The perfect storm – how drought is hitting crops hard

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Maize is particularly vulnerable to drought (Photo:  Oxfam International)

Last year, one of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded caused significant changes to weather patterns around the world. Southern and Eastern Africa were hit particularly hard and suffered some of the worst drought conditions for decades, with as little as a quarter of the expected rainfall in the last few months of the year1. Drought is still having devastating impacts on crop yields in Africa, and humanitarian crises have been declared in the worst hit countries.

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Scientists discover new crop-destroying Armyworm is now “spreading rapidly” in Africa

Scientists discover new crop-destroying Armyworm is now “spreading rapidly” in Africa

New research announced today by scientists at CABI confirms that a recently introduced crop-destroying armyworm caterpillar is now spreading rapidly across Mainland Africa and could spread to tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, becoming a major threat to agricultural trade worldwide.

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Agriculture and food security — where are we headed in 2017?

By Lisa Cornish. Reblogged from DEVEX.

A young woman in a rice field in Myanmar. Photo by: Bioversity International / CC BY-NC-ND

As climate change impacts the global ability to grow food, both in quality and quantity, researchers in agriculture have become an important asset for establishing long-term food security as the world’s population continues to increase.

In December, agriculture and food security researchers visited Canberra for high-level discussions on development matters with the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. And as 2017 will be an important year for establishing long-term goals and making important inroads into advances within the sector, Devex spoke with attendees to better understand where we are headed.

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Sharing experiences of mitigating the impacts of Tuta absoluta

Contributed by Kritika Babbar, CABI India

ICBL.jpgClimate change has emerged as one of the most important environmental, social and economic issues today – especially for South Asia, which is highly impacted by these changes. In light of this, an international conference on Biodiversity, Climate Change Assessment and Impacts on Livelihood (ICBCL) was convened in Kathmandu from 10-12 January 2017. The conference was opened by Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the President of Nepal, and saw participation from eminent scientists, policy makers and development workers across the agriculture sector in South Asia.

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Plant clinic established in Cambodia Climate-Smart Village to address crop pests

By Fiona Emdin. Reblogged from the CGIAR CCFAS blog.

A plant health advisor advises a farmer on how to treat pests affecting her crop at the plant clinic. Plant clinics will help promote integrated pest management practices in the village. Photo: F. Emdin (WorldFish)

Different doctors treat different types of diseases. When the villagers of Rohal Suong in Cambodia feel sick, they can consult a doctor. Now when their crops are sick, they can also go to another doctor, a plant health advisor, who can provide information on the best methods to treat crop pests and diseases.

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“Pest-smart” to climate-smart in Southeast Asia

By Amy Cruz. Reblogged from the CGIAR CCAFS blog.

Male farmers listen to the facilitator during a focus group discussion in the Tra Hat Climate-Smart Village. The discussions help the researchers understand the pest management and climate change perceptions of rice farmers. Photo: A. Sivapragasam (CABI)

Climate-smart agriculture calls for pest management that controls farm pests and diseases in a way that does not negatively affect ecosystem services and human health.

Climate change affects not only farming practices in that extreme events may flatten trees and crops. It also affects the distributions and life cycles of animals and insects such as pests, disease-causing organisms and crop-pollinating insects and animals. Farmers in Vietnam speculate that the increase in temperatures brought about by climate change might be favouring certain pests.

To further understand the behavior, control and management of pests and diseases in the light of climate change, the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) Southeast Asia is conducting “Pest Smart”, a two-year initiative under the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA) Climate-Smart Villages (CSVs) project.

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Farming First and GACSA launch creative partnership to explore “Climate-Smart Agriculture in Action”

Contributed by Farming First

CSAOne billion farmers all over the world, responsible for growing the food that feeds the planet, are under unprecedented pressure from a changing climate. For eight months in a row now, temperatures have been the highest on record. Food shortages are affecting an estimated 100 million people in the wake of drought prompted by the strongest El Niño we have ever seen.

We urgently require ways of helping farmers preserve food security, and adapt to these harsher realities. We also need to ensure farmers can be part of the solution to climate change, given that food systems account for 19-29% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

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