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Attendees of the Soybean Innovation Lab, ADVANCE & ATT Soybean Thresher Design and Fabrication Training in Tamale, Ghana in 2016.
Save the Date!
Improving Mechanization for African Smallholder Farmers 
A Soybean Innovation Lab Webinar Series

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
9am - 10:30am Central Time
Register here!
The Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) is hosting a webinar series on improving mechanization for smallholder farmers in Africa. The series kicks off with a focus on thresher technology and will include discussion on design, training, commercialization, manufacturing, business development models, gender issues, and technology dissemination and diffusion.

Speakers for the webinar series include representatives from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Mechanization Division, which has developed and marketed threshers throughout Africa. Additionally, Compatible Technology International (CTI), currently collaborating with a local manufacturer in Senegal, will discuss their millet threshers.

Rounding out the program will be Imara Tech, a manufacturing start-up in Tanzania; the Malawi Oilseeds Sector Transformation Project (MOST), introducers of small thresher technology in Malawi; AfricaRice, which has a multi-country project in thresher design and fabrication; and the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL), which works on training of local fabricators to improve in-country manufacturing capacity.  

Click here to register to attend the webinar!
Employees at the Winnua soy dairy processing plant in Mocuba, Mozambique add water to their SoyCow processing machine.  SIL supports soy dairy enterprises like Winnua to benchmark their production progress, business practices, and marketing efforts with other soy dairy enterprises across Africa.
SIL Benchmarks Soy Dairy Success Across Africa
February 2017 marked the first year anniversary of the Human Nutrition team’s Soy Dairy Metrics Analysis Project, and now you can begin to view the reports on the SIL website (Report 1, Report 2, Report 3). The Metrics Project aims to determine the necessary inputs for a SoyCow dairy to be operational and profitable. Every week for the past year, five different SIL collaborators operating SoyCows in Ghana and Mozambique have recorded their production metrics to benchmark their operations. SIL uses the data to make evidence-based, context-specific recommendations to policymakers and future soy dairy entrepreneurs who are thinking about potentially investing in semi-automatic soymilk processing machines.

In the coming weeks, SIL will release benchmarking reports displaying more of the operational performance from the SIL dairy network. This data shines light on the bottlenecks to successful soy dairy enterprises in under-resourced settings, as well as the innovations that help dairies overcome these barriers. Meanwhile, the Metrics Project continues to grow, as the entrepreneurs send in metrics for year two and new dairies join the network. E-mail Maggie Cornelius at if you would like to contribute metrics and get individualized analysis reports of your soy dairy!  
Dr. Chris Neill, a Senior Scientist with the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, MA, discusses "Changes to Water Resources and Water Quality Associated with the Expansion and Intensification of Amazon Commercial Agriculture" at the Third Annual International Food Security Symposium.
Missed our Symposium on Commercial Agriculture in the Tropical Environments?
Watch the recap here!
On April 3rd and 4th the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL), in partnership with the International Food Security at Illinois (IFSI) program, Woods Hole Research Center, and the European Union Center hosted the Third Annual International Food Security Symposium: "Commercial Agriculture in Tropical Environments".

The symposium brought together over 25 experts across multiple disciplines to discuss the latest research concerning the nexus of production agriculture and the rich and diverse biomes of the tropics.  The speakers challenged themselves and their audience to wrestle with the global need to increase food production, the urgency to reduce poverty and malnutrition among the many poor nations of the tropics, and the responsibility to protect the natural environment.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Pedro Sanchez, a leading tropical soil scientist, who gave a lecture entitled “The Emerging Fertilizer Value Chain in Africa.”  You can watch and listen to Dr. Sanchez’s talk by clicking here.

The entire event was webcasted live to a global audience and recorded.  You can access the recordings and the slides used by each speaker by clicking here

Finally, 12 of the speakers have each prepared 1,500-word essays that the academic journal Tropical Conservation Science (TCS) will publish in an upcoming issue later this year. TCS is electronic and open access so the essays will be immediately available for you to read upon publication. Stay tuned for directions to link to the special issue.   
Meet the Soybean Innovation Lab Advisory Board
A vital component of the Soybean Innovation Lab’s (SIL) multidisciplinary and multi-institutional team involves the advisory board. The SIL Advisory Board ensures that SIL efforts are strategic, efficacious, and appropriately implemented. Here we showcase the SIL Advisory Board members who provide their rich experience, key insight, guidance, and expertise to the global team of SIL researchers.
Dr. Earl Kellogg is a Senior Fellow at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (A*P*L*U) and directs the Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative. Earl was the former Associate Provost for International Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and a Professor of Agricultural Economics.  Earl was also Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Winrock International and was the Executive Director of the Consortium for International Development.
Dr. A.B. Salifu is the former Director General for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Ghana.  CSIR is Ghana's foremost national science and technology institution and is mandated to carry out scientific and technological research for national development.  
Our Mission
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research is USAID's only comprehensive program dedicated to soybean technical knowledge and innovation. Our international team of tropical soybean experts provides direct support to researchers, private sector firms, non-governmental organizations, extensionists, agronomists, technicians and farmer associations tasked with soybean development.
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research (Soybean Innovation Lab)
1301 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801 * Tel. (217) 333-7425 *

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Soybean Innovation Lab · Mumford Hall · 1301 W. Gregory Drive · Urbana, IL 61801 · USA