Getting agricultural information to smallholder farmers can help improve food security
BBSRC-funded PhD student Andrew Tock, from Warwick Crop Centre, explores 'plant clinics' in Uganda where farmers can receive objective and impartial advice on how to best treat their crops to protect them from pests. The diary is based on a three-month project in Uganda, and part of the Midlands Integrative Biosciences Training Partnership (MIBTP), a BBSRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership. Find out more in Andy's blog.
Video courtesy of BBSRC
Legacy of Warwickshires first Woman High Sheriff helps University of Warwick tackle global food security
A trust set up by Elizabeth Creak, a leading Warwickshire farmer who was the first woman to be High Sheriff of Warwickshire, has announced that it has agreed to fund a Chair in Food Security at the University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences. The announcement has just been made by The Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust.
Warwick Crop Centre at the University of Warwick has won a five year contract from Defra to continue to host the UK Vegetable Genebank at the University’s Wellesbourne campus.
The Genebank is an internationally significant collection of almost 14,000 seed samples from different vegetable crops including carrot onion, lettuce cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli and closely related wild species.
The collection represents the genetic diversity in the genepool of each crop, and is a vital resource for researchers and plant breeders across the world.
'Vegetables are an important component of a healthy diet and the seed resources within the Genebank will support the development of new and improved varieties in the future', said Dr Charlotte Allender who leads the Vegetable Genebank project.
BBC's David Gregory visited the Warwick Crop Centre to film activities in the GRU (Genetic Resources Unit). The film is now available on You Tube at http://youtu.be/b9AmQ8wZvKg
Exploring the final frontiers of knowledge...
Rachel Warmington, a second year PhD student at Warwick Crop Centre was featured in The Independent on Wednesday 20th February. The article by Jessica Moore entitled ‘Explore the final frontiers of knowledge’ shows how postgraduates undertaking niche research projects can affect real change:
‘My research could have a significant impact’, acknowledges Rachel Warmington, 34. Her PhD at the University of Warwick explores soil treatments to control a major crop disease that attacks around 400 different plant species – including potatoes, carrots, beans and rape. ‘Crop diseases are becoming increasingly resistant to chemicals, so we need new methods and techniques, otherwise we’re not going to have any food left to eat.’
Rachel, who is funded by the Horticultural Development Company (HDC), was recently awarded the Marsh Horticultural Science Award for 2013. The Award, run in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, recognizes the work of and encourages new postgraduate scientists to develop careers in horticultural science.
Click on image to read full article.
Crop Centre engages with local school
Ann Price from Warwick Crop Centre, part of the School of Life Sciences, went to Hampton Lucy School on Tuesday 7th May to give a talk to years 5 and 6 about her work in the Genetic Resources Unit. The Warwickshire primary school children learned about vegetable seeds, pollination and growing plants. The children really enjoyed Ann’s talk, and it fitted in well with their horticulture lessons and their vegetable garden work.
The School of Life Sciences is committed to working with schools and the community. Coordinated by our Educational Strategy and Communications Officer, staff and students from the School work with schools and the community to provide experience of the Life Sciences.
To find out more about what we can offer your school or community group contact firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC Radio 4 visits Warwick Crop Centre
On Friday 12 August, BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme visited the Warwick Crop Centre to find out about research to increase vegetable yields, and quality, in the face of increasing pressures on climate change and food security.
The programme includes:
- Dr Rosemary Collier investigating sources of resistance to lettuce pests.
- Dr Charlotte Allender discussing the use of carrot diversity sets to look for useful traits such as disease resistance and tolerance to drought.
- Dr Graham Teakle examining nitrogen-use efficiency in oil seed rape.
Listen to the programme on BBC iPlayer
Find out more about Warwick Crop Centre