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Edition 33 – December 2016
End of Year Message from NRI Director

Dear friends and colleagues,

2016 has been another successful year for NRI as we continue to win new projects, build and renew partnerships, advance our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and progress with our work to discover, apply and share knowledge for a sustainable world. Major happenings on the world stage make our achievements this year even more poignant. Most importantly, it is the people that make up the NRI community – our staff, students, partners and collaborators – that make our work inspiring.

Early in the year NRI was proud to be presented the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our cassava work. Attending the prize ceremony in Buckingham Palace was a momentous occasion, and brought the importance of food security crops such as cassava and the challenges faced by smallholder farmers in the developing world to a whole new audience.

We are pleased to welcome new staff, students and project partners, and wish the best of luck to those who have gone on to new ventures. We look forward to growing opportunities in the coming year.

Thank you for your collaboration in 2016 and all the best for 2017,

Andrew Westby

New projects at NRI: better berries with bees plus improved value chains
It’s almost the end of the year but at NRI we have new projects starting, with several more in the pipeline – to be announced early in 2017. Here we outline a couple of our new projects:

NRI’s Dr Sarah Arnold and Professor Phil Stevenson of NRI and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, are leading a BBSRC-funded project which aims to improve bees’ pollination of strawberries for better quality produce.

AGRINATURA EEIG has begun work on an EC-funded project called Value Chains Analysis for Development. NRI is playing a key role in this project which will undertake ground-breaking research on value chain analysis and its use in advising investment and policy decisions.

NRI’s MSc in Food Innovation gains IFST accreditation: apply today!
Food innovation is all about identifying novel ingredients and developing new products that people want to buy and eat. Do you have the creativity to come up with the next big food trend? Study the MSc in Food Innovation offered by NRI and the Department of Life & Sports Sciences at the University of Greenwich and you’ll be equipped with the skills and know-how to create value-added products along a sustainably developed food chain.

NRI’s new online programme: study Food Safety and Quality Management part time from January 2017!
Do you work in the food sector or anywhere along the food chain? Would you like to progress further in your career but lack academic qualifications? Study on the new Food Safety and Quality Management (FSQM) e-learning programme offered by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich and you can gain a qualification on a part-time basis through on-line study.

NRI Master’s student: official reporter at international conference
Miranda Elsby is a current student on NRI’s MSc in Agriculture for Sustainable Development. This year, Miranda was selected to be a ‘student reporter’ at the annual Conference on Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural and Natural Resource Management, also known as Tropentag 2016. Read about her experiences at NRI and at the conference here.

NRI prize-winning student, Hajar el Hamss – under the microscope 
Meet Hajar el Hamss, current PhD student at NRI whose work focuses on the interactions between whitefly, the bacteria inside whitefly, and a virus causing a devastating disease affecting the tropical root and important food security crop, cassava. Today, it is Hajar’s turn to be under the microscope as we take a close look at her career path and explain her passion for solving scientific puzzles.

Improving techniques to reduce postharvest losses: APHLIS+ launch

Members of the African Postharvest Losses Information System (APHLIS) network gathered in Accra in September, to attend the launch of APHLIS+. Launched in 2009, APHLIS is a scientific model which provides evidence-based estimates on postharvest cereal losses (PHLs) across 38 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. APHLIS+ is a five-year initiative which will seek to upscale the current model, as well as introduce new crop varieties.
StopRats is a project about rodent pests and the damage they cause in crop production, the loss and contamination of stored food after harvest and the many health problems inflicted on people and domestic animals through the transmission of rodent-borne diseases. The project is funded by the European Union's ACP Science and Technology Programme and led by NRI’s Professor Steven Belmain with collaboration from many experts in Madagascar, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania. StopRats has recently produced a practical video on how to control rats. This short video, available in English, French and Kiswahili, describes some of the problems farmers face with rodent pests and gives an overview on how best to control rodent pests. Watch the video here:
Latest publications from NRI:

Read more for a full list of our latest publications
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The Resource #33: 16/12/2015

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