A modest suggestion for tef value addition

by Luigi Guarino on September 18, 2014

Sure, tef is nice, but can you do this with it?

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Move over quinoa, it’s tef time.

by Jeremy Cherfas on September 17, 2014

tef.png

Not much to look at, but if you squint hard you can read the label: teff.1 The Food Programme from BBC Radio 4 devoted an entire programme to this ancient Ethiopian grain, new darling of “the health-conscious Western world”. And if quinoa had you worried about the impact you might have on poor farmers who grow the stuff, fear not. This is one bandwagon you can climb aboard with clear eyes and full hearts, because back in 2006 the government of Ethiopia presciently banned its export in order to keep supplies available and affordable for the domestic market. So, as The Food Programme explains, all the tef you eat outside Ethiopia was grown elsewhere (or is very stale). There are some suggestions that Ethiopian farmers would actually like to follow their Bolivian brethren onto the global market, but for now, feel free to dive into tef knowing that you are not taking it from the mouths of the Ethiopian farmers who nurtured it for all those millennia.

Footnotes:
  1. Snapped in the Amsterdam Botanic Gardens back in April 2005. []

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A honey of a marketing opportunity

7 September 2014

We visited Mida Creek in Watamu on the Kenya Coast last week. It’s a tidal inlet which boasts 8 of the 9 species of mangrove found in the western Indian Ocean, plus lots of birdlife. The Mida Creek Conservation Community is a local community umbrella group consisting of 11 sub-groups, all of whom are engaged […]

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Unusual nyama to choma

7 September 2014

Kenyans do love their nyama choma, and it’s usually goat meat that’s involved. Usually, but not always. There’s also the somewhat offbeat on offer on occasion. And the downright unusual.

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Taro on display at SIDS meeting

5 September 2014

The UN Conference on Small Island Developing States has just ended in Apia, Samoa. Lots of talk about partnerships for the sustainable development of these particularly vulnerable countries, although it’s unclear to me, as ever, how much of the money announced is actually new. Be that as it may, my old colleagues at SPC were […]

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Brainfood: Goat diversity, Sheep diversity, Camel keeping, Weird Zambian cattle, Pepper diversity, Strawberry diversity, Breeding wheat, Sustainable cacao, Food supply diversity

1 September 2014

The characterization of goat genetic diversity: Towards a genomic approach. A single Neolithic origin. Genome-wide patterns of adaptation to climate-mediated selective pressures in sheep. Adaptation to local climates has been important. Characterisation of camel breeding practices in the Ansongo Region, Mali. Diversity of practices, diversity of breeds. Gynomimicry in the Dwarf Gwembe breed from Zambia. […]

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Genetic Resources for Climate Change: room for optimism?

25 August 2014

Dr Hannah Jaenicke, one of the organizers of last week’s 4th International Symposium on Plant Genetic Resources: Genetic Resources for Climate Change last week, kindly sent in this summary of the proceedings from Brisbane. Many thanks to her and all our moles at IHC2014 who have also contributed over the past week. The symposium was […]

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Brainfood: Ethiopian wild veggies, Cold tolerant rice, Chickpea genomics, Improved tilapia, Wild cassava oil, Chinese horses, Chinese melon, Seed sampling, Tomato spp sequencing

25 August 2014

Wild and semi-wild leafy vegetables used by the Maale and Ari ethnic communities in southern Ethiopia. 30 of them. Collection and Conservation of Cold Adapted Indigenous Rice Landraces from Western Ghats, South India. 56 of them. Exploring Germplasm Diversity to Understand the Domestication Process in Cicer spp. Using SNP and DArT Markers. 3 populations among […]

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