The 2014 Global Hunger Index and how Plantwise countries are faring

2014 Global Hunger Index by Severity

2014 Global Hunger Index by Severity

The 2014 Global Hunger Index, now available from the International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, shows a steady decrease in hunger in most developing countries. Read more of this post

Invasive myrtle rust impacts discussed at international forestry congress

Abigail Rumsey:

The rust species, Puccinia psidii, affects several crop trees including guava and allspice.

Originally posted on CABI Invasives Blog:

CABI has recently published a comprehensive review and update of its ISC datasheet on the globally important pathogen Puccinia psidii, commonly known as myrtle rust or guava rust. This problematic fungus is of worldwide importance and is capable of infecting a wide range of hosts. To date it has over 440 host species; affecting many plants in the Myrtaceae family, including threatened and endangered species (see IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Severe impacts have been recorded in amenity plantings, commercial plantations and the native environment.

Once established in a new country myrtle rust can spread quickly and this has been the case in many countries including Jamaica, Hawaii, Australia and New Caledonia. Its successful global and local dispersal through urediniospores and human-aided movement of diseased plants, combined with its massive host range make myrtle rust an effective and devastating invasive. It was first identified as an invasive…

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Update: Plant Health News (10 Sep 14)

Symptoms of cassava brown streak disease on cassava leaves

Symptoms of cassava brown streak disease on cassava leaves © CABI

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including some homegrown news of Plantwise data used to study the global spread of crop pests, cassava brown streak disease wreaking havoc in Rwanda, and fireblight hitting Canadian apple orchards hard.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Workshop held on future of Invasive Species Compendium

Abigail Rumsey:

The Invasive Species Compendium is a free, open access resource from CABI, providing comprehensive information about thousands of invasive species. It is great news that it has been decided to keep this resource free for at least five more years.

Originally posted on CABI Invasives Blog:

Members of the Invasive Species Consortium from the US, Mexico, Caribbean and South Pacific met in Washington DC on 4 August and unanimously agreed to keep the Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) an open access resource for a further five years. The ISC has been resourced by a diverse international consortium of government departments, development aid organizations and private companies. Consortium members agreed that work on the ISC to date was of global importance and utility, and should continue.

Invasive Species Compendium website

The Invasive Species Compendium website

The ISC is a global encyclopaedic resource that combines science-based information to support decision-making in invasive species management. Invasive species, such as non-native weeds, animals and microorganisms, are one of the main causes of biodiversity and economic loss worldwide, impacting livelihoods and human health. Since its launch, use of the ISC has continued to grow, now with over 400,000 users in 234 different countries.

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Food for thought: Cocoa farmers from Ivory Coast taste chocolate for the first time

Cocoa beans drying

Credit: Phil Taylor © CABI

In the past twenty years, the Ivory Coast has produced over 25 million tonnes of cocoa beans; far more than any other country. However, this video suggests that some cocoa farmers might never have seen the end product of the crop they spend their time cultivating. This has implications for the cocoa supply chain: if farmers don’t know what end product they are aiming for, how can they know how, or even why, they should improve quality of their produce? If there is no ‘top-down’ flow of information on the end uses of a crop, can we be sure of a ‘bottom-up’ flow of information on working conditions and pay? Working towards establishing closer relationships between the beginning and the end of the supply chain, could lead to a greater opportunity for smallholder farmers to get a fair deal.

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CABI shares knowledge with African universities

RUFORUM eventEach year, top university representatives from across Africa gather at the RUFORUM conference to learn about new developments in education and exchange ideas for collaboration. This year’s event, held in Maputo, Mozambique, from 21 July – 25 July, was an opportunity for CABI to increase awareness of its knowledge and training resources, especially those made available for the first time through its Plantwise programme. Read more of this post

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (9 Jul 14)

orange rust

Orange rust (Puccinia kuehnii), which has been found for the first time on sugarcane in Ecuador. Copyright: Robert C. Magarey

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 new rusts on sugarcane in Ecuador and Southern Africa, outbreaks of the whitefly Aleurothrixus aepim in Brazil, and the first report of the fungus Alternaria arborescens causing leaf spot on rice in Pakistan.

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