Global Partnership Series: More productive goats

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Rhoda Msiska

As part of The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism’s two-continent, three-country training tour, we’re sharing stories that we’ve received through our global partnerships.

This story on increasing the population of goats in Malawi was produced by Rhoda Msiska from the Voice of Livingstonia.

Listen here.

Researchers in Malawi are trying to make healthier goats. Innovations in goat productivity could potentially boost goat populations from 8 million to 50 million in Malawi alone.

Voice of Livingstonia is a radio station operated in the Northern Region of Malawi, and reaches over 4 million listeners.

For more information on The Knight Center’s tour and partnerships, check out our WordPress: https://msufoodfix.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/bridging-food-scientists-and-journalists-with-communications-training/#more-1596

Global Partnership Series: Food Preservation Report

Malawi
As part of The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism’s two-continent, three-country training tour, we’re sharing stories that we’ve received through our global partnerships.
This story on biodiversity in Malawian crops was produced by Rhoda Msiska from the Voice of Livingstonia.
Malawi is producing more cassava and sweet potato, which could boost dietary diversity in households. In order to do that researchers are looking into making those crops more resilient to pests and crop failure.
Voice of Livingstonia is a radio station operated in the Northern Region of Malawi, and reaches over 4 million listeners.
Listen here.
For more information on The Knight Center’s tour and partnerships, check out our WordPress:

Bridging food scientists and journalists with communications training in the public interest

Malawi researcher Phillip Kamwendo, with hat, explains experiment in groundnut production to African journalists . Image: David Poulson
Malawi researcher Phillip Kamwendo, with hat, explains crop experiments to African journalists . Image: David Poulson

By David Poulson

Phillip Kamwendo finished explaining to a group of African reporters how he used “friendly bacteria” to improve groundnut seeds.

Then the Malawi researcher turned to a nearby team led by Michigan State University experts, flashed them a wide grin and gave them two thumbs up. It was a highlight for our team that had worked for days with Kamwendo and others at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) to refine how to explain their research.

“When he asked the reporters how many of them understood what an innoculant was, I felt like a proud grandmother,” said Emmanuella Delva, a program officer with USAID, the project’s funder,  and who pitched in on the training.

Amol Pavangadkar, director of MSU's Sandbox Studios, explains video production techniques to Malawian journalists
Amol Pavangadkar, director of MSU’s Sandbox Studios, explains video production techniques to Malawian journalists. Image: David Poulson

The work in Malawi was the start of a two-continent, three-country training tour that I’m still on.  I just finished work with other scientists – including two MSU alums – at the Rwanda offices of the International Potato Center to help them explain their research story to funders and others.

Now I’m in Lima, Peru, about to do the same thing this week at that center’s South American headquarters.

The work in Malawi was by far the most complex. Continue reading Bridging food scientists and journalists with communications training in the public interest

Fixing food labeling to end world hunger

By Max Johnston

Today’s idea to make the world less hungry is to regulate and standardize the date labels on our food.

If you wander through your local grocery store, you’re likely to see a lot of ‘labels’ with dates preceded by a warning of sorts.

“Best if used by,” this date, “sell by,” that date, “use by”…this date.

These labels can have different meanings, some are for freshness, others are for quality, but all these labels do have one thing in common: they’re confusing.

The nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that 20% of food waste that occurs at home, stems from confusion over what these labels mean.

In other words, people are throwing away good food, because they think that if it’s past the “best if used by” date, it’s spoiled. That isn’t the case.

In this episode, you’ll hear about why these labels are causing food waste, and past and future legislation to simplify food labels.

Listen here

How private investment in food production can make the world less hungry

By Max Johnston

Food finances are tricky.

Funding food production in developing countries has been difficult for a number of reasons, according to Rebecca Toole, a policy expert in economics.

“Farmers may seem like risky borrowers,” Toole said. “They often don’t have a established credit history, they also might not have stores of capital they could use as collateral for loans.”

Heifer International, a global non-profit organization, uses something called impact investing. That’s where you have the private sector invest in food production, with a smaller relative return to their investment. Continue reading How private investment in food production can make the world less hungry