Transforming farmers and plant doctors into pest-smart agents in their communities

By Sathis Sri Thanarajoo. Reblogged from the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security blog.

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Farmers showing active interest for Pest-Smart practices in Ekxang Climate-Smart Village. Photo: Arnaud Costa (CABI)

Pest-Smart program aims to increase the awareness of farmers on alternative pest-related practices and enhance the capacity of plant doctors in dealing with pests and diseases.

Farmers and plant doctors in Ekxang Climate-Smart Village (CSV) in Laos were trained on biologically-based alternatives to agrochemcicals used in vegetable production on 24 October 2018. Three women farmers, 16 men farmers and five plant doctors from the Plant Protection Center (PPC) participated in the training that was organized as part of the Pest-Smart project. The project, funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), aims to develop pest-smart technologies and practices in CSVs. In the long run, it aims to foster communities that can address pests and diseases in a “climate-smart” manner.

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“We the women can do it.” Meet Jacinta, a farmer from Bolivia

In a new video, Plantwise follows the life of Jacinta Delgadillo, a farmer from Comarapa, Bolivia. Jacinta and her family grow beans, peppers, and other crops for food and to generate an income. When the crops are attacked by pests and diseases, Jacinta uses her local plant clinic to gain knowledge on how to better manage these threats to her livelihood.

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Exploring the “art” in “climate-smart”

Originally published on CGIAR CCAFS

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Students showed their art works after a drawing contest in Tra Hat Climate-Smart Village. The contest showed that even at a young age, students can visualize their understanding of climate change issues. 

Art has a place in climate discussions. Children, who are usually deemed too young to understand complex topics such as climate change must be involved as well. 

A campaign with the theme “Climate Change: Youth Can Do Something” was organized on 7 October 2018 in Tra Hat Climate-Smart Village (CSV) in Vietnam by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA) to enhance the youth sector’s understanding of climate change issues and enable them to visualize their learnings through their own drawings.

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Biopiracy: The misuse of patenting systems at the disadvantage of local communities

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Due to the increasing need for novel, untapped resources (biological and chemical), many research developments are looking at previously untouched and rural regions as a source for these new resources (© Pexels)

In the search for new bioresources in increasingly remote and rural regions, researchers will use the traditional knowledge of local communities to support their search for new, untapped plants, animals or chemical compounds. The ethical (and sometimes political) issues surrounding this come when this knowledge is used without permission, and exploits the local community’s assistance and culture for commercial gain. This is called biopiracy.

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Crops downwind from wildfires at risk from atmospheric pollution

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Wildfires release pollutants such as aerosols, carbon dioxide. Both of which are known greenhouse gasses. (© Pexels)

With increasing numbers of wildfire disasters globally, research has shown that pollutants released from wildfires can affect crops, forests and other vegetation hundreds of kilometers downwind from the source.

As global temperatures increase, moisture and precipitation levels change, and dry areas becoming drier, the likelihood of droughts and prolonged wildfire seasons are increasing.These exacerbated conditions are also likely to cause more intense and prolonged burning.

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The future for coastal farmers in Bangladesh

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Roughly 40 million people in Bangladesh depend on coastal areas for agriculture and is the most important livelihood option (© Pexels)

A recent study published in Nature Climate Change has suggested that the future global effects of climate change will impact the livelihoods of over 200,000 coastal farmers in Bangladesh as sea levels rise. Flooding of saltwater is already negatively impacting coastal residents in the country as soil conditions alter, causing farmers to either change from historic rice farming to aquaculture or to relocate further inland to avoid such salinity changes.

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Improving food crop yields using blue-green algae

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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.

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