Potato sacks dwarf traders at one of Nadezda Amaya’s research sites.
When Bolivian farm families bring their produce to the sprawling market in Tiraque, husbands help their wives carry in the huge sacks of potatoes that are the main commodity, and the women take over from there.
“Men rule the fields, but women rule the markets,” said Nadezda Amaya, a master’s degree student in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech. Her analysis of male and female roles in the farming communities of the Andes is part of the SANREM CRSP’s research on gendered access to markets in seven countries.
Gender expert Susan Poats leads a hands-on exercise at the workshop.
Gender Equity Specialist Maria Elisa Christie organized a gender and participative methodologies workshop in October 2008 for SANREM researchers from Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The event was hosted by Universidad de la Cordillera and the graduate program in development sciences at Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz. The facilitator was Susan V. Poats of the non-governmental organization Grupo Randi Randi. An anthropologist and gender expert, Poats specializes in natural resource management and community conservation in the Andean region.
Paintings by artist Mamani Mamani celebrate the potato’s amazing variety.
Potatoes are the world’s most important tuber crop, a food staple for more than a billion people. Recognizing how many people in developing countries depend on this prolific crop for their very survival, the United Nations has declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato.
In the Andean region of Peru and Bolivia, where the potato was first cultivated more than 7,000 years ago, the PROINPA Foundation, a SANREM CRSP partner, is promoting academic and cultural activities showing the significance of this highly nutritious food. Within this framework, the renowned Bolivian artist Roberto Mamani Mamani has joined PROINPA in the celebration with a series of paintings titled, “Potato: An Andean treasure.” The pictures are dedicated to the cultural, historic, and economic value of the potato and pay homage to the men and women who conserve and cultivate this invaluable crop. All proceeds from sale of the paintings will be used for conservation of native potato genetic diversity.
Dr. Theo Dillaha
SANREM CRSP Program Director Theo Dillaha was among experts testifying in Washington July 16 at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Agriculture Subcommittee on Specialty Crops, Rural Development and Foreign Agriculture. Subcommittee Chair Mike McIntyre (D-NC) said in his opening statement at the hearing that the United States has a large commitment to delivering food aid to address the current hunger crisis around the world, but an increase in food aid is necessary. He emphasized the importance of continued agricultural research and the proper allocation of funds to enhance food production capabilities in developing countries.
Dr. Alton Thompson
Alton Thompson, chair of the SANREM CRSP’s board of directors and dean of the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, has been appointed interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. Thompson will become NCA&T’s second-highest official on July 1, succeeding Janice G. Brewington, who is retiring.
Dr. S.K. De Datta
S.K. De Datta, administrative principal investigator for SANREM CRSP, has been recognized in the Philippines for his contribution to agriculture in that country and to the Green Revolution in Asia in the 1960s. The College of Agriculture at University of the Philippines-Los Baños recognized De Datta at a ceremony on May 20, and the International Rice Research Institute honored him on May 26.
Modules can help track diseases like stripe rust (Madras disease).
Not even the best teacher can reach students effectively without good course materials, a limitation in many parts of the developing world. At universities in resource-poor countries where training of agriculturists and scientists is key, libraries may not be well stocked, and software needed to analyze data and develop predictive models may be unavailable or quite expensive.
After touring tree and vegetable plots, field day participants compare notes.
The Philippines’ native malunggay tree is a treasure – almost every part of it can be used for food. Its young pods can be prepared like green beans, its seeds can be roasted like nuts, and its dark-green leaves, rich in Vitamin C, protein, and iron, can be used fresh like spinach or dried as a seasoning.
When SANREM CRSP researchers introduced a new malunggay variety in the Philippines’ Lantapan watershed, it was an instant hit. Farmers were surprised that it grew so well in the region’s acid soil. They clamored for seedlings and cultivation guidelines. The slender trees are so much in demand that they are disappearing from test plots Continue reading
In Bolivia, residents make a list of resources like forests, fields, and streams.
To give people what they need, it helps to know what they already have. That’s the premise for community and household surveys that SANREM CRSP researchers are completing, the first step in figuring out what people in developing countries need most to improve their lives and incomes. Continue reading