The disease that could change how we drink coffee

Hands-holding-coffee
Hands holding coffee (© Public Domain CCO)

Reblogged from BBC Future
Written by Jose Luis Penarredonda

If you landed in Bogota in the 1960s, one of the first things you would have probably seen outside the airport was a giant billboard. In a slightly menacing tone, it said: “Coffee rust is the enemy. Don’t bring plant materials from abroad”.

It was one of the first warnings about a foe that has been threatening Colombia’s coffee trade ever since.

Continue reading

Suspected pesticide poisoning in India highlights importance of PPE

A woman picking cotton in a field near Nagarjuna Sagar — Andhra Pradesh, India (by By Claude Renault, via Wikimedia Commons)

On 5th October, the BBC reported that at least 50 farmers have died in the western state of Mharashtra, India, since July, due to suspected accidental pesticide poisoning (see the full article on the BBC website).

Nineteen of these deaths were reported from Yavatmal district, a major cotton growing area, where farmers use a variety of cotton which is meant to be resistant to bollworms. However, this year, despite use of this variety, crop damage caused by bollworm has been highly significant, leading to an increase in the use of pesticides.

Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (24 Aug 17)

Lemons at the Mercat Central de València, Spain (© Hans Hillewaert, via Wikimedia Commons)

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 a first report of Citrus leaf blotch virus in lemon in China, first report of Groundnut bud necrosis virus infecting periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) in India and the first report of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides causing anthracnose on loquat in Pakistan.

Continue reading

Gender and Agricultural Extension

A woman farmer harvesting tea in Indonesia (CC0 Public Domain)

Did you know that women produce more than half of all food grown worldwide, and in sub-Saharan Africa women produce up to 80% of all food (FAO, 2011)? Yet across Asia and Africa it is common that women are not given access to the same amount of resources as men, whether that is money, land, tools or information (World Bank et al., 2009). Their opportunities are limited by the social and economic roles that men and women are expected to fulfil in society. It is therefore vital to reach women through our agricultural programmes; otherwise a huge proportion of the human population is missing out on the opportunity to improve household food security and contribute to economic stability.

Continue reading

Could perennial crops be an answer to climate change?

Planting rice in China (© CABI)

Reblogged from The Economic Times

BENGALURU: While India reaped the benefits of the Green Revolution in the 1960s, her neighbour China is now taking the lead in another area of sustainable agriculture — developing crops that meet the challenges posed by global warming.

Chinese agricultural scientists are working to convert seasonal crops into perennial crops that regrow after being harvested and deliver multiple yields before dying.

Continue reading

Plantwise Pest Alerts – free email subscription service

Are you interested in keeping up to date with crop pest and disease literature reports? You’re invited to sign up to our monthly pest alert email containing links to recently published scientific literature from around the globe.

On sign up, select which country or region you are interested in, or the Worldwide regional option. Feel free to sign up more than once if you would like to receive reports on multiple countries or regions.

Continue reading

Why a problem of plenty is hurting India’s farmers

Vegetable market stand, India. Image: Mohamed Shareef via Wikimedia Commons

By Soutik Biswas. Reblogged from BBC News.

Farmers are on the boil again in India. In western Maharashtra state, they have been on strike for a week in some seven districts now, spilling milk on the streets, shutting down markets, protesting on the roads and attacking vegetable trucks. In neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, curfew has been imposed after five farmers were killed in clashes with police on Tuesday. Last month, farmers in southern Telangana and Andhra Pradesh staged protests and burnt their red chilli crop.

Continue reading