The EU FP7 GRATITUDE project, 'Gains from Losses of Root and Tuber Crops', recently held its midterm review at Plant Research International, Wageningen, Netherlands from 4 to 7 November 2013. It was attended by 15 members of the project, comprising project research area leaders, country managers and key experts within the project who travelled from Ghana, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam, UK, Portugal and the Netherlands. The EU was represented by their Scientific Officer and an external reviewer.
The Thai and Vietnamese teams of the Gratitude project made a visit to Nigeria and Ghana early in August 2013, to share experience and to strengthen south-south interaction, one of the key activities of the project.
Trying to optimise production and use of staple food such as cassava and yams in African and Asian countries could also involve cross-fertilisation of best practices across continents
For 700 million people in Africa and the Far-East, yams and cassava represent important crops for food security and as a source of income. The trouble is, losses during harvesting and processing are exceptionally high—at the level of 60% for yams and 30% for cassava.
All partners of the FP7 project 'Gratitude' gathered recently (22nd-26th April) in Bangkok, Thailand to conduct a successful mid-term review planning meeting.
Presentations were given by each of the project's eight research package leaders on what has been achieved so far on the proposed tasks. The team also discussed the issues and challenges that need to be addressed in order to reach the mid-term review targets.
In the first phase of the Gratitude project, work has focussed on understanding the existing value chains and markets for cassava and yam, and their possible waste products. This falls under Work Package 1, "Value Chain Assessment and Management".
The main objective of the value chain analyses is to assess the levels and causes of post harvest losses and to document the amount of wastes generated along the value chain in the project countries.
Two workshops have been held to identify and select appropriate methodologies and tools for value chain analysis and market research in collaboration between NRI and partner organisations.
Private and public sector organisations from Thailand, Vietnam, Ghana, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK came together at the Natural Resources Institute, in Kent UK last month to launch the new European Union Framework 7 funded project 'Gratitude' (Gains from Losses of Roots and Tuber Crops), and to begin the planning phase.
The 'Gratitude' project will be opening with a kick-off meeting in the week commencing 12th March. All of the 16 partner organisations participating in the project will be coming together from Europe, Africa and Asia, to the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich Medway campus in Kent to begin the project work.