The secret to cutting global hunger rates around the world? Hello, ladies.

By Morgan Shoaff. Reblogged from Upworthy.com

There’s a pretty simple way we could be feeding an additional 150 million hungry people around the world. It’s not through some super advanced technology or billion-dollar idea that someone just came up with. The answer has been right in front of us for a very long time:

Women. Women farmers are a secret weapon to fighting hunger.

‌Photo via Esther Havens/The Adventure Project

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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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Grand Challenges – inspiring next generation plant pathologists

Julie Flood, Phil Taylor and Claire Beverley attended the ‘Grand Challenges in Plant Pathology study group’ event at the Doctoral Training Centre, University of Oxford, 14-16 September. The event was the first of its kind, aiming to engage and inspire the next generation of plant pathologists.

Biotechnology lab The event was sponsored by the British Society of Plant Pathology (BSPP), the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and CABI, and saw 5 real problems posed by industry and non-academic organisations to a group of 27 young scientists, post-docs and graduate students, in all aspects of plant pathology and plant sciences.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (21 Sep 16)

Bemisia tabaci (MED) (silverleaf whitefly); two adults on a watermelon leaf (Public Domain Image)
Bemisia tabaci (MED) (silverleaf whitefly); two adults on a watermelon leaf (Public Domain Image)

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 occurrence of stem canker on oilseed rape caused by Leptosphaeria biglobosa in Serbia, three new additions to the grass (Poaceae) flora of Manipur, India and a new record of the Bemisia tabaci Q biotype in Tibet, China.

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Plantwise partners hone their pathology skills during UK training course

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Course participants learn diagnostic techniques in CABI’s Egham lab. Credit: M Rutherford, CABI

For the fourth successive year, CABI UK Centre staff in June ran a four day training course on Techniques in Plant Pathology. Through lectures, demonstrations and practical sessions, the course provided a comprehensive overview of methods used for diagnosing plant health problems and for isolating, culturing and identifying fungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses and phytoplasmas as causal organisms. This year, as in 2015, the primary aim of the course was to support the development of diagnostic capacity within the Plantwise programme. As such, all participants were carefully selected from 19 Plantwise partner countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and Latin America. The majority are actively involved in Plantwise activities within their respective countries, and some are already providing diagnostic assistance directly to plant clinics or through provision of laboratory-based diagnoses and pest identifications. To provide a practical management perspective, participants also received some insight on the key characteristics of high impact pests they are likely to encounter in their work and how these are best tackled in the field. Feedback from all participants, who immensely enjoy the course and their time in the UK, has been extremely positive. Continue reading

South American tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta, reported in Nepal for the first time

South American tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), has been reported in a tomato farm for the first time in Nepal and the presence has been confirmed in five districts, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavrepalanchowk and Dhading district. Studies carried out by the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) in May and June this year have identified and confirmed the presence of the pest in 14 locations in the five districts mentioned above. The highest infestation was identified in two districts, Ugrachandi Nala-2 and Panchakhal of Kavrepalanchowk district.

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T. absoluta damage on tomato. Copyright: Peter Kodwaran, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF), Kenya

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Farmer field schools to link with plant clinics in Nepal

Contributed by Vinod Pandit, CABI Nepal

img_4573After a successful pilot phase in Nepal, with plant clinics in 45 districts reaching more than 5000 farmers, Plantwise is now looking to scale up and become sustainable by getting partners to commit resources to the programme. To maximise synergies with existing agricultural extension methods, partners have suggested linking plant clinics with farmer field schools, which are already established in Nepal.

In Nepal, farmer field schools are run by the Ministry of Agriculture and Development (MoAD) and the Plant Protection Directorate (PPD), with technical support from FAO and funding from the World Bank. About 250 farmer field schools were established but fewer than 100 are currently active. Five farmer field schools (one in each of the five administrative regions of Nepal) act as Key Resource Centres for all of the districts in their region, providing biocontrol agents, monitoring and technical support.

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