Chia book out

There’s a new book out on “chia,” Salvia hispanica, a “forgotten crop of the Aztecs.” I haven’t seen it, but it seems pretty comprehensive. There’s a review here. Chia is interesting among other reasons because although a good source of omega-3 fatty acid it doesn’t give off a “fishy” flavour.

Micropropagating sweet potatoes

According to the Carolina, USA farmer featured in this article, “micropropagation is the name of the game in sweet potatoes.” “The bottom line is a very uniform crop,” he adds. That’s not necessarily everywhere a good thing, of course, but clean planting material is always important.

Conserving animal genetic resources in Vietnam

A CIRAD project is using both somatic cloning and in situ approaches to conserve genetic resources of various threatened useful wild animals (including livestock relatives) in the highands of Vietnam. GIS is also being used to map genetic diversity as measured by molecular markers. The results will be extended to prepare a conservation strategy for the region as a whole.

Kenyan medicinal plant remedies documented

Catching up with some old friends in Nairobi last week I found out that one of them has been involved in preparing a really wonderful “Herbal and Nutritional Guide for Kenyan Families” for an NGO called the Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health. According to its mission statement, TICAH works “to strengthen our understanding of the positive links between cultural belief, practice, and knowledge and the attainment of health.”

Saving the ghaf

WWF and local partners have launched a public awareness campaign to save the multi-purpose ghaf tree (Prosopis cineraria) in the United Arab Emirates. This is part of a project which also includes the establishment and sustainable management of a conservation area.