Update: Plant Health News (28 Jan 15)

Ants seen on an Indonesian cocoa pod © Sanjit Das/CABI

Ants seen on an Indonesian cocoa pod © Sanjit Das/CABI

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including native ants helping to improve cocoa yields in Indonesia, unseasonal rains affecting crops in India and local mangoes in the Philippines declared free from mango seed weevil.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Plantwise connecting smallholders to knowledge through ICT Interventions

The emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the last decade has opened new avenues in knowledge management that could play important roles in meeting the prevailing challenges related to sharing, exchanging and disseminating knowledge and technologies. The types of ICT-enabled services are capable of improving the capacity and livelihoods of poor smallholders are growing quickly. One of the best examples of these services is the use of mobile phones as a platform for exchanging information through short messaging services (SMS), use of broadband services and other android applications. According to a report of Swedish mobile network equipment maker Ericsson, India is the world’s second-largest telecommunications market, with 933 million subscribers and the subscriptions are adding year by year. The growing market of mobile phones in the country is due to the falling cost of handsets which is coupled with improved usability and increasing network coverage. (www.ibef.org).

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (21 Jan 15)

Anthracnose of Capsicum  © AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center

Anthracnose of Capsicum © AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of Turnip mosaic virus on garden nasturtium in Brazil, the occurrence of anthracnose on coloured capsicum under protected conditions and downy mildew of fenugreek in Iran caused by Peronospora trigonellae.

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Mobile data collection – can it work in Tamil Nadu, India?

Plant doctor using tablet

Credit: Holly Wright © CABI

Over the past year, the Plantwise Knowledge Bank team has been conducting an e-plant clinic pilot in Kenya. Following the success of this pilot, we are now seeing if we can apply the lessons learnt in Kenya to other Plantwise countries. In December, we travelled to Thanjavur city, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, to work with our in-country partners, the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), on a mobile scoping workshop to better understand the requirements of such a pilot in India.

For a summary of our e-plant clinic scoping mission, see the picture story below. Click here to jump down the page. Read more of this post

Update: Plant Health News (15 Jan 15)

Maize is a staple crop in Malawi but farmers have been told to diversify © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Maize is a staple crop in Malawi but farmers have been advised to diversify © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including Crops in Brazil still suffering after last year’s drought, the Malawi farmers advised to diversify their crops and the gene that affects nitrogen fixation and yield of soybean.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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The benefits of plant doctor advice featured on AESA blog

SDC Sri Lanka A.Rehman CABI 6

Dr Malvika Chaudhary, Plantwise Regional Coordinator, Asia, speaking with plant doctors in a Sri Lankan plant clinic. (Photo: A. Rehman)

“Plantwise bridges the gap between farmers and the knowledge they need to grow more and lose less to pests,” writes CABI’s Dr Malvika Chaudhary in a new blog post featured on AESA news. Click here to read the full story and share the latest news.

In the article, Dr Chaudhary gives insights into the progress of Plantwise regionally. “In South Asia, Plantwise operates in 4 countries- Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh and India,” writes Dr Chaudhary. “In both Sri Lanka and Nepal and the program is being scaled up with contributions from national partners….There has been exceptionally huge scaling up in Sri Lanka where the number of clinics has reached 175 followed by Nepal where the 25% of the clinics are nationally owned.”

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (07 Jan 15)

Tomato infected with Cucumber mosaic virus ©  Edward Sikora, Auburn University (CC BY-NC)

Tomato infected by Cucumber mosaic virus © Edward Sikora,Auburn University (CC BY-NC)

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of leaf spot disease in coconut seedlings in China, a study on the occurrence of Cucumber mosaic virus subgroups IA and IB isolates in tomatoes in Nigeria and the first report of Alternaria longipes causing leaf spot of potato cultivar sante in Pakistan. 

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