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Episode 4.4 – Calling all budding crop researchers, particularly women! These are exciting times, especially for cassava!
March 05, 2014 03:57 PM PST
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Elizabeth exhorts young budding crop scientists out there – and young women in particular – who might looking to build a career for themselves in agricultural research for development, that this is their time. Using the example of cassava which has long been a poor 'country cousin' in crop research but is poor no more, Elizabeth assures us help is readily at hand. And for the potential cassava converts among you, the research waters are currently warm and excitingly inviting, so why not follow in Elizabeth’s footsteps and plunge in right away, young ‘uns!

More: http://bit.ly/Ny0I5I

Music: 'Sun rebirth' from PlayOnLoop.com
Photo: IITA

Episode 4.2 – Women scientists who are having their (cassava) cake and eating it too, thank you very much!
March 05, 2014 03:44 PM PST
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A young African woman raising a family whilst also seamlessly navigating a star-studded career in the crop sciences at international level? A nice thought, sure, but somewhat pie-in-the-sky stuff, right? Not so, says Elizabeth, who firmly believes that women from developing countries can successfully balance both family and a high-flying career in agricultural research – and, as depicted in this clip, she has a glittering former student to prove it!

More: http://bit.ly/Ny0I5I

Music: 'Sun rebirth' from PlayOnLoop.com

Photo: IITA

Episode 4.3 – On the ground: How women farmers with large-scale ambitions are ruling the roost in small-scale agriculture
March 05, 2014 03:48 PM PST
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Whilst often faced with severe hurdles such as unequal access to land, technologies and other key resources, women play a crucial role in agriculture, and represent up to half of the agricultural workforce in some developing countries. Here, Elizabeth highlights the story of one gutsy and totally determined woman farmer who wouldn’t take no for an answer, and who – thanks to a helping hand and some astute guidance from Elizabeth – fast became an empowered, self-reliant cassava-growing pro…and a local celebrity to boot!

More: http://bit.ly/Ny0I5I

Music: 'Sun rebirth' from PlayOnLoop.com
Photo: IITA

Episode 4.1 – Why supporting women matters – and will prove to pay dividends
March 05, 2014 03:40 PM PST
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Elizabeth explains why matters affecting women are dear to her heart, and, inspired by the oft-quoted Ghanaian intellectual, missionary, and teacher Rev Dr Kwegyir Aggrey on the community benefits of educating women, she expands on how supporting women can reap rich rewards in the fight against poverty and hunger.

More: http://bit.ly/Ny0I5I

Music: 'Sun rebirth' from PlayOnLoop.com
Photo: IITA

Episode 4.0 – Introducing cassava researcher Elizabeth Parkes – a female force to reckon with!
March 05, 2014 04:04 PM PST
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To mark the occasion of International Women’s Day 2014 (8th March), we asked esteemed GCP Lead Cassava Researcher in Ghana, Elizabeth Parkes, to share her thoughts on a few prevalent questions pertaining to women in agriculture and research for development. In this brief interview, Elizabeth touches on the importance of and motivation for supporting women in agriculture. With oodles of (well deserved!) pride, she also joyfully recalls the success stories of two trainees formerly under her watch, highlighting the great strides being made by women in agriculture today, both in the lab and out in the field. Finally, Elizabeth wraps up with a few choice words of encouragement for potential budding crop scientists – women in particular – looking to follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth and her cassava comrades… We invite GCP friends to listen, and be as inspired as we were!

More: http://bit.ly/Ny0I5I

Music: 'Sun rebirth' from PlayOnLoop.com
Photo: CT Hash

Episode 3.2 -- A 15-year gene search ends successfully - Pup1 ‘Pa’ speaks on rice phosphorus uptake and partnerships
December 19, 2012 04:52 PM PST
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In the world of phosphorus, Matthias Wissuwa of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) is somewhat of a ‘rock’ star. He has searched tirelessly for a rice gene that could improve rice yield in phosphorus-deficient soils –which make up half of the world’s soils, and this, even as he switched employers along the way. Rightly dubbed the ‘Guru’ and ‘Godfather’ of the Pup1 (phosphorus uptake) work, Mathias attributes the project’s success to fruitful collaborations and partnerships: in his words, GCP’s exciting collaborations brought to the Pup1 (phosphorus uptake) team answers whey wouldn’t otherwise have had, such as how root architecture influences phosphorus uptake. The Pup1 team’s work and findings were recently published in Nature.

See related press release and also tune in to Episode 3.1.

Episode 3.1 – Phosphorus-poor no more: Presenting a 100% natural solution – the PSTOL1 gene
December 19, 2012 04:44 PM PST
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Half of the world’s ricelands are phosphorus-deficient. And while this problem can be overcome by phosphorus (P) fertilisers, this solution is often out of reach for poorer farmers, who are by far and away the vast majority. Matthias Wissuwa of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) talks about a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution that purely revolves around a naturally occurring gene, PSTOL1, found in the Pup1 (phosphorus uptake) locus.Matthias tells us what identifying this gene really means in practical terms, and the benefits for farmers in both Africa and Asia, for which JIRCAS is working in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Africa Rice Center on both Oryza sativa (Asian rice) and Oryza glaberrima (African rice). A Pup2 might even be in the offing in the near future, so do watch this space!

Meantime, see related blogpost and tune in to Episode 3.2

Episode 2.7c – Impacts on the ground: Support services as a savvy investment
December 18, 2012 02:09 PM PST
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Support services, Hannibal feels, are the backbone to good-quality research. As he tells us here, investing money in other areas of crop science without addressing the real needs of the people on the ground would, Hannibal declares resolutely, be like "throwing money out of the window". "Keep up the good work!", is one of Hannibal’s key take-home messages, with a hats off to GCP and partners for taking the crucial area of support services seriously.

You can also read all about it on this blogpost.

Episode 2.7b – Impacts on the ground: Tangible results – Great things come in small packages
December 18, 2012 02:06 PM PST
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Irrigation systems allowing off-season breeding work for drought-tolerant varieties in Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso, with critical food crops such as rice, cassava, sorghum and more, was a major tangible result Hannibal recorded at the time of talking to GCP in mid-2012, though our esteemed listeners are also encouraged to watch this space for more in due course! However, beyond investments in major infrastructure such as irrigation systems, Hannibal also reminds us how, sometimes, great things come in small packages – tune in to this podcast to learn more!

You can also read all about it on this blogpost.

Episode 2.7a – Impacts on the ground: From healthy crops to healthy families and economies – a fascinating chain
December 18, 2012 02:02 PM PST
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From upstream research to food on the table, Hannibal walks us through the fascinating chain of events that he considers to be the real and lasting impacts on the ground, resulting directly from sound support services, functioning infrastructure and good training. Tune in for the all-important birds-eye view on food security!

You can also read all about it on this blogpost.

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