By Sam Otieno. Reblogged from SciDevNet
The FAO estimates that up to 40% of global crop yields are reduced each year due to the damage caused by pests (FAO, 2015). Crop losses have a huge impact on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. They result in less food for them and their families and a lower income for spending on education and farming resources, including tools for the management and control of pests.
Accurate pest forecasting systems therefore need to be made available so that farmers can be warned of potential pest outbreaks that may severely damage crops. Pest forecasts enable farmers to implement prevention methods in time for them to be most effective.
Cabbage is an important crop in Ghana where it grows all year round, right across the country. It is mainly grown for commercial production in Southern Ghana, in Akwapim and Kwahu areas and in the moist high elevations around Tarkwa.
Growing cabbage in Ghana is challenging since it can be attacked by a variety of pests, such as cabbage aphids, caterpillars, cabbage webworm, diamondback moth, mole cricket, snails and rodents. Worldwide, aphids are a major concern because they commonly spread plant-infecting viruses. These are often diagnosed as turnip mosaic virus and cauliflower mosaic virus, particularly in Europe and the US, according to Dr John Carr, University of Cambridge, UK (Phys.org, 2017).
Australian researchers have developed a new nanotechnology pesticide spray called BioClay which has shown success in recent trials.
Developed by the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), BioClay contains double stranded RNA which can be sprayed onto a crop. When the RNA contacts the plant, the plant believes it is being attacked by a virus and protects itself.
For the final post of our mini-series, “Our favourite recipes”, this Tomato Choka recipe has been kindly provided by Bob Ramnanan, CABI Country Coordinator for the Caribbean. Tomato Choka is a quick and easy meal vegetarian meal and can be served with sada roti (flatbread), rice, pasta or potato.
As part of our new mini-series, “Our favourite recipes”, these two eggplant (aubergine) recipes have been kindly provided by Yee Yee Myint, from the Plant Protection Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation in Myanmar. She partners with us as a National Data Manager.