Plantwise Vietnam training on data validation, processing and analysis

Reblogged from Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences news

636044736270395815-dsc04394-medium-jpg

During 3-day training workshop, participants learnt how to validate Plantwise diagnoses and recommendations and how to analyze data from Vietnam stored on the Plantwise Knowledge bank. This activity is useful and necessary for the staff working in plant protection because they can examine and evaluate skills and qualifications of Plant doctors and also can have an overall vision and panorama picture about pest and diseases of each plant in each region of the project.  Thus, the need for training of Plant doctors could be identified with the aim to enhance their skills and knowledge, to diagnose more accurately pests, and to improve the quality of advice helping farmers prevent effectively pests and diseases, while ensuring safety for people and environment.

Read the full article the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences website→

Tackling invasive species to protect farmer incomes and livelihoods

CABI Invasives Blog

Elias Kamuga“I have suffered [crop] losses amounting to 90%. I have no other source of income apart from tomato farming. I was relying on this crop to feed my family. I have nothing to do now other than tery to think of what to do next.”

Elias Kamuga, Farmer, Kenya

Elias is a smallholder farmer from Kenya. Every year he sells his tomato crop at the local market, which gives him enough money to feed his family. But the arrival of a tomato pest to his region in Kenya has stopped that. The pest – a moth called a tomato leaf miner or Tuta absoluta – was recently introduced to Africa. This pest is an invasive species, and is destroying people’s livelihoods.

In 2015, Elias started to notice his tomatoes were being damaged by this pest. He tried taking them to market, but customers said they had too many holes and…

View original post 363 more words

Plantwise goes mainstream in Myanmar agriculture

by Dr. Kyin Kyin Win, Deputy Director (Plant Protection Division, MOALI)

A major outcome of the two-year  pilot programme of Plantwise in Myanmar was the  recommendation from Dr. Tin Htut, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) to develop a Myanmar Plant Health System Development Strategy (MPHSDS) to guide the future development of the plant health system in Myanmar. Following this, a write shop with senior officials of MoALI was held on the 22nd April 2016 in NayPyiTaw,. The first draft of the MPHSDS was prepared by CABI using as reference documents the Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy (MRSDS) and Climate Smart Agriculture Development Strategy.

Myanmar plant clinic
Plant doctor helps a farmer at a plant clinic in Myanmar

Continue reading

A fifth of the world’s plants under threat, as report says 391,000 species now known to science

CABI Invasives Blog

Dave Simpson – 11 May 2016

A ground-breaking report from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has produced an estimate of the number of plants known to science. By searching through existing databases, the researchers have estimated that there are now 390,900 known plant species, of which around 369,400 are flowering plants. But this figure is only those species currently documented: new species are being discovered all the time, including over 2000 in 2015 alone. But more worryingly, it is suggested that 21% of plant species are under threat, from a range of pressures including climate change, habitat loss and invasive species. The invasive species component of the report, which draws heavily on CABI’s Invasive Species Compendium, says that nearly 5,000 plant species are documented as invasive, from over 13,000 vascular plant species naturalised outside their native range.

Prof Kathy Willis, director of science at RBG Kew, said: “It’s really important…

View original post 549 more words

Four new bee species described in Australia – many more remain unidentified

by Miroslav Djuric, DVM, CABI. Reblogged from CABI’s Hand Picked blog.

One of the new species of Australian bee, Euhesma albamala
One of the new species of Australian bee, Euhesma albamala. Copyright: K. Hogendoorn, M. Stevens, R. Leijs, CC BY 4.0 license

Bee specialists from South Australia have described four new native bees. Three of these bee species have been described as  having narrow faces and very long mouths, allowing them to feed on slender flowers found on the emu bush, a hardy native of the Australian desert environment, and to collect the nectar through a narrow constriction at the base of the emu bush flowers. Based on the authors’ description, the way these bees have adapted to feed on emu bush flowers is an excellent example of evolution. The fourth species belongs to a different group and has a more commonly observed round-shaped head.

The four new species belong to the genus Euhesma. Their description is based on evaluation of DNA ‘barcoding’ and morphological comparison of the bees with museum specimens.

The study was led by K. Hogendoorn of the University of Adelaide and was carried out in collaboration with specialists from the South Australian Museum. The results of the study are published in the journal ZooKeys.

Continue reading

Tackling climate change and agriculture at COP21 – a look at the landscape approach

by Dr Trevor Nicholls, CEO, CABI

In the Fields in Sherpur, Himachal Pradesh, India
Photo credit: Michael Foley, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

At COP21 last week, the world’s leaders agreed on a way forward to manage climate change. Limiting global warming to less than two percent was undoubtedly a landmark decision and, for the first time, there was unanimous recognition that humans impact the climate and that humans must do something about it.

I was honoured to deliver an address to the UNFCCC on CABI’s work in agriculture and the environment, specifically highlighting our knowledge and science-based initiatives like Plantwise that help smallholder farmers living in rural communities grow more and lose less of their produce, and embrace climate smart agricultural processes.

Talking about these projects, it struck me how agriculture has been caught in the centre of the COP21 debate as both a cause and a victim of climate change, and how – as the foundation of food security – agriculture must be carefully managed. A perfect storm is brewing of increased global warming and growing global population, which places pressure on agriculture to produce more outputs using fewer resources like land and water. How we feed a world of 9 billion people by 2050, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the most important questions we must ask and answer. Continue reading

Who owns open agricultural data?

This is an edited re-blog from an Open Data Institute (ODI) blog post published under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 UK license

by Martin Parr, Head of Open Data at CABI. Follow Martin on Twitter.

Kenya tablets at a plant clinic
Plantwise plant doctor gives advice to a farmer and delivers it by SMS. Credit: Holly Wright, copyright: CABI.

The Plantwise programme has developed a knowledge bank to share Good Agricultural Practice and a very high level of anonymised data about incidences of plant pests and diseases.

Success of the CABI Plantwise programme is measured by the extent to which it provides advice to farmers, agencies and governments in tackling pests. Increasingly it’s moving away from solely giving advice at a local level, to also understanding national, regional and global trends.

Through our partnerships with governments, extension workers, NGOs and others on the ground, we’ve collected data through thousands of recorded consultations with farmers. To date, we’ve documented 150,000 cases globally in 34 countries which highlight the everyday concerns of small- and medium-sized farms around the world.

Continue reading