24-26 October 2016 saw researchers from across the world descend on London to attend the 2016 Grand Challenges* Conference. The three-day conference saw 1,800 scientists, innovators and policy-makers tackle the most pressing issues of our time. Amongst this number were sixteen members of the AgShare.Today community, who were keen to discuss and present their latest findings with other researchers, donors and experts. One highlight was the CDP team’s discussion with DFID’s Priti Patel (the UK Secretary of State for International Development), where the challenges facing smallholder farmers across Africa were brought to the attention of one of the most powerful voices working in international development.
This was followed by an exciting Lates event held at the Science Museum in London. Here, over 150 researchers and scientists helped thousands of visitors discover more about infectious diseases. During this event, Joseph Ndunguru (CDP) presented a talk to members of the public about the rising threat of CMD and CBSV to cassava production in Africa, and what the CDP team is doing to stop it. Joseph’s trademark humour and oratory skills ensured that this event was a success, with the audience leaving the event far more knowledgeable about some of the risks facing agricultural productivity in Africa than when they arrived.
* Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives launched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems that, if solved, could lead to key advances in preventing, treating, and curing diseases that are prevalent across the developing world.