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A networking organisation for plants-related research and impact

CambPlants facilitated University of Cambridge researchers’ participation and attendance at the Agri-TechE REAP Conference 2021, as well as producing the University’s online stand at the conference. Professor Alex Webb, from the University’s Department of Plant Sciences, was one of the keynote speakers. 

PhD student Nopparuj (New) Chindasombatcharoen, presented his project titled Operations, technology adoption and behavioural economics perspectives in industrial policy implementation and the role of technology intermediaries. Agricultural burning, or the burning of crop residues before or after harvest, is currently a great hindrance to sustainable development especially in the global south. The practice releases GHG and black carbon, which has 460 1500 times stronger global warming impact than CO2 per unit of mass, and smallholder farmers have difficulties following regulations imposed on burning. This presentation gives an overview of the issue and of my research which aspires to study how agricultural burning can be solved by understanding the farmer's behavioural limitations hindering technology adoption, as well as the different methods of technology transfer.

Dr Sarabeth Buckley presented her project titled Enhancing Growth in a Roof Top Garden with Indoor CO2 from Human Respiration. CO2 was measured in air inside classrooms and being emitted from the exhaust vents on the roof of a school to find increased concentrations averaging over 1000 ppm during the day when people were present. Crops were grown in a rooftop garden next to these exhaust vents and the plants were found to grow larger with the application of indoor air.

Dr Nadia Radzman presented the Peas’n Chips Project. This project aims to rehabilitate a forgotten African crop, the African Yam Bean (Spehenostylis stenocarpa) in Nigeria. This crop can be consumed for both beans and tubers, and has very high protein content due to its ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Therefore, this crop has high potential as an alternative and sustainable crop of the future. The project is an interdisciplinary research collaboration between scientists from University of Cambridge (UK), and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA, Nigeria). They are a group of plant biologists and sustainable innovation academics working together with a passion for African Yam Bean. They work with Nigerian farmers to understand their real world challenges and needs and make informed decisions in translating our scientific findings to the field. The initiative will pave the way to better food security in Nigeria and Sub Saharan Africa. Please find more information here, here and here.

Dr Angela Burnett also attended the conference.

Please find the University’s presentation on agri-tech, agriculture and plant sciences here.  

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