual? | Lora Forsythe, Adrienne Martin, Helena Posthumus
  • Practical lessons on scaling up smallholder-inclusive and sustainable cassava value chains in Africa | Richard Lamboll, Valerie Nelson, Helena Posthumus, Adrienne Martin, Kolawole Adebayo, Francis Alacho, Nanam Dziedzoave, Grace Mahende, Vito Sandifolo, Lateef Sanni, Louise Abayomi, Andrew Graffham, Rory Hillocks, Andrew Westby
  • Gender analysis of households’ decision-making to reduce post-harvest losses of cassava in Ghana, Nigeria, and Vietnam | P.B. Abdulsalam-Saghir, Ben Bennett, W. Quaye, Viet Phu Tu, L.O. Sanni, A.M. Martin
  • Technical innovations for small-scale producers and households to process wet cassava peels into high quality animal feed ingredients and aflasafeâ„¢ substrate | Iheanacho Okike, Anandan Samireddypalle, Lawrence Kaptoge, Claude Fauquet, Joseph Atehnkeng, Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, Peter Kulakow, Alan Duncan, Tunrayo Alabi, Michael Blummel
  • Dramatic efficiency gains through improved heat exchangers: the case of cassava flash drying in Nigeria | Andrew Marchant, Andrew Graffham, Lateef Sanni, Idowu Adeoya
  • Cultivation of oyster mushrooms on cassava waste | Anton S.M. Sonnenberg, Johan J.P. Baars, Mary Obodai, Agnes Asagbra
  • Post-harvest impact of cassava brown streak disease in four countries in eastern Africa | Roderick J. Hillocks, Midatharahally N. Maruthi
Latest publications from NRI:

Read more for a full list of our latest publications
Copyright © 2015 Natural Resources Institute, All rights reserved.
The Resource #31: 23/12/2015

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