Globally, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two thirds of the world’s population. With 40% of crops lost annually to pests, achieving zero hunger by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholders.
We already have weather forecasts, pollen forecasts and UV forecasts, but what if farmers had access to pest forecasts?
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 plum pox virus (PPV) in Japan, the first report of white blister rust disease caused by Albugo occidentalis on spinach in Turkey and the first report of orange rust on sugarcane caused by Puccinia kuehnii in Guyana.
CABI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Agriculture Department Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan to launch the Plantwise programme in order to provide research-based advisory services to farmers.
The agreement, which will deliver Plantwise plant clinic services, was signed by Dr Babar Bajwa, Regional Director – CABI Central and West Asia, and Mr Sajjad Haider who is Secretary, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries at Gilgit Baltistan. Continue reading →
From a distance, Wycliffe Ngoda’s two acres of shiny green maize crops look healthy and lush. But the tell-tale holes in the leaves and debris on the stems give away an increasingly dangerous secret hidden in more and more maize fields across Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa. The rampant Fall Armyworm caterpillar is once again threatening harvests across the continent for a second year.
The pest, which arrived in Africa from the Americas in 2016, affected around 50,000 hectares of maize in Kenya alone last year, costing 25 per cent of the crop, according to government officials.
The world’s most widely used group of insecticides will be banned from all fields within the next six months by the European Union. The use of neonicotinoids will be prevented in any manner with the aim of protecting important insect pollinators such as honeybees which are known to be vital for global crop pollination.
CABI has held a five-day course on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to train post graduate students and young researchers on a range of pest management techniques including how to keep pests, diseases and weeds below levels that cause economic damage.
Published in the journal Nature earlier this month, the study shows how the peptide CLE25 is synthesised in the roots of plants when under stress due to a lack of water in the soil, resulting in the closing of pores (stomata) in the leaf surfaces.