Mocking up the Plantwise Knowledge Bank

This blog post is different to those you might usually read on the Plantwise blog. It is a little tour behind the scenes of the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, telling you about how we design features for our website and mobile. Let us know if you’re interested in hearing more about how we develop the Knowledge Bank, either in the comments below or via plantwise@cabi.org

The Plantwise Knowledge Bank team provides tools and content both online and offline to assist in the development of fully functioning plant health systems in developing countries. Over the past couple of years, much of our IT development has focussed on the Plantwise Online Management System (POMS), a secure website that countries can use to record administrative information relating to their plant health system, track progress towards annual targets, and store, view and analyse data from plant clinics.

We often use Balsamiq Mockups or myBalsamiq for creating mockups and wireframes. Licenses are free for not-for-profit organisations and other do-gooders. Read more of this post

Closing the gender gap for a food-secure future #AgGenderGap

Farmer with a bunch of AmaranthIn the video below, inspiring women share their views on closing the gender gap in farming under climate change. Read more of this post

New edition of weed biocontrol catalogue gives information on more than 2000 releases

Himalayan balsam infected with Puccinia rust

Himalayan balsam infected with Puccinia rust – a method of biocontrol being used in the UK. Photo credit: Rob Tanner © CABI

The fifth edition of Biological Control of Weeds: A World Catalogue of Agents and Their Target Weeds has been released after years of literature searches and the involvement of 125 weed biocontrol specialists.

The publication of this catalogue, available as a searchable online database and as a PDF book, was led by Mark Schwarzländer, University of Idaho CALS professor of entomology and biological control of weeds (and a former CABI researcher), and current CABI biological weed researcher, Hariet Hinz. Several prominent invasive species researchers co-edited the catalogue, including CABI’s Chief Scientist, Matthew Cock. Read more of this post

Tuta absoluta on the rampage in Africa

Abigail Rumsey:

Plantwise plant doctors have been helping farmers in Kenya to identify and manage the devastating invasive tomato pest, Tuta absoluta.

Originally posted on CABI Invasives Blog:

Watch a new video illustrating the devastating impacts that Tuta absoluta is having on tomato yields, and what this means for farmers who rely on these crops for sustenance and income.

Dr Arne Witt, from CABI commented on the implications of Tuta absoluta infestation across Africa

“Tomatoes are one of the most widely cultivated crops in Africa and are grown in the backyards of almost every homestead across sub-Saharan Africa. This important cash crop and source of vitamins is now threatened by the recent arrival of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta.

This Invasive Alien Species is rapidly moving down the African continent, having already decimated crops in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and northern Tanzania. Growers are at their wits end as to how best they can control this pest and many have abandoned tomato growing altogether. The race is on to prevent its spread further south with various interventions planned…

View original 28 more words

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

Plant virus found in ancient reindeer poo

Virologists that work on detecting new animal and human viruses have successfully extracted two 700-year-old viruses from frozen remains of caribou faeces in the north of Canada.

Reindeer in the snow, BC, Canada

Credit: Bruce McKay (CC BY-SA 2.0 license)

Read more of this post

Behind the scenes of Plantwise plant clinics in Uganda

PhD student, Andrew Tock, of the Warwick Crop Centre, has spent three months monitoring Plantwise plant clinic success in Uganda as part of a BBSRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership. During this time, he kept a research diary (video above), describing his experiences in Uganda and the day-to-day work of plant doctors in the field.

To read an interview with Andrew, visit the BBSRC website: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/food-security/2014/141029-f-plant-clinics-in-uganda.aspx

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