Knowledge for Development

Judith's pick - October 2014

19/10/2014 - Judith Francis

Dear readers,

The International Forum  'Unleashing Science, Technology and Innovation for Food and nutrition security', that took place in Arnhem, The Netherlands from October 15-17, was a great success. We will keep you updated on the forum achievements as soon as possible.

The 2nd Caribbean Science and Agriculture Film and Video Competition closed on Wednesday 8 October during the 13th Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA), being held in Paramaribo, Suriname, from October 6-10. The winners of the contest, which was organised by CTA, in partnership with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the University of West Indies (UWI), the Caribbean Council for Science and Technology (CCST) and The National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST), were announced that day. All the short films, which ranged from documentaries to fictional stories, celebrated local foods in one form or another, identifying novel prospects for adding value through processing, increasing production efficiencies and promoting nutritional and health benefits. The 2014 competition attracted 36 entries, with videos produced by teams from eight countries – Barbados, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Each film highlighted key issues in the agricultural sector, and opportunities for adding value to locally produced food in the Caribbean.  

First prize was awarded to Kareem Larcher and Jelani Paul from St Lucia, for The Fruit of Life, a fictional short film about a young girl who receives the gift of her great grandfather's plans for a coconut processing plant.
"We want people who watch it to think there is value in local food, especially coconuts," said Larcher, 29.
"We want them to feel inspired and emotionally connected to the product," said co-director Paul, 22.

The second prize went to 26-year-old Jamaican Randy McLaren, for his film Breadfruit Versatile, which explores some of the many uses of this classic Caribbean fruit, including its flesh, juice, bark and blossom. He plans to invest his cash prize in a social enterprise.

Marc and Tannecia James from Jamaica, won third prize, for their film, Captain V, a story that shows the huge potential of some local foods by highlighting different value added opportunities.

Two special prizes were awarded to Lionel Stevens and Damian Woodley from St. Kitts and Kelly-Ann Murphy and her team from Barbados, for their films, CEMEPRO and Food Apocalypse, respectively. Fey Epina, made by a Haitian team represented by Renel Pierre Louis, won the Viewer's Choice Award on Facebook. 

Find out more here.


A number of developments and publications collected during our web research may be of interest to you. See below.


Enhancing crop shelf life with pollination

Although pollination has been shown to increase crop quality, impact on shelf life has not been quantitatively studied.  Björn Klatt, University of Lund, Sweden and colleagues tested how shelf life, represented by fruit decay, firmness and weight, changes as a function of pollination limitation in two European, commercially important strawberry varieties. Pollination limitation resulted in lower amounts of deformed fruits. The results of their research suggest that crop pollination has the potential to reduce food loss and waste in pollinated crops and thus to contribute to global food security. Future pollination research should therefore focus not only on yield effects but also on crop quality. A more comprehensive understanding should lead to a more efficient crop production for meeting future food demands.   

(Agriculture and food security, 2/10/2014)


Chemical composition and nutritive value of Tanzanian grain sorghum varieties as feed

Tanzanian grain sorghum have high nutritive value and could partially replace maize in poultry feeding.  Their full utilisation in poultry diets, however, requires a strategic improvement to reduce anticipated effects of the high level of condensed tannins (anti-nutritional factors) present in the grain. The research to assess type, suitability, nutrient composition and anti-nutritional components of commercially available Tanzanian grain sorghum was carried out by scientists from the Department of Animal Production and Marketing Infrastructures at the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development and from the Department of Animal Science and Production, Sokoine University of Agriculture, in Tanzania.

(Livestock Research for Rural Development, 10/2014)


Increasing the consumption of nutritionally rich leafy vegetables in Samoa, Solomon Islands and northern Australia

Although certain leafy vegetables were popular in countries such as Solomon Islands and Tonga, there was a lack of widespread knowledge of their considerable health benefits. This publication reports on a project for increasing the consumption of nutritionally rich leafy vegetables in Samoa, Solomon Islands and northern Australia Surveys. The project, led by Graham Lyons, University of Adelaide, South Australia and Mary Taylor, Pacific Germplasm and Agricultural Development Consultant, UK, and their colleagues, was successful in: (i) documenting knowledge and opinions of local people on the growing and consumption of leafy vegetables; (ii) producing and distributing information factsheets; (iii) promoting local leafy vegetables via the media in the participating countries; (iv) building local capacity and (v) providing information on optimal propagation methods for the popular vegetable, aibika, from a field trial conducted in Samoa. 

(ACIAR, 09/2014)


Quality management of laboratories: accreditation and certification

A quality management system for analytical or testing laboratories including microbiological and radiological laboratories that carry out tests to establish the essential characteristics, the safety and the wholesomeness of food and the essential is presented. The handbook discusses a framework of processes and procedures to ensure that a laboratory will always be capable of producing quality test results. The handbook is based on EU legislation for laboratories and meant for organisations in developing country wishing to export to the EU. It was produced by EDES, a COLEACP programme.

(EDES, 02/10/2014)


Protection of traditional knowledge and origin products in developing countries

Patrick Martens, Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands discusses the links between the protection of Traditional Knowledge (TK), including origin products, and local economic development in developing countries. He focusses on two particularly relevant cases: argane oil from Morocco and rooibos from South Africa and concludes that international, regional and national protective legal systems and political freedoms  should be strengthened while at the same time an appropriate level of development support in the establishment of 'economic facilities', 'transparency guarantees' and 'social opportunities' should be provided.

(MSM,  09/2014)


African Higher Education Summit : 'Revitalising Higher Education for Africa’s Future'

Dates:  10-12 March 2015 || Venue: Dakar, Senegal


The Inaugural Issue of the African Technopolitan - a biannual magazine of the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) is available as a PDF.




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