Update: Plant Health News (29 Jul 15)

Symptoms of bacterial blight on young pomegranate © Dr. V. I. Benagi

Symptoms of bacterial blight on young pomegranate © Dr. V. I. Benagi

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including bacterial blight affecting pomegranate quality in India, women in Kenya growing crops in sacks to feed their families and a pledge from China’s Ministry of Agriculture to reduce fertiliser and pesticide use and improve water conservation.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (22 Jul 15)

Fungi associated with black mould have been identified on baobab, a tree which yields nutritious fruit © Ton Rulkens

Fungi associated with black mould have been identified on baobab, a tree which yields nutritious fruit © Ton Rulkens

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 distribution and host records for white coconut scale (Parlagena bennetti), fungi associated with black mould on baobab trees in southern Africa and two new Uropodina mites from a pine plantation in Kenya.

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Update: Plant Health News (15 Jul 15)

John Pennycuick Farmers’ Trust has improved the way that Theni bananas are traded © Σπύρος Βάθης

John Pennycuick Farmers’ Trust has improved the way that Theni bananas are traded © Σπύρος Βάθης

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including Theni banana farmers in Tamil Nadu adopting more efficient production techniques,  why GM crops have been slow to take hold in Africa and the bio slurry pellet method of rice cultivation that could save farmers time and money.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Infographic: Plantwise progress in Africa

Plantwise_Africa_Infographic

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (08 Jul 15)

Symptoms of "crinkling" caused by RSNV in rice (A) Yellow stripes on leaves  (B) Crinkling (G.Prado, Rice Pathology Laboratory, CIAT, Cali, Colombia).

Symptoms of “crinkling” caused by RSNV in rice (A) Yellow stripes on leaves (B) Crinkling (G.Prado, Rice Pathology Laboratory, CIAT, Cali, Colombia).

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 first report of Rice stripe necrosis virus infecting rice in Benin, the occurrence of Tomato zonate spot virus on potato in China and the first report of Cassava common mosaic virus and cassava frogskin-associated virus infecting cassava in Argentina.

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A Leap from an ‘Analogue’ to a Digital Platform: The Story of Kenyan Plant Doctors

A blog written by Willis Ochilo

The stage is set and all the participants are sitting. Beneath the veneer of silence that pervades the workshop room are deep-seated fears. And it does not take long for the same to come out to the fore.

Plant doctor - farmer role play during the training workshop

Plant doctor – farmer role play during the training workshop

The setting is in Maanzoni Lodge in Machakos County. Here, the plant doctors have gathered to be trained in the use of tablet computers.

The participants, 17 in number, come from 8 different counties. They are the second of the two groups being trained this week. Unlike the first group, this group has 8 female plant doctors while the previous one had 3 female out of 14 plant doctors.

Finally! The ice is broken and the first salvo thrown. Lucy Njiru, a plant doctor from Embu County masters the courage to voice her fear. Her fear revolves around the fact; it will be her first time to handle a tablet. “Will I be able to handle the device?” she asks in a subdued voice. And to that, almost in sync, the others start to whizz suggesting they are all grappling with the same fear.

Many before them had raised similar concerns at the start of such workshops. In fact, so accustomed were the facilitators to that question, that it did not take much reflection for them to assure her. “At the end of the two days, you will be a pro,” said one of the facilitators to Lucy.  Read more of this post

Update: Plant Health News (01 Jul 15)

Pheromone trap in Uganda © CABI

Pheromone trap in Uganda © CABI

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including a reduction in banana yield in the Philippines due to the effects of El Niño on rainfall, a pest causing severe damage to tomato production in Nigeria and the use of pheromones to control insect pests in the field.

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