Update: New Pest & Disease Records (13 October 18)

cutting-board-food-food-prep-89247
This month’s Pest Alerts include the first report of sweet potato Badnavirus A and B in South Africa (© Pexels)

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 the first report of sweet potato Badnavirus in South Africa. The first report of Arabis mosaic virus in rhubarb in Poland and the first report of maize yellow mosaic virus on corn in South Korea. Continue reading

Improving food crop yields using blue-green algae

biology-botanical-canna-lily-1153268.jpg
Photosynthesis is one of the leading limitations to global agricultural food production (© Pexels)

Using specialised carbon-fixing material from blue-green algae, scientists have successfully engineered crop plants to boost photosynthetic productivity and crop yields. This exciting development promises to increase the yield of important food crops such as cassava, wheat and cowpea.

Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (07 September 18)

chili-chili-peppers-close-up-221140
This months pest alerts include a report on a new species of Colletotrichum causing anthracnose of chili in the Philippines (© Pexels)

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 the first report of Croicidolomia binotalis as a serious pest of Brassica vegetables in Kashmir, India; a new species of Anagyrus from China and a new species of Colletotrichum causing anthracnose of chili in the Philippines. Continue reading

South African ban on Kenyan avocado imports now lifted

avocado-blur-close-up-142890
Kenya produces 11,000 metric tonnes of avocados annually, 70% of this is from smallholder farmers (© Pexels)

Earlier this month, South Africa’s government announced that it is lifting the decade-long ban on Kenyan avocado imports. This will result in the return of Kenyan avocados to markets in South Africa, and pave the way for the redevelopment of Kenya’s avocado production industry at an international level.

Continue reading

New study shows that bacteria can be engineered to create their own fertilizer using air

4k-wallpaper-agriculture-clouds-842711
It is possible that in the future, agricultural crops will be able to produce their own fertilizer (© Pexels)

Researchers have successfully engineered bacteria to use nitrogen at night to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis. This new development could reduce the need for human-made fertilizers on agricultural crops, thus reducing the cost and manpower required for fertilizer application.

Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (07 August 18)

agriculture-aguacates-avocado-1261994
August pest alerts contain the first report of avocado sunblotch viroid (ASBVd) naturally infecting avocado in Greece (© Pexels)

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 the first report of avocado sunblotch viroid (ASBVd) naturally infecting avocado in Greece, the first report of Dasheen mosaic virus infecting taro in Ethiopia and the first record of Cryptochetidae from Turkey.   Continue reading

PRISE: Kenya Stakeholder Workshop July 2018

p7100784.jpg
PRISE Stakeholder workshop participants, July 2018.

Earlier this month, members of the Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) consortium held a stakeholder workshop in Kenya to update partners, donors and stakeholders on the progress of the project and to discuss future developments over the next four years.

Continue reading