Georgia Peanut Tour welcomes Malawian delegation
The Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab participated in the recent 2017 Georgia Peanut Tour, joining with peanut researchers and international development professionals who traveled from Malawi to learn about Georgia’s peanut industry firsthand.
Peanuts are considered to be an important part of diversifying the crop and diet in Malawi, giving farmers a sustainable rotation crop, while providing consumers with a relatively inexpensive source of protein. Malawi also is one of the most tobacco-dependent economies in the world, and as tobacco use wanes, some agriculture leaders are looking to shift toward a crop with more long-term potential.
Visitors from the southern African nation included Bright Kumwembe; the nation’s agriculture ministry’s Chief Director; Justus Chintu, Department of Agricultural Research groundnut breeder and PMIL collaborating scientist; and Ronald Ngwira from Alliance One Tobacco Malawi, one of the groups researching alternative crops.
Also attending were:
· Thomson Chilanga, Department of Agricultural Research Services
· Stanlee Juma, Exagris Africa
· Prince Kapondamgaga, Farmers Union of Malawi
· Maggie Mzungu, Feed the Future Ag Diversity Activity
· Jeremy Venable, Palladium Group
· Cuan Opperman, Malawi Oilseeds Sector Transformation
Through two days of touring Sept. 20-21, 200 people visited sites near Albany, Ga., to see how peanuts are grown, harvested, marketed and tested.
Though not officially a part of the tour, U.S. Representative Austin Scott and Senator Johnny Isakson held a roundtable discussion about global food security in Tifton, a discussion that centered largely on the important role peanuts play in preventing and alleviating malnutrition. PMIL Director Dave Hoisington participated in the expert panel, providing insight into the lab, as did Kumwembe, the Malawian agriculture director. Other members of the Malawian delegation expressed the importance of research partnership between experts in the U.S. and their country, which recently was dropped from USAID’s list of target countries.