CABI showcases scientific know-how at Agriculture Science Week-FARA

FARA PhotoThis week, CABI delegates attended the 7th Africa Agriculture Science Week and general assembly of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). The theme for this year’s FARA general assembly was ‘Apply Science, Impact Livelihoods’. The subject fitted well with CABI’s core objective of applying scientific knowledge and innovation to improve people’s livelihoods.

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CABI’s Dr Julie Flood becomes President of British Society for Plant Pathology

Contributed by Rachel Winks, CABI.

Dr Julie Flood, CABI’s Senior Global Director for Commodities, became President of the British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP) on 1 January 2016. This is a 12-month post that follows on from her role as Vice-President in 2014 and President Elect in 2015. BSPP was founded in 1981 for the advancement of plant pathology – the study of organisms that cause diseases in plants. Dr Flood was one of the founding members of the society.
Dr Julie Flood
Dr Julie Flood

With growing demands on global food and commodity crop production, it is becoming increasingly important to share plant health information. Each year, the BSPP President holds an event bringing together leading scientists from the UK and overseas to discuss current issues about plant pathology. As part of her new role, Dr Flood will lead the presidential meeting. The theme will be ‘Food security, biosecurity and trade; the role of plant health’, and will be held at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, in September 2016. Continue reading

Citrus greening threatens Floridian groves

Symptoms of citrus greening on citrus leaf
Symptoms of citrus greening on citrus leaf © CABI

Mabel Smith is an Oxfordshire school student, studying both the arts and the sciences. She is interning at CABI for Plantwise and the marketing department.

The disease, citrus greening, which is also known as huanglongbing and caused by the fastidious bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter, continues to cause problems for Floridian growers this week. The psyllids that spread this pathogen are now running rampage throughout more than half of Florida’s citrus producing counties, causing an expected 20% decline in  harvest. Over the last 20 years around 60 million citrus trees have been abandoned across half a million acres of land due to this rapidly spreading and, so far, incurable disease. Citrus greening has already caused irreversible damage in Asia and South America and many growers in Florida are giving up on the citrus market altogether to turn to more reliable alternatives like peach growing. Despite this, many growers are still optimistic and millions of dollars are currently being invested in further agricultural research into a cure.

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