Improving resistance of Kenya’s cabbage and kale crops to TuMV disease

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Farmer tending to her crop of kale. Photo: C. Nellist

A team of international scientists from CABI, the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), NIAB EMR (UK), University of Warwick (UK) and Syngenta (Netherlands) are seeking to improve the resistance of Kenya’s cabbage and kale crops to Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV).

In the distantly-related Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa), a potentially durable TuMV disease resistance trait was identified by Professor John Walsh at the University of Warwick, while work by Dr Charlotte Nellist, of NIAB EMR, UK, Dr Bill Briggs, of Syngenta, and Prof Walsh elucidated the novel mechanism of TuMV resistance.

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Indian NGO supports farmers by using greenhouse agriculture

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Kheyti is promoting the use of greenhouses as an alternative to traditional open-field agricultural practices, with the benefits including protection from changing weather conditions and crop pest and diseases (© Pexels)

In the south Indian region of Hyderabad, a non-profit called Kheyti has developed an affordable solution to income stability and climate-resilient crop production for smallholder farmers and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) – greenhouses.

The organisation founders spent countless hours meeting with Indian farmers to understand the range of issues threatening farming communities. “When we bucket the problems, there are two broad challenges: climate-based risks like heat, rain and pests – and distribution-based risks like poor linkages to inputs, finance, knowledge and markets,” said Sathya Raghu Mokkapati, one of Keyti’s co-founders.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (06 September 2019)

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This month’s pest alerts include a report on a new root-knot nematode species parasitizing Robusta coffee in Vietnam (© 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 month include a report on a new root-knot nematode parasite on coffee in Vietnam, a report on a new variant of the moth Cyana peregrina Walker in India and a report on new invasive leafhopper and planthopper species in the Netherlands. Continue reading

‘$10bn to feed 10 billion by 2050’, CABI tells AGRF

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CABI has told the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2019 that investment in agritech needs to double to at least $10bn a year if the world’s smallholder farmers are to help feed a global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050.

Dr Dennis Rangi, CABI’s Director General, Development, speaking as part of a panel discussion on the subject of digital innovations to strengthen the resilience for smallholders in African food systems, said the financial burden must be met by the private sector if global food security is to be ensured and world poverty and hunger eradicated.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (05 August 2019)

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This month’s pest alerts include a report on the tea mosquito (Helopeltis theivora) as a pest on the tropical pitcher plant Nephenthes khasiana (© Tris T7, Public Domain CC0)

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this month include a report on the honey locust podgall midge (Dasineura gleditchiae) in Ireland, a report population fluctuations of fruit flies in guava orchards and a report on a new record of Helopeltis theivora pest on tropical pitcher plants.  Continue reading

Crop-devastating pests in Rwanda to be targeted with space-age technology from PRISE programme

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Pests, which threaten to destroy key cash and food security crops including maize, tomato and beans, are to be prioritized as part of an integrated pest management strategy using state-of-the-art space-age technology.

Scores of smallholder farmers in Rwanda are the latest to benefit from the CABI-led consortium, funded by the UK Space Agency and the Global Challenges Research Fund with co-funding from the CABI-led Plantwise, that is using a combination of earth observation technology, satellite positioning and plant-pest lifecycle modelling to provide an evidence-based Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE).

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COSMIC: Workshop to develop locust management tools in China

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Grasshoppers are one of the leading insect pests affecting the agriculture industry across Inner Mongolia and the whole of China (© CABI)

Grassland habitats play an important ecological and economic role in Inner Mongolia, China. The primary threats to this ecosystem are grasshoppers and locusts, which are major pest insects across China. There are currently a range of monitoring and management strategies in place to control and reduce the damage caused by these pest species. However, successful reduction of these insect populations within the grassland habitats remains a national and regional challenge. Early identification of these pest species has been found to enable a more significant change of controlling the problem, with recent advances in technology opening several opportunities for developing this.

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