Update: Plant Health News (19 Nov 14)

Ufra disease has broken out in the Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar. The partial emergence and distorted panicles are due to nematode infection.

Ufra disease has broken out in the Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar. The partial emergence and distorted panicles are due to nematode infection.

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the insect-resistant maize that could increase yields and decrease pesticide use in Mexico, nematodes that are threatening rice in the Ayeyarwady Region of Myanmar and a study into how salt-loving plants could contribute to sustainable global food production.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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EU Evaluation finds Plantwise ‘highly relevant and timely’

Plant doctor, Hermínia Sieco, diagnosing a crop problem

Plant doctor, Hermínia Sieco, diagnosing a crop problem

“The Plantwise programme is a highly relevant and timely initiative considering the high percentage of crops lost to pest and disease problems, the impact these problems have on especially small farmer livelihoods, and the probability that in the future plant health problems will be enhanced by climate change and globalization.” 

Download and read the Final Report – Short version.

 

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (13 Nov 14)

Aonidiella aurantii have been newly recorded in olive trees in Brazil ©  M.A. van den Berg

Aonidiella aurantii have been newly recorded in olive trees in Brazil © M.A. van den Berg

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 identification of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus infecting common bean in Japan, Diaspididae scale insects in olive trees in Brazil and the first report of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum‘ on carrot in Africa.

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Science and technology at the heart of agricultural development

Reposted from devcooperation.org in celebration of World Science Day

Timor-Leste Farmer Carries Away Crops Destroyed by Heavy RainsBy Dr Dyno (J.D.H.) Keatinge, AIRCA Chair and Director General of AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center, and Dr Trevor Nicholls, AIRCA Steering Committee Member and CEO of CABI

Science may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of development but it often forms the foundation of solutions to tackle some of the world’s most critical issues, like ensuring people can grow enough food to eat. Today is World Science Day for Peace and Development, an opportunity to show the important contribution that science, knowledge-sharing and technology make to global development, especially to food and nutrition security.

Access to science-based information can make the difference between harvests that flourish or fail. While much agricultural information is readily accessible to farmers in the developed world, it remains out of reach for many others. Knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer are the keys to building the livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest smallholder farmers – people who grow food to eat or to sell on a small scale. Surprisingly, mobile technology is fast becoming one of the best ways to reach farmers with this information.

Read more at http://devcooperation.org

Update: Plant Health News (06 Nov 14)

Coating tomato fruit with edible gum arabic has been found to enhance their shelf-life © The Ewan (CC BY-SA)

Coating tomato fruit with edible gum arabic has been found to enhance their shelf-life © The Ewan (CC BY-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including analysis of the impacts of biotech crops, the role of salt tolerant plants in food production and 6 inventions that can help to prevent harvest loss.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Plantwise knowledge bank wins Open Data Award for Social Impact

Plant doctors in Kenya help advise farmers about sick crops at a local plant clinic with the help of the Plantwise knowledge bank Factsheet Library app. (Photo Wright/CABI)

Plant doctors in Kenya help advise farmers about sick crops at a local plant clinic with the help of the Plantwise knowledge bank Factsheet Library app. (Photo Wright/CABI)

On 4 November, the CABI-led Plantwise programme was announced as the winner of the Open Data Award for Social Impact. This is the latest accolade for this innovative open access platform for knowledge to help farmers lose less of what they grow to crop pests and diseases. Plantwise knowledge bank Global Director Shaun Hobbs accepted the award from Open Data Institute Chairman and Co-founder Sir Nigel Shadbolt at the ODI Summit gala dinner at the Museum of London.

Also nominated for the Social Impact award category were communications development consultancy Internews and the UNHCR Data Portal.

With this award, the Open Data Institute celebrates ‘innovation and excellence in the ways open data are used and published,’ as judged by a panel of industry experts, influencers and leaders in the field of open-access technology. It is hoped that recognition of Plantwise knowledge bank will continue to drive other public and private organisations to collaborate for the benefit of rural communities and global food security.

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Mexico eradicates Mediterranean fruit fly

Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata)

Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata). ©Daniel Feliciano – CC BY-SA 3.0

Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing and Food (SAGARPA) has declared the country free of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, in a development that is expected to ease trade restrictions and boost the produce industry.

The declaration will positively impact on 1.8 million hectares of growing land for some key agricultural crops – including tomatoes, mangoes and avocados – with an annual production of 17.6 million metric tons (MT). The total value of the affected produce is estimated to be around 86 billion pesos (US$6.4 billion).

SAGARPA said the fruit fly’s eradication was a result of phytosanitary measures that had been in place for 35 years.

Fruit flies are a menacing pest across the world, causing damage to fruits and other agricultural crops with large financial consequences for international trade when export bans are imposed. For example, Pakistani mango imports were at risk of being banned by the EU earlier this year due to fruit fly infestations (http://www.newspakistan.pk/2014/06/23/eu-ban-import-pakistani-mangoes-due-infestation/), and in May this year the EU controversially banned all imports of Indian mangoes due to the discovery of tropical pests in the imported produce (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27238239).

Do you have a problem with fruit flies in your crop? Find out how to manage fruit flies at a local level by reading pest management factsheets on the Plantwise knowledge bank: http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank/SearchResults.aspx?q=”fruit fly”.

Find out more about the distribution of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, by clicking on the image below. Distribution records in CABI’s products (Plantwise knowledge bank and CPC) will be updated shortly.

Ceratitis capitata global distribution

Global distribution of Ceratitis capitata, compiled by the Plantwise knowledge bank based on published reports in the scientific literature. ©CABI 2014. http://www.plantwise.org/KnowledgeBank.

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