CABI is today calling for greater investment in food security programmes to help stem the global rise in hunger following the publication of a UN report which says more than 820 million people worldwide are still going hungry.
Insects and diseases that damage crops are probably present in many places thought to be free of them, new research shows.
Pests that have not been reported in a certain area are usually assumed to be absent, but analysis by the University of Exeter shows many pests are “currently unobserved, but probably present” (a likelihood of more than 75%).
The study identified large numbers of pests in this category in China, India, southern Brazil and some countries of the former USSR.
Farmers in Malawi are the latest to benefit from a CABI-led consortium, funded by the UK Space Agency, which is providing a Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) to fight pest outbreaks that could devastate crops and livelihoods across the country.
The service, which uses state-of-the-art technology to help inform farmers in sub-Saharan Africa – including Zambia, Ghana and Kenya where it is currently operating – gives farmers invaluable information to help them manage pests such as the fall armyworm that is already having a major impact in Africa and South East Asia.
Simon N. Groot, the Dutch founder of East-West Seed, has won the World Food Prize 2019 for empowering millions of smallholder farmers in more than 60 countries earn greater incomes through enhanced vegetable production.
CABI is joining an international team of scientists, led by the University of Stirling, to take a ‘revolutionary approach’ in attempting to tackle resistance to pesticides in insects with a specific focus on crops pests in Brazil.
The £620,000 study will see UK-based Dr Belinda Luke working on the mass production of fungal biopesticides and formulation development from CABI’s laboratories in Egham, Surrey, while Dr Yelitza Colmenarez, and Natália Corniani – from CABI’s centre in São Paulo, Brazil, will disseminate a range of associated training activities.
A CABI-led project involving an international team of remote sensing and plant protection experts is helping China reduce its reliance on harmful pesticides to fight crop pests and diseases including yellow rust fungal disease of wheat and locusts.
The £1.6 million STFC Newton Agri-Tech Fund-financed project is leaving a lasting legacy in helping the Chinese Government reach its goal of zero increase in pesticide use by 2020 – adopting more sustainable controls, where possible, instead.
A CABI-led study which compares male and female perceptions of access to and use of agricultural advisory services to help improve yields says women should take a lead role in helping to reduce inequalities which hinder their contribution to farming.
Julien Lamontagne-Godwin, lead author of a new paper, published open access in the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, says a network of ‘trained and knowledge-rich female lead “contact” farmers’ could be trialled to understand its potential role in improving the dissemination of agricultural information to women in farm households.