Knowledge for a sustainable world

Molly E Brown |

Women’s responsibilities in agricultural production in low-income rural communities are increasing, along with high rates of male migration to urban areas. Yet with recent shifts in data collection tools, women have been sidelined in the provision of agricultural information and statistics, and as a consequence, have not been able to influence or easily access appropriate agricultural services.

Guadalupe Roberti* with Lucie Büchi and Lora Forsythe |

Soil is the foundation of life on Earth. For agriculture, food systems and natural resources, soil provides a range of essential ecosystem services, and its quality or ‘health’ is central to sustainable agriculture and food production.

Gwen Varley* and Winifred Candiru* |

Motherhood can come with tremendous pressures: many women struggle with balancing care work with other work obligations, mental health challenges, physical complications of childbirth, fatigue, and a slew of gendered norms and expectations. These pressures are all the more intensified for women living in extreme poverty and facing worries about whether they can provide their children a steady, nutritious diet of diverse, nourishing foods, or, in many cases, whether they can provide them a meal at all.

Fiorella Picchioni |

International Women’s Day (IWD) grew out of the labour movement in the 1900s to become a major annual event. Remembering the significant labour struggles that shaped the event, this piece marks IWD 2022 by reflecting on the current conditions of women’s labour in the capitalist food system. Integrating questions on nutrition with contemporary labour struggles, this piece presents a feminist political economy of food approach, which enables us to see how these two issues are inextricably linked.

Vegard Iversen |

As suggested in a new publication on social mobility in developing countries, women have often been overlooked. The open access and freely available edited volume, ‘Social Mobility in Developing Countries: Concepts, Methods and Determinants’, provides explanations for and begins to address this shortfall.

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The University of Greenwich is leading a partnership which aims to bring healthy, sustainable food to 25,000 people – around 5% of the population - in Kent and Medway. Worth £530k, the Kent and Medway Partnership for Enterprise, Food and Health launched on 2nd January 2022. It will see the University partner up with councils in Gravesham, Medway and Swale.

Dr Nazanin Zand was born and grew up in Iran where she undertook her first degree. She then moved to live, work and study in the UK, where she became an internationally acknowledged expert on food and infant nutrition. Nazanin has just taken over as NRI’s Head of Food and Markets Department (FMD) and has hit the ground running in her quest to promote women and girls in STEM, and help banish so-called ‘impostor syndrome’ (doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud). Nazanin takes up the story.

A new study reveals that common methods of rat control often ignore basic animal welfare issues. Experts in pest control, animal welfare, and veterinary medicine explored the impact that different methods of rodent control have on rat welfare to better aid decision-making.  Their work has just been published in the article: ‘An assessment of animal welfare impacts in wild Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) management’.

Lora Forsythe, Fiorella Picchioni, Gillian Summers |

International Women’s Day (IWD) is an important day to highlight the achievements of women in agriculture, food and natural resources, which are often made invisible. The day is also an opportunity for NRI’s Gender and Social Difference (GSD) Development Programme to critically reflect on the past year and its future direction. This will enable us to identify ways our research can address important gaps in knowledge related to gender equality and transformative change.

Claudia Carvalho went from being a specialist in potatoes and other tuber and root crops at NRI, to becoming a soft fruit supremo at Berry Gardens, a leading berry and stone fruit production and marketing group in Kent, UK. Her love of crops and all things agricultural has also satisfied her love of travel, taking her from Europe to America, Africa and Asia . Claudia took five minutes out of her day to talk to NRI Communications Officer, Linden Kemkaran, about how she chose her career path and her ongoing passion for agriculture.

The UK Food Systems Centre for Doctoral Training (UKFS-CDT) is offering 15+ funded studentships for its second cohort starting in September 2022, covering the following themes:

NRI PhD student, Cedric Maforimbo, has won the Society of Chemical Industry’s (SCI) Sydney Andrew Scholarship. Cedric joined NRI in February of 2021 for his PhD programme in Agriculture, Health and Environment and the scholarship will supplement his current Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (FaNSI) Scholarship.