Browse Feed the Future Peanut Lab Stories

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Social scientists working with a Peanut Innovation Lab project in Ghana piloted a phone-based survey system this summer to begin to find how men and women use their time during peanut-planting season. Enumerators worked at a distance, while extension agents in two outlying villages made sure the correct person answered the questions. CAES News
Social scientists working with a Peanut Innovation Lab project in Ghana piloted a phone-based survey system this summer to begin to find how men and women use their time during peanut-planting season. Enumerators worked at a distance, while extension agents in two outlying villages made sure the correct person answered the questions.
Women's time in Ghana
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, researchers in northern Ghana are working to better understand how men and women use their time in order to target interventions that would reduce drudgery for women and bring in a healthier peanut crop. Working with a Peanut Innovation Lab project in Northern Ghana, the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI) adapted an in-person survey into a pandemic-safe study this summer, employing enumerators and regional agriculture extension agents to conduct household surveys over mobile phone.
Leslie Commey, a graduate student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, studies at Texas Tech University and works with Venugopal Mendu, the lead scientist on the “Developing Aspergillus flavus-resistant peanut using seed coat biochemical markers” project. (Photo courtesy of Leslie Commey) CAES News
Leslie Commey, a graduate student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, studies at Texas Tech University and works with Venugopal Mendu, the lead scientist on the “Developing Aspergillus flavus-resistant peanut using seed coat biochemical markers” project. (Photo courtesy of Leslie Commey)
Student Profile: Leslie Commey
Leslie Commey’s interest in plant breeding came from watching his mother work as a vegetable trader in Ghana. A graduate student in biotechnology, Commey now is studying for a master’s degree at Texas Tech University and working on a Peanut Innovation Lab project to find peanut’s natural defenses against aflatoxin.
Jennifer Abogoom studies at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, where she is pursuing a master's degree in seed science and technology and investigating the consistency of groundnut seed that farmers use. CAES News
Jennifer Abogoom studies at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, where she is pursuing a master's degree in seed science and technology and investigating the consistency of groundnut seed that farmers use.
Student Profile: Jennifer Abogoom
Jennifer Abogoom, a student researcher supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut, seeks to better understand why farmers choose the seed they do and what quality their seed has, compared to certified seed.
Justus Chintu (far right), the principal agricultural research scientist for groundnut breeding, and the rest of the team at the Chitedze Research Station near Lilongwe, gained approval for three new varieties after testing for resilience and market acceptability. (Photo by Jamie Rhoads) CAES News
Justus Chintu (far right), the principal agricultural research scientist for groundnut breeding, and the rest of the team at the Chitedze Research Station near Lilongwe, gained approval for three new varieties after testing for resilience and market acceptability. (Photo by Jamie Rhoads)
New peanut varieties for Malawi
Three new groundnut varieties soon will be available in Malawi after the national program released new drought-tolerant Spanish-type varieties through a regional research collaboration and with support of the Peanut Innovation Lab.
William Ofori Appaw, who worked on aflatoxin-mitigating research with the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, presented results of the work recently at the American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting, including how the outcome of the project won recognition in 2019 for its innovation. A package of solutions from the PMIL research ranked in the top six for innovation at the International Union of Food Science and Technology's 2019 Elevator Pitch Contest, seen here. CAES News
William Ofori Appaw, who worked on aflatoxin-mitigating research with the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, presented results of the work recently at the American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting, including how the outcome of the project won recognition in 2019 for its innovation. A package of solutions from the PMIL research ranked in the top six for innovation at the International Union of Food Science and Technology's 2019 Elevator Pitch Contest, seen here.
APRES presentations
Several students and alumni who worked on innovation lab projects presented at the recent 52nd annual American Peanut Research and Education Society conference, held this year online.
A project spearheaded by a team from the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) through the Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia plans to use voice recordings and biometric devices to capture a more vivid picture of the demands on a woman’s time and energy. Women in Senegal will wear wrist-mounted devices, one to record heart-rate and another to capture voice recordings, to gauge how much time and energy women have to adopt new peanut-growing technologies. CAES News
A project spearheaded by a team from the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) through the Peanut Innovation Lab at the University of Georgia plans to use voice recordings and biometric devices to capture a more vivid picture of the demands on a woman’s time and energy. Women in Senegal will wear wrist-mounted devices, one to record heart-rate and another to capture voice recordings, to gauge how much time and energy women have to adopt new peanut-growing technologies.
Woman's work in peanut
Asking a busy woman to report her daily activities can give researchers insight into how she spends her limited time and whether child-care and other household responsibilities leave her with enough bandwidth to adapt to changes and accept new technologies. Traditional time diaries have limitations, though, particularly in places where women often aren’t literate and don’t follow time on a clock. A project spearheaded by a team from the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) through the Peanut Innovation Lab plans to use voice recordings and biometric devices to capture a more vivid picture of the demands on a woman’s time and energy.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut recently surveyed partners involved in peanut production in Malawi to gauge their priorities for educational materials and research in the future. (Photo by Jamie Rhoads) CAES News
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut recently surveyed partners involved in peanut production in Malawi to gauge their priorities for educational materials and research in the future. (Photo by Jamie Rhoads)
Malawi partners' survey
The Peanut Innovation Lab includes several projects to improve peanut productivity in Malawi. To get a general idea of the priorities stakeholders have for improved practices, the innovation lab recently conducted a simple online survey with a small group of agriculture professionals in Malawi to rank the activities and messages they find most important to improve farmers’ outcomes.
The Peanut Innovation Lab at UGA recently held its annual meeting online. More than 100 scientists and students from around the world attended. CAES News
The Peanut Innovation Lab at UGA recently held its annual meeting online. More than 100 scientists and students from around the world attended.
Virtual meeting
At the end of any multiple-day meeting, the Peanut Innovation Lab would survey participants to solicit opinions on the most helpful (and, not so helpful) aspects of the gathering. Following the program’s first all-virtual annual meeting and June, that feedback was even more important than usual, leading the lab to conduct an in-depth survey about what worked, what failed and how participants would like to attend meetings in the future.
Ivan Chapu, a graduate student at Makerere University in Uganda, uses handheld sensors to evaluate peanuts growing in the field. Scientists in three countries are using the sensors as part of a Peanut Innovation Lab project to speed up the process of assessing peanut varieties for various traits. The work could help peanut breeders in their work to create varieties resistant to disease and resilient to climate shocks. (Photo provided by Ivan Chapu) CAES News
Ivan Chapu, a graduate student at Makerere University in Uganda, uses handheld sensors to evaluate peanuts growing in the field. Scientists in three countries are using the sensors as part of a Peanut Innovation Lab project to speed up the process of assessing peanut varieties for various traits. The work could help peanut breeders in their work to create varieties resistant to disease and resilient to climate shocks. (Photo provided by Ivan Chapu)
High-Throughput Phenotyping
Commercially available high-tech sensors can give farmers more information about the overall health of a crop, showing a clearer picture of how widely disease or drought is stressing the plants. Those same sensors can help plant breeders more quickly and objectively to assess the phenotypic characteristics of a particular variety, enabling the breeder to work quicker to develop varieties with resiliency traits.