Fall Armyworm: A new collaboration to disseminate best management practices to farmers

From the 13th to the 15th of November 2017, USAID and CIMMYT held a Regional Training and Awareness Generation Workshop on Fall Armyworm Pest Management for Eastern Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Participants from 11 countries attended the workshop to discuss short, medium and long term strategies to control Fall Armyworm in Africa. Following its accidental introduction into West Africa, the pest has spread quickly to the whole continent. The current and predicted yield loss to maize from FAW over the 2017-2018 season in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to reach US$ 3 billion.

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Fall armyworm caterpillar from ICIPE rearing facilities (Photo credit: Thomas Wallace, Africa Lead)

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Successful e-Plant Clinic launch in Nepal

Blog e-Plant Clinic training in Pokhara, Nepal (© CABI)

E-plant clinic training commenced in Pokhara, Nepal, today, after a successful launch in Kathmandu earlier this week. ICT intervention for the country is funded by the Centre for Applied Crop Science (CACS), UK Government and training was inaugurated in Kathmandu by Dr. Suroj Pokharel, Secretary, Ministry of Agricultural Development and chaired by Sh. Dila Ram Bhandari, Director General, Department of Agriculture.

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Challenges and Opportunities for Women Farmers in Nepal

Basana Thakuri with tomato plants in Kathmandu, Nepal (Photo: Brian Sokol)

In developing countries, rural women play a significant role in agriculture, accounting for 60-80% of food production and selling food products at markets [1]. In Nepal, it’s been reported that up to 98% of women are employed in the agricultural sector, a percentage which is higher than that for men (91%) [1b]. Contribution by women is therefore critical in agriculture to achieve global food security. However, they generally don’t have the same access to land, water, seeds, training and credit than men. [2] As a consequence, in Nepal, women involvement is greater in minor and subsistence food production for crops such as millet, maize, and soybean while men are more involved in cash crops and commercial production of crops such as rice. Moreover, whilst men generally perform heavy physical labour women are involved in tedious and time-consuming work such as weeding, harvesting, threshing and milling[1].

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Our favourite recipes – Mozambique

Recipe courtesy of Joao A. Jeque Junior

As part of our new mini-series “Our favourite recipes”, the second post has been written by Joao A. Jeque Junior, Plantwise knowledge bank intern from Mozambique. He tells us how to prepare Xiguinha de “mandioca” made from cassava.

Xiguinha de “mandioca”

Mandioca is the translated Portuguese name for cassava, mostly referred in speaking Portuguese countries in Africa. The importance of cassava in African cultures as the main energy food source has already been acknowledged. In Mozambique cassava is widely used as the main ingredient for dishes across the country. Xiguinha is a traditional dish from South Mozambique widely consumed in both rural and urban areas.

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One Health: Plantwise’s ambition to improve the health of people, plants and animals

Blog written by Léna Durocher-Granger and Solveig Danielsen

One Health Day is held on the 3rd of November to highlight “the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines — working locally, nationally, and globally — to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment” (One Health Initiative, 2016).  Although One Health Initiative is focusing mainly on zoonotic diseases as a key interface between human and animal health, it is important to remember that many human and animal health problems are caused or worsened by hunger, malnutrition and poor quality of food and feed. Looking beyond zoonoses, it is clear that human and animal health are closely connected to plant health for at least four reasons: Food security – enough food at the right time to feed people; Food safety – plant products of good quality; Feed security – enough feed at the right time to feed animals; and Livelihoods – agriculture is fundamental for economic growth in developing countries. Plant health is essential if crop yields are to be sufficient and of the right quality (Danielsen, 2013).

Farmer in Nepal reading a factsheet (Phil Taylor, CABI)

This is where CABI’s Plantwise programme aims to make a difference. Plantwise’s global objective is to increase food security and improve rural livelihoods by reducing crop losses due to pests and diseases. Further to this, experiences from different countries show that Plantwise, through its work to strengthen plant health service delivery, can also contribute to improving human and animal health and play a role in expanding One Health approaches (Boa et al., 2015).

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Making the most of the knowledge bank: How to enhance your country’s content

Contributed by Léna Durocher-Granger and Kate Dey

Are you perhaps a coffee expert, a research scientist, post-graduate student in crop management, an extension officer working at the Ministry of Agriculture? Would you like to contribute to the plant health system of your country, bring the Plantwise methodology to your institute, help us with the translation of content so it can be used locally or improve your extension writing skills?

Well, we have made it easier for you to get involved with the development of essential extension materials and enhance pest management and control information for your country. You now have the power to download and edit Green Lists– a type of Pest Management Decision Guides (PMDGs) which provide simple and vital prevention, management and control information for extension workers and farmers. They contain generic non-chemical and non-hazardous advice such as cultural and mechanical control.

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La Necrosis letal del maíz amenaza la producción en América del Sur

English version below the break.
Artículo elaborado por Joao A. Jeque Junior, Léna Durocher-Granger y José Gómez Vargas.

La enfermedad conocida como la necrosis letal del maíz (MLN, por sus siglas en inglés), causada por la co-infección de dos virus, está amenazando la producción de maíz en el Ecuador. Según el Ministerio de Agricultura, la incidencia y severidad de la enfermedad fue de casi 14% en 2016 y estaba presente en las provincias de Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabí y Loja. Aunque no está claro cómo y cuándo la enfermedad entró en el país, se están haciendo esfuerzos por las organizaciones nacionales de protección fitosanitaria para controlar la propagación de la enfermedad, así como para cuantificar los daños.

Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms. Naivasha, Kenya. March 2
Síntomas de la Necrosis letal del maíz/Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms. Naivasha, Kenya. March 2012 (©CABI/Rob Reeder-2012)

Esta enfermedad es causada por la co-infección del virus del moteado clorótico del maíz (MCMV) y del virus  mosaico de la caña de azúcar (SCMV). En África, se detectó la enfermedad por primera vez en 2011 en el distrito de Bomet, Kenia. En 2012 un estudio realizado en los distritos de Bormet y Naivasha, Kenia, mediante la secuenciación de alto rendimiento de muestras de hojas de maíz recogidas en la clínica de plantas Plantwise, ayudó a confirmar la presencia del virus MCMV y SCMV en el maíz (Adams et al., 2012). Debido a  que la enfermedad puede propagarse rápidamente (en menos de una semana), en  4 años se han reportado casos de la sintomatología de la enfermedad en Tanzania, Ruanda, Uganda, Sudán del Sur y la República Democrática del Congo (RDC), y su presencia se confirmó en Tanzania y RDC en 2012 (Makumbi & Wangai, sin fecha).

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