Browse Feed the Future Peanut Lab Stories

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Mentorship and access facilitate plant breeding student’s dream to help nourish a continent. CAES News
Danielle Essandoh
At 8 years old, Danielle Essandoh unearthed a fascination with agriculture and never looked back. Her grandfather, a peanut farmer, welcomed her help around the family farm, and Essandoh embraced farm life with enthusiasm. Today, as a doctoral student in the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics at the University of Georgia, Essandoh remains driven by her desire to help people sustain themselves.
women similtaneous work sized CAES News
Women's Time Poverty
A woman’s work is never done, especially during the rainy season. “Who has the time? A qualitative assessment of gendered intrahousehold labor allocation, time use and time poverty in rural Senegal” takes a look at the factors impacting whether women have enough time to rest, engage in entrepreneurial activities and invest in the future. The paper, recently published in “Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems,” was authored by Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut gender specialist Jessica Marter-Kenyon, with contributing research and writing by S. Lucille Blakeley, Jacqueline Lea Banks, Codou Ndiaye and Maimouna Diop.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut won the Corteva Agriscience Award for Research at the 55th annual meeting of the American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting held in Savannah, Georgia, July 11-13. Pictured here are Kristen McHugh, operations specialist for the lab; Cristiane Pilon, chair of the award selection committee; Dave Hoisington, director of the lab; Allison Floyd, communications coordinator for the lab; and Jamie Rhoads, assistant director for the lab pose at the award ceremony. Not pictured are postdoc and gender specialist Jessica Marter-Kenyon and business administrator Allen Stripling. CAES News
Peanut Lab wins award
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut has won the Corteva Agriscience Award for Excellence in Research, an honor that recognizes an individual or team for career performance or for outstanding research of significant benefit to the peanut industry. The award is given each year at the American Peanut Research and Education Society meeting, which was held this past week in Savannah.
The Food Safety course at the Groundnut Academy is designed to give processors of different size operations – from individuals just starting out to larger scale factories – a foundation in the fundamentals of creating and following a food safety plan. (Photo by Zute Lightfoot for Project Peanut Butter) CAES News
Food Safety course launches
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut, working with one of the leading experts in food safety training, has published a free online course to help small-scale food manufacturers – particularly those who make peanut products – create structured food safety plans. The course “Food Safety” is available at the Peanut Innovation Lab’s Groundnut Academy.
Danielle Ama Essandoh, a Ghanaian student studying at Makerere University, works in a greenhouse on a research project in Uganda led by UGA’s Soraya Leal-Bertioli in 2021. Essandoh completed a master’s degree and is now working toward a doctorate at UGA. (Submitted photo) CAES News
Peanut Innovation Lab Grant
Farmers around the world grow peanuts because the plant adapts to poor soils and produces a crop even as droughts become more common. Smallholder farmers around the world grow the crop on modest plots and cook the nuts into traditional dishes or sell the crop for money to send their kids to school. On April 12, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of Georgia announced a five-year extension of their collaborative research and outreach work in peanut innovation.
A young Ghanaian schoolgirl enjoys the peanut-based meal that students are provided each day. Research showed students had cognitive improvement after months of the daily meal, and attendance soared. (Photo by Zute Lightfoot) CAES News
Ghana school feeding
A research project in Northern Ghana evaluated the effectiveness of a peanut-based school meal. With more structure to the school day and a guaranteed meal on the way, student attendance increased 70 percent over the previous year, and the change was even more pronounced for girls.
F2F training CAES News
Farmer training from afar
A partnership between the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut and Southern African Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program brought innovation and capacity-building to scale, training 3,636 farmers in groundnut production and aflatoxin control, including 2,245 women and 363 youth. Through the collaboration – which was built on the strengths of both parties – thousands of smallholder farmers received training in Malawi (669 farmers), Mozambique (381 farmers), Zambia (1,254 farmers) and Zimbabwe (1,322 farmers).
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut, working with Scientific Animations Without Borders, recently released a new animation reviewing the best techniques to minimize aflatoxin contamination in peanut. CAES News
Aflatoxin animation
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut, working with Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) has released another animation highlighting best practices for growing peanuts. Groundnut: Preventing Aflatoxin is available on YouTube, at SAWBO and on the Peanut Innovation Lab website.
Danielle Essandoh, a Ugandan graduate student studying plant genetics, answers questions from Damaris Odeny, an experienced molecular plant breeder, at a recent in-person meeting. The innovation lab works to connect graduate students with mentors, as well as each other, to build networks for the future. CAES News
Student capacity building
Early career success is about more than just gaining expertise in a field. A working professional has to make decisions about where to work, how to balance professional and private time and when to invest in more education. That’s why the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut works to connect graduate students with mentors and to foster useful conversations that help a scholar navigate the working world.
Ibrahima Diedhiou of the University of Thies in Senegal talks to Peanut Innovation Lab Director Dave Hoisington. Diedhiou studies how wild shrubs in the arid Sahel region of Western Africa may improve crop yields and remediate degraded soils. Now – with the support of the Peanut Innovation Lab – he’s testing how the shrubs work in Senegalese farmers’ peanut fields. (Photo by Allison Floyd) CAES News
Peanut Innovation Lab
The University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences helps smallholder farmers feed the world through a partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Peanut Innovation Lab — technically, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut — is a five-year, $14 million program funded through an agreement between USAID and UGA.