New study shows that bacteria can be engineered to create their own fertilizer using air

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It is possible that in the future, agricultural crops will be able to produce their own fertilizer (© Pexels)

Researchers have successfully engineered bacteria to use nitrogen at night to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis. This new development could reduce the need for human-made fertilizers on agricultural crops, thus reducing the cost and manpower required for fertilizer application.

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Sentimentality stifling youths’ agricultural future

The CABI Blog

576px-Coffee_farmer_in_Kenya Photo: Steve Mbogo

I know from personal experience it’s difficult for parents to let go of things they’ve cherished for years – for my dad, it’s broken antique chairs that he insists he’ll fix when he ‘has a spare moment’… i.e. never. ‘What’s the link between clutching on to family objects and youth engagement in agriculture,’ I hear you ask?

Projecting such forms of sentimentality towards traditional crops is stifling youths’ economic prospects in agriculture.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (07 August 18)

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August pest alerts contain the first report of avocado sunblotch viroid (ASBVd) naturally infecting avocado in Greece (© Pexels)

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 avocado sunblotch viroid (ASBVd) naturally infecting avocado in Greece, the first report of Dasheen mosaic virus infecting taro in Ethiopia and the first record of Cryptochetidae from Turkey.   Continue reading

“Our crops have answers”

PlantClinicMalawi

Kanyumbu village is a compact rural farming village in Lilongwe district in Malawi. Farmers in this village mostly produce maize, beans, and mangoes from a few trees scattered in their fields. In 2013, they received a new service from the Department of Agriculture; a plant clinic, with a plant doctor. They were informed that they could present any crop affected by pests and diseases, or that was simply ‘not looking normal’. The plant doctor could examine the crop samples, diagnose the problem and tell them what was ailing their crops. On the spot, the plant doctor could provide advice on how to manage the crop pests and problems.

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CABI warns of rapid spread of crop-devastating fall armyworm across Asia

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Scientists discuss various plant diseases with local farmers as they attend a plant clinic in India. Photo: CABI

CABI scientists have today warned of the impending rapid spread of the crop-devastating pest, fall armyworm, across Asia following its arrival in India, with major crop losses expected unless urgent action is taken. The warning comes following a pest alert published this week by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the website of one of its bureaux, NBAIR, confirming the discovery of fall armyworm in the southern state of Karnataka. CABI scientists warned Asia was at risk from fall armyworm following the pest’s rapid spread across Africa in 2017.

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PRISE: Kenya Stakeholder Workshop July 2018

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PRISE Stakeholder workshop participants, July 2018.

Earlier this month, members of the Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) consortium held a stakeholder workshop in Kenya to update partners, donors and stakeholders on the progress of the project and to discuss future developments over the next four years.

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Plant Parasitic Nematodes – the world’s most important crop pathogen?

The CABI Blog

By Richard Sikora, Danny Coyne, Johannes Hallman and Patricia Timper

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Plant parasitic nematodes – overlooked, neglected, little known and mostly out of sight; surprising then that they cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage to global crop production annually.  In the tropics and subtropics they persistently undermine production, result in massive waste of disfigured and unmarketable produce, and literally plague some crops.

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