Kenyan farmer perceptions of biological control of papaya mealybug

The papaya mealybug problem in Kenya The invasive papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus) is a devastating pest to many crops, with a host range of over 200 plants. The species was first detected in Africa in 2010 in Ghana and then in 2016 in Mombasa County in Kenya. In Kenya, where horticulture makes up 60% of…
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Biocontrol agent released to safeguard crops from parthenium weed in Pakistan

Invasive plants can be extremely harmful to crops. “Famine weed” or parthenium is one such plant. Native to tropical America, it was accidentally introduced to several countries. In Pakistan, the weed now covers thousands of hectares of agricultural and rangeland. And it poses an economic burden to farmers.
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Controlling the papaya mealybug pest – progress made in coastal Kenya

An initiative to combat the destructive papaya mealybug in Kenya is reaping rewards. A natural predator – a parasitic wasp – has been introduced to coastal counties to help control the pest. This tiny wasp is helping to prevent the damage caused by the mealybug. It’s not only helping to save papaya farms. It’s safeguarding…
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6 ways that PlantwisePlus tools are transforming digital development 

Digital development has come a long way over the past decade. And it’s helping farmers to access agricultural knowledge. Reaching smallholders with farming know-how can be challenging. Most smallholders have limited access to agricultural information. Moreover, public extension services are becoming more difficult to access. Tanzania only has four extension agents per 10,000 farmers. In…
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How Jamaica is supporting young people in agriculture

“At first, I don’t think he wanted us in farming. He more wanted a nurse, or a flight attendant, or something like that.” Justine is a young farmer in Jamaica who initially faced resistance from her father. She and her siblings are now preparing to take over the family farm.
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Ukulima True – a Kenyan farming campaign to help reduce the risk of pesticides

As demand for food grows globally, farming practices must intensify. Farmers will need to use more low-risk tools to tackle plant pests and diseases. Pesticides are an important tool for pest management. However, they should be seen as part of a kit of many tools, not the only tool. This is because pesticides also pose…
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New biocontrol agent production model to fight fall armyworm in Bangladesh

The state of BCA use in Bangladesh The use of biological control agents (BCAs) to manage pests is a concept not yet fully embraced by farmers. This is especially true in Bangladesh, where the invasive pest, fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), has affected many crops. First seen in Bangladesh in November 2018, fall armyworm causes harvest…
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Plant health knowledge helps residents of wildlife conservancy turn from poaching to farming

Simalaha Community Conservancy aims to protect endangered wildlife. However, several years ago, it faced a big challenge. People living within the parks’ boundaries were poaching animals for food and income. The Conservancy is managed by Peace Parks Foundation. They addressed the problem by helping residents to shift from poaching to smallholder farming. But in 2020,…
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How young people are bringing nature-based solutions to farmers

Young spray service providers are changing environmental protection and food safety by offering natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. They’re changing farmers’ minds about the types of pest control they use. In this blog, we look at PlantwisePlus training in pesticide application and how the programme supports young people – the future of safer and more…
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How does better food processing support food security?

How can better food systems protect food security? We talk to CABI’s food safety scientist, Sydney Phiri, in a Q&A Scientist Sydney Phiri joined CABI in 2022 to focus on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues and food safety. He has a well-established career and has worked on a range of food safety and hygiene issues,…
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