Looking back on 2013: Plantwise brainstorm

2013 Plantwise knowledge bank infographic

©CABI

Last year, 2013, was a productive year for Plantwise. There were over 120,000 visits to the online knowledge bank, with over 250,000 page views. This is great news because there were over 15,000 views per month, with people exploring distribution maps, browsing the image-led diagnostic tool, and looking at factsheets on treatment of pests and diseases. Of the views, about a quarter were from PW countries, where use has doubled since the same time in 2012.

We’re excited to share that at the end of last year, there were more than 7,500 factsheets publicly available on the knowledge bank, with 550 Factsheets for Farmers, 100 Pest Management Decision Guides, 3,400 Technical Factsheets and links to 3,500 External factsheets. The Technical Factsheets included 2,500 pests that affect over 4,000 different agriculturally significant hosts.

Mobile is progressing well, with over 450 Factsheets for Farmers having been repurposed and available via tablet or smartphone. This means that plant doctors on the e-clinics pilot initiative have access to factsheet information in real-time as they fill out prescription forms, making diagnoses and recommendations more accurate. Using mobile technology also increases the number of people that Plantwise reaches, especially since the app works with intermittent internet, and can be viewed offline.

The Pest Alert service had 545 sign-ups from 200 countries, including 169 contacts from the National Plant Protection Organizations.

As of the end of December 2013, plant clinics were regularly collecting data in 14 countries, with over 18,000 records of visits by farmers. Local and national engagement continues to increase in 2014, with the current numbers in July being over 50 000 records collected from 23 countries.

It’s been a busy first half of 2014, and we’re already making good progress on figures for this year. Check out the knowledge bank site to see the content we’ve added recently!

 

Yours in losing less and feeding more,

The Plantwise knowledge bank

 

NEXT WEEK: West African workshop with Plantwise, IPPC and FAO in Ghana

Photo: D. Nowell, IPPC

Photo: D. Nowell, IPPC

Next Tuesday marks the opening ceremony of Plantwise‘s second workshop co-hosted with IPPC in Africa, this time bringing top plant health officials from across West Africa to Accra, Ghana. Over 40 participants from national crop protection in Sierra Leone, Malawi, Zambia and Ghana will convene over 4 days from July 29- August 1 to focus on critical issues for trade, pest management and sustainable agricultural development in the region. On hand to lead the workshop will be representatives of Plantwise from CABI’s Accra, Nairobi, UK and Swiss centres, along with key officials from FAO Africa, FAO Pesticide Management Group and from the IPPC Secretariat. This workshop follows the the first regional IPPC and Plantwise workshop for East Africa which brought officials from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to Nairobi this past February. Watch a video snapshot of the IPPC and Plantwise Workshop in Nairobi and read more about next week’s Accra workshop in the full media announcement in English and in French.

Update: Plant Health News (16 Jul 14)

wheat leaf showing chlorotic spots symptomatic of boron toxicity © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Wheat leaf showing chlorotic spots symptomatic of boron toxicity © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the varying effects of rain on crops in Ivory Coast, the discovery of wheat genes that control boron tolerance and the projects managed by FAO that aim to improve food security in Africa.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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The unfortunate plight of the pollinators- Who are the culprits?

Photo credit: Autan@fickr.com

Honey bee foraging on the flower

Why are pollinators declining? New research suggests neonicotinoids are to blame.

When we talk of the crop production we hardly remember to acknowledge the services of these tiny pollinators and also don’t bother to safeguard them when we invest a lot in plant protection. These pollinators play an elemental role in an important process of nature known as pollination. Pollination is an important process in both human managed and natural terrestrial ecosystems. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations pollination is one of the essential ecosystem services. 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.

Read more of this post

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

Out now… the Plantwise Newsletter for July 2014!

Plantwise newsletter july image

Where do we begin? Plantwise has seen a busy 2014 so far. From Kenya to Costa Rica, there are new partners, plant doctors, and pest-fighting strategies (not to mention pilot mobile activities!) which we are pleased to share with you in this latest newsletter edition. Don’t forget to Guess the Pest at the end. Of course, this is all thanks to the hard work and dedication of our partners, donors, as well as the team of CABI staff in all four corners of the world who make it possible.

Follow us on the blog, facebooktwitter and check out our website -a new and improved version coming soon- to keep in touch with Plantwise news.

Update: Plant Health News (02 Jul 14)

The European Food Safety Authority have announced their opinion on biotech oilseed rape © Carron Brown (CC BY- NC)

The European Food Safety Authority have given their verdict on biotech oilseed rape © Carron Brown (CC BY- NC)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the release of EFSA’s scientific opinion on biotech oilseed rape, why using too much fertilizer is bad for crops and bad for climate and how the El Niño is already impacting Peruvian fruit crops.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
Read more of this post

Factsheet of the month: July – Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease

20137804184-page-0On Friday, the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) released an official pest report, submitted by KEPHIS, for the presence of Maize lethal necrosis disease (MLND) in Kenya. This disease is caused by a co-infection of Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus and another cereal potyvirus, such as Sugarcane Mosaic Virus, Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus or Maize Dwarf Mosaic Virus. This co-infection causes more severe symptoms that either of the viruses causes alone. Symptoms include mottling, stunting, necrosis and malformed ears.

MLND can devastate maize crops, impacting farmers’ incomes and the food security of the area. To find out how to recognise and control MLND, read the Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers created by employees from the Ministry of Agriculture and CABI.

Read more of this post

Plant Health Rallies to help control West Indian fruit fly in Grenada

Paul Graham, Pest Management Officer, demonstrates how to prepare the trap (Photo courtesy of Paul Graham)

Paul Graham, Pest Management Officer, demonstrates how to prepare the trap (Photo courtesy of Paul Graham)

Two Plant Health Rallies have recently been held in Grenada to raise awareness of the West Indian Fruit fly and promote the control of this pest using fruit fly bait stations. The rallies, which were organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, were aimed at local farmers with the first attracting 25 attendees and the second around 12. The farmers were given practical advice on how to make and use bait stations which they were able to take away with them afterwards. Thaddeus Peters (MoA) presented at one of the rallies explaining what damage the West Indian fruit fly causes and how the MoA and farmers can both play a part in controlling the pest.  Read more of this post

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