How bees can be a friend to smallholders

By Karoline Kingston

Bee with pollen on its legs drinking nectar from a flower

In an unprecedented study, honey bees have been found to be the world’s most important single species pollinator in natural ecosystems. Working alongside wild bees, they are also said to be responsible for every one in three bites of food. For the smallholder farmer, befriending bees – both honey and wild – could mean more efficient, high quality pollination of crops, as well as pollinating wild plants for cattle and other livestock to graze on. The sale of honey could also provide a vital additional source of income. But the bees need human help in return; the global bee population is in decline due to the use of harmful pesticides, climate change and habitat loss. Finding a productive partnership between these small creatures and smallholders could benefit both sides. Continue reading

Collaborative writeshop produces pest management decision guides for invasive species in Pakistan

The Invasives Blog

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Invasive alien species (IAS) have devastating impacts on native biota, causing the decline or even extinction of native species, negatively affecting ecosystems. Invasive plants, animals, insects and microorganisms enter and establish in environments outside of their natural habitat. They reproduce rapidly, out-compete native species for food, water and space, and are one of the main causes of global biodiversity loss. Species can be introduced deliberately, through for example, fish farming, pet trade, horticulture, bio-control or unintentionally, through such means as land and water transportation, travel, and scientific research.

CABI, under its Action on Invasives programme, is working to manage the already existing and potential invasive species in Pakistan. Pest Management Decision Guides (PMDGs), through the Plantwise Knowledge Bank are practical, step-by-step tools for plant doctors and extension agents to give advice following the principles of integrated pest management (IPM).

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Pop-up plant clinic proves popular at annual Agfair exhibition in Afghanistan

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A Plantwise plant clinic proved popular at the Farmer Festival and Spring Agfair exhibition, held last month in Badam Bagh Kabul, Afghanistan. The annual event, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Afghanistan brought together a diverse delegation of government officials, students, farmers, gardeners, and the general public, including visitors from outside Afghanistan.

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Test your plant health knowledge with the plant doctor quiz

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>> Latest quiz just added

Plantwise plant doctors are at the heart of our plant clinic network providing advice and information to farmers, logging their data for the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, and always adapting to new outbreaks and technologies.

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a plant doctor? Take our online quiz and find out! Continue reading

“We the women can do it.” Meet Jacinta, a farmer from Bolivia

In a new video, Plantwise follows the life of Jacinta Delgadillo, a farmer from Comarapa, Bolivia. Jacinta and her family grow beans, peppers, and other crops for food and to generate an income. When the crops are attacked by pests and diseases, Jacinta uses her local plant clinic to gain knowledge on how to better manage these threats to her livelihood.

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Meeting the needs of women farmers in Pakistan

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A women-only plant clinic takes place in Punjab province, Pakistan

Globally, women represent 43% of the agricultural labour force but they have less access than men to credit, education, land ownership, high quality inputs, and rural advisory services. Agriculture can be a powerful pathway out of poverty but without fair access to these things, women aren’t always in a position to fully benefit.

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New pest risk analysis decision support tool in development from CABI

The Invasives Blog

Colorado beetle eats a potato leaves young.

A Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) allows National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs) to assess risks posed by pests or pathways of quarantine concern, and identify options to manage those risks. Recognising that there was a need for support in the completion of PRAs, CABI, under its Action on Invasives programme, has designed and is developing an online PRA tool.

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