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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Maize lethal necrosis has spread to Rwanda

Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms

Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms. Credit: Rob Reeder © CABI

Report by Abigail Rumsey, Beatrice Uwumukiza and Bellancila Uzayisenga.

In the past two years, we have reported on the presence of the maize lethal necrosis (MLN) disease in East African countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The disease is also present in South Sudan. The most recent report has been of its spread to the Northern Province of Rwanda. Read more of this post

Plantwise in Suriname

Blog post by Shamela Rambadan and Abigail Rumsey

In May last year, discussions began with the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (LVV) to start up a Plantwise programme in Suriname. By December, 22 plant doctors had completed Module 1 of the Plantwise ‘How to Become a Plant Doctor’ training course. In January 2014, a Partnership Statement and Partnership Agreement was signed by the Permanent Secretary Mr Gerrit Breinburg. Read more of this post

[Video] Invest in prevention: save money, save lives, save livelihoods

This video from the Food Chain Crisis Management Framework of FAO shows how investing in prevention of pests and diseases before they are present in a region can save money and livelihoods in the long term. Read more of this post

In Uganda, coffee faces many uphill battles

Originally posted on Agriculture for Impact:

By Lee Pearson

Many of us start every day with a cup (or three), so it is not too surprising that coffee is the largest global export after oil. As the top agricultural export in Uganda—generating roughly ¼ of all foreign exchange—and with some 3.5 million families reliant in some way on the industry, coffee is king.

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                                                Figure 1: Collage of surveyed coffee growers 

Dr. Neil McRoberts and I travelled to Uganda to conduct a survey along with Ignitius Bwoogi, the director of the Rural Agency for Sustainable Development. We spoke to coffee growers in the districts of Buikwe, Mukono, and Kumuli this past December/January sponsored by a grant from UC-Davis. We asked farmers how they perceive and respond to the threat…

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Family Farming and Women in Agriculture

Abigail Rumsey:

A blogger from Trinidad writes about his visit to a family farm where they grow purple sweet peppers.
To read about Plantwise clinics in Trinidad & Tobago, visit this page: http://www.plantwise.org/default.aspx?site=234&page=5022
To get information on the management of crop pests and problems in T&T, visit this page: http://www.plantwise.org/knowledgebank/CountryHome/TT/

Originally posted on LukesmithT.v:

Today’s post highlights family farming and women in agriculture in Trinidad.I recently visited a humble,hardworking,passionate female farmer named Sheliza Ramlogan.She is 54 years of age with over 30 years experience in the agricultural sector. She currently has 3 acres land of which 2 ½ acres are under sweet pepper production in Arranguez ,Trinidad. Mrs. Ramlogan has had much success as a female farmer achieving the County Prize for ‘Farmer of the Year’ in Agriculture for three consecutive years. She received recognition from the University of West Indies where she was awarded a faculty prize from the Faculty of Food and Agriculture. Added to her success she also won the small scale farming Prize.

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Aside from her current production of sweet peppers, Mrs. Ramlogan has produced a variety of crops in the past including tomatoes,aloes,bodhi, cucumbers and string beans. Mrs. Ramlogan possesses experience and knowledge of how to manage weeds, insects…

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Green Invasion: Destroying Livelihoods in Africa [Video]

Abigail Rumsey:

Invasive weed species in East Africa are causing losses to crop yields and severely impacting livestock. This video from the CABI Invasives team gives the story from the communities whose livelihoods are directly impacted by invasive plants.

Originally posted on CABI Invasives Blog:

CABI, together with Tmax Productions, have produced a video called the ‘Green Invasion – Destroying Livelihoods in Africa.” The short film (approx. 7mins long) details how invasive weeds are impacting on the lives of rural communities in East Africa.

Although a large number of non-native species have become invasive in the region, this film focusses on four of the most problematic species namely Chromolaena odorata (Devil weed), Parthenium hysterophorus (famine weed), Prosopis juliflora (Mathenge) and Opuntia stricta (erect prickly pear). The excellent footage shows the extent of  weed infestations with accounts from community members on how these invasive plants are destroying the natural resource base on which they depend. It is clear that invasive weeds are destroying traditions, cultures and a way of life for millions of people on the continent.

However, all is not lost. The film notes that if effective management programmes are implemented, including biological control, we can make a difference to many people’s lives.

Although…

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IPPC: Why is pest risk analysis important?

Experts in pest risk analysis from around the world give their views on why risk analysis is important for trade and protection of domestic agriculture.

Video from the IPPC.

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Pests of the forest are spreading

Mountain pine beetle infested forest

Mountain pine beetle infested forest in BC, Canada © Simon Fraser University Public Affairs and Media Relations (CC BY 2.0 license)

Much is covered in the news about deforestation by humans, but less is widely known about the damage done to forests by pests and diseases. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) produces an assessment of the world’s forest resources every five years. Their last report highlighted the effect that climate change will have on forests and their pests.

“A changing climate will alter the disturbance dynamics of native forest insect
pests and pathogens, as well as facilitating the establishment and spread of introduced
pest species.”

There have already been incidences of pests spreading due to abnormally high winter temperatures. For example, the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, has been expanding its range in North America for the past fifteen years. Where it was once a pest of the southern Rocky Mountains and west of the American Continental Divide, it is now moving north and east where winters are becoming milder.

When trees suffer climate induced stress from increased drought and extreme climatic events such as storms, they become more susceptible to damage from pests. Also, a pest that establishes in a new territory doesn’t always have the natural enemies present to keep its population numbers in check, providing opportunities for severe outbreaks.

The increased connectivity between countries has facilitated the global spread of forest pests.

“The volume, speed and variety of global trade have increased the opportunities for
pests to move internationally.”

Phytosanitary measures at borders are important now more than ever, to ensure that movement of pests within shipments is limited wherever possible.

There is little information on the global distribution of forests pests, particularly in developing countries. This data is necessary to perform pest risk analyses and provide early warning systems for countries. With a changing climate, it is vital that countries work together to monitor and protect against these pests.

Find out more about forests for International Day of Forests: http://www.fao.org/forestry/international-day-of-forests/en/

FAO (2010) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010. FAO Forestry Paper 163.

Direct2Farm reaches 4 million farmers in India

D2F mobile services have reached 4 million farmers in India. Credit: Sharbendu Banerjee © CABI

D2F mobile services have reached 4 million farmers in India. Credit: Sharbendu Banerjee © CABI

The Direct2Farm (D2F) project, run by CABI, provides mobile information services to farmers in India. Two D2F initiatives in India that use voice-based systems to communicate with farmers, mKisan and IKSL, have now cumulatively reached over 4 million farmers. The use of mobile technology allows extension messages to reach isolated communities that have few means of accessing such information. Read more of this post

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