Update: New Pest & Disease Records (15 Oct 14)

Diaporthe citri, seen here affecting Tangelo, has been identified on lemon in India © Scot Nelson (CC BY-SA)

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 a pathogen that’s causing fruit rot of tomato, orange, and apple in Pakistan, the first report of Phomopsis citri associated with dieback of lemon in India and the  first report of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne hapla parasitizing roses in Ethiopia. 

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Plantwise Data Management Training in Mozambique

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Since its launch early this year, the partnership between the Plantwise Initiative and the Ministry of Agriculture in Mozambique (MINAG) continues to grow. The National Directorate of Agrarian Services (DNSA) that falls under MINAG is the Plantwise implementing institution in Mozambique. There are currently 5 plant clinics established and running in Maputo and Manica provinces. Read more of this post

Update: Plant Health News (08 Oct 14)

Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) bags keep grain pest free © IITA (CC BY-NC)

Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) bags keep grain free of pests © IITA (CC BY-NC)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the promotion of grain storage bags to prevent pest damage in Kenya, the fight against herbicide-resistant weeds and managing Fusarium wilt disease in watermelon.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Invasive myrtle rust impacts discussed at international forestry congress

Abigail Rumsey:

The rust species, Puccinia psidii, affects several crop trees including guava and allspice.

Originally posted on CABI Invasives Blog:

CABI has recently published a comprehensive review and update of its ISC datasheet on the globally important pathogen Puccinia psidii, commonly known as myrtle rust or guava rust. This problematic fungus is of worldwide importance and is capable of infecting a wide range of hosts. To date it has over 440 host species; affecting many plants in the Myrtaceae family, including threatened and endangered species (see IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Severe impacts have been recorded in amenity plantings, commercial plantations and the native environment.

Once established in a new country myrtle rust can spread quickly and this has been the case in many countries including Jamaica, Hawaii, Australia and New Caledonia. Its successful global and local dispersal through urediniospores and human-aided movement of diseased plants, combined with its massive host range make myrtle rust an effective and devastating invasive. It was first identified as an invasive…

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Checking in on the MDGs: how have we scored so far?

Corn fingers

Established in 2000 by the UN, the eight Millennium Development Goals provide a priority blueprint for ending poverty and meeting the needs of the world’s poorest- and they will hit their deadline in a little over a year’s time. The two questions which are on the minds of many policy leaders and international development institutions: how have we done in the past 14 years, and crucially, what comes next? Tomorrow evening the World Bank will launch its Global Monitoring Report 2014 which takes a look at progress so far in achieving results from development policies, including the Millennium Development Goals (go to the World Bank website to follow the event or #endpoverty on twitter). In terms of global food security, Millennium Development Goal 1 aims to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015, a goal shared by CABI and its work empowering farmers to lose less and feed more through the Plantwise initiative. Prior to this year’s report, it was already announced that there has been substantial progress towards reaching MDG 1, with malnourishment now afflicting an estimated 805 million people- something that could not be reported in 2006 when the spread of global hunger was still on the rise. Though this means 1 in every 8 people remains without sufficient supply of nutritious food to eat, this is also a sign that keeping food security at the top of the international development agenda is making a critical difference. “Political commitment of governments is increasingly being translated into comprehensive and effective action, with strengthened engagement of non-state actors,” commented José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General. “These efforts are bringing the goal of achieving food security in our lifetime closer to reality.”

The Global Monitoring Report will outline MDG progress, analyzing efforts to reduce poverty, improve schooling, reduce maternal and child mortality, and ensure safe water and sanitation. The WB-IMF report also introduces the Twin Goals of ending poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity. Next week on October 13th in London, the Global Hunger Index 2014 will also be launched to weigh in on progress and room for improvement towards reaching global food security.

Backstopping visit to Bangkok, Thailand

As the last part of our data management trip, Claire and I headed to Bangkok for the 11th and 12th of September. We joined a group of plant doctors and farmers at the plant clinic/rally in Nong Kung village, Suppaya district, Chainat province. We saw a demonstration on biocontrol, looked through pamphlets and information available to farmers about crop problems, and discussed the rice harvest which was currently taking place. In the backstopping training at the Rice Department, the participants shared their concerns and plans for future data management in Thailand.


Participants of the data management backstopping in Bangkok. ©CABI


Farmers attending the clinic to listen to advice about crop protection. ©CABI


Emily, Claire, Fook Wing, and Siva observing how plant clinics operate in Chainat province. ©CABI


Discussing data management in Thailand. ©CABI


Looking forward to a delicious meal in Nong Kung village! ©CABI


Farmers learning about biocontrol products using fungal spores grown on a culture of cooked rice. ©CABI


A farmer and plant doctor discussing issues with food crops. ©CABI


Preserved samples and specimens for comparison purposes when diagnosing crop problems. ©CABI


View from the plant clinic into part of the village – it was a beautiful, sunny day. ©CABI

Backstopping visit to Hanoi, Vietnam

After our stay in Cambodia, Claire and I continued on our way to Hanoi, Vietnam on September 8th and 9th. From there we drove out to Hưng Yên province, visiting two plant clinics and an agro-dealer. We had the opportunity to speak with farmers and plant doctors about how clinics are going, and how useful they can be for farmers to seek advice on their crops. On the way, we enjoyed some pomelo and longans, and shared a cup of tea.  Afterwards, we headed back to the city and facilitated a backstopping training session about data management for 6 participants. Together, we identified bottlenecks in the data flow process, and discussed how they can be improved.


Plant doctors at Plant Clinic 8 in Hưng Yên province. ©CABI


Longan season in Hưng Yên province. ©CABI


Interview with the leader of Nhat Quang commune while sharing a cup of tea. ©CABI


Pomelo picked fresh from the tree! ©CABI


Visiting an agro-dealer and learning about the safety information available for farmers. ©CABI


Claire highlighting the importance of data management. ©CABI


The group visiting plant clinic 8 and talking with farmers about how much they valued the advice provided by plant doctors. ©CABI


Group photo from the backstopping data management training. ©CABI


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