Peanuts are an im­por­tant source of food

The Standard Journal - - Entertainment - Comics -

Tierra Mus­cady, Haiti - Peanut re­search and sup­ply chan­nels in Haiti were boosted re­cently through an ini­tia­tive part­ner­ship de­vel­oped by for­mer U.S. Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton and phi­lan­thropist Frank Gius­tra, who spent June 29 tour­ing peanut re­search projects in Haiti with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia Col­lege of Agri­cul­tural and En­vi­ron­men­tal Sci­ences.

Peanuts are an im­por­tant source of food in coun­tries like Haiti, where de­mand for the legume continues to grow. UGA is leading peanut re­search and train­ing ef­forts in the coun­try through its Feed the Fu­ture In­no­va­tion Lab for Col­lab­o­ra­tive Re­search on Peanut and My­co­toxin.

The lab’s work is con­tribut­ing di­rectly to the new Ac­ceso Peanut En­ter­prise Corp. that was launched by the Clin­ton Gius­tra En­ter­prise Part­ner­ship, an ini­tia­tive of the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion. The sup­ply chain en­ter­prise is de­signed to im­prove the liveli­hoods of more than 12,000 small­holder peanut farm­ers.

The goal of the project, Clin­ton said, is to “em­power farm­ers to meet the nu­tri­tional needs of people.”

The ru­ral Ac­ceso de­pot in Tierra Mus­cady is one of 35 planned through­out Haiti’s cen­tral plateau and north­ern re­gions. It func­tions as a site for train­ing; point of sales for seed and other in­puts; stor­age; and dis­tri­bu­tion for the com­mu­nity’s peanut farm­ers.

UGA staff on hand for the tour were Dave Hois­ing­ton, the lab’s di­rec­tor; Jamie Rhoads, in­com­ing as­sis­tant di­rec­tor; and Christy Fricks, com­mu­ni­ca­tions specialist. Known as PMIL, the in­no­va­tion lab is funded by the U.S. Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment and is part of the U.S. govern­ment’s global hunger and food se­cu­rity ini­tia­tive called Feed the Fu­ture.

The Ac­ceso project sup­ports some of the main goals of PMIL and Feed the Fu­ture: scal­ing up lo­cal agri­cul­ture, in­creas­ing food safety and im­prov­ing nu­tri­tion.

The new Clin­ton Gius­tra En­ter­prise Part­ner­ship is us­ing tech­ni­cal ad­vice and train­ing in peanut pro­duc­tion pro­vided by PMIL sci­en­tists, par­tic­u­larly Tim Bren­ne­man and Bob Ke­merait of the UGA plant pathol­ogy depart­ment.

Sci­en­tists with the part­ner­ship also eval­u­ated im­proved peanut va­ri­eties, many of which were bred by UGA crop sci­en­tists and made avail­able for farm­ers to grow and sell in mar­kets through the Ac­ceso de­pots.

PMIL is con­tin­u­ing to test peanut va­ri­eties for per­for­mance in Haiti and work­ing to solve ex­ist­ing pro­duc­tion prob­lems and pro­vid­ing fur­ther train­ing so that farm­ers can sup­ply the needed peanuts to the Clin­ton Gius­tra En­ter­prise Part­ner­ship.

The Ac­ceso de­pots - there are cur­rently five - will sup­ply peanuts pri­mar­ily to re­gional buy­ers that in­clude Meds & Food for Kids and Part­ners in Health, which are both man­u­fac­tur­ers of peanut-based nu­tri­tion sup­ple­ments for chil­dren. Among those par­tic­i­pat­ing in the launch were Bryan So­bel and Dorvil Welden­son of Meds & Food for Kids, an in-coun­try part­ner of PMIL.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Feed the Fu­ture In­no­va­tion Lab for Col­lab­o­ra­tive Re­search on Peanut and My­co­toxin, see http://pmil.caes.uga. edu/.

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