CABI scientists have today warned of the impending rapid spread of the crop-devastating pest, fall armyworm, across Asia following its arrival in India, with major crop losses expected unless urgent action is taken. The warning comes following a pest alert published this week by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on the website of one of its bureaux, NBAIR, confirming the discovery of fall armyworm in the southern state of Karnataka. CABI scientists warned Asia was at risk from fall armyworm following the pest’s rapid spread across Africa in 2017.
By Umair Safdar, CABI Pakistan
Plant health is increasingly under threat from a range of abiotic factors – such as nutritional deficiencies, extremes in temperature, adverse soil pH, pollutants – as well as biotic factors such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, insects and other animals. Diagnosing and managing these issues requires a new approach in training agricultural extension field staff, to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and tools required.
Reblogged from Farming First.
From a distance, Wycliffe Ngoda’s two acres of shiny green maize crops look healthy and lush. But the tell-tale holes in the leaves and debris on the stems give away an increasingly dangerous secret hidden in more and more maize fields across Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa. The rampant Fall Armyworm caterpillar is once again threatening harvests across the continent for a second year.
The pest, which arrived in Africa from the Americas in 2016, affected around 50,000 hectares of maize in Kenya alone last year, costing 25 per cent of the crop, according to government officials.
La mayoría de los agricultores del municipio de San Lucas, región de Chuquisaca, Bolivia, son pequeños propietarios con áreas de hasta 2 ha por familia. El durazno tiene un papel central en la generación de ingresos. Durante el 2015, el gobierno municipal de San Lucas hizo un primer intento de abrir clínicas de plantas para atender la alta demanda de servicios de extensión en la zona. Sin embargo, la iniciativa duró poco. Debido a rotaciones de personal las clínicas fueron cerradas.
A new $400,000 African Food Security Prize to help find the latest technology to combat the devastating impacts of the fall armyworm, which attacks over 80 different plant species, has today launched.
CABI will form part of the judging panel for the Fall Armyworm Tech Prize – which is being spearheaded by Feed the Future with financial support from Land O’Lakes International Development and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research – and will test the winning entries before they are implemented in the field.
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CABI has joined forces with the ISEAL Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coalition in the fight to implement better, less chemical-dependent, ways for farmers to manage agricultural pests and diseases that account for around 40% of lost crops worldwide. By linking with the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, the coalition aims to share knowledge on sustainable pest management strategies, strengthen knowledge exchanges on alternative methods for pest management, as well as identifying and focusing on specific pest-disease.
Plantwise and the German-based company PEAT (Progressive Environmental & Agricultural Technologies) are about to conduct an 18-month pilot study to assess the benefits of PEAT’s smartphone app Plantix, which can help to diagnose plant pests, diseases and nutrient deficiencies in the field.