Update: New Pest & Disease Records (19 July 18)

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July pest alerts contains a report on Alternaria alternaria, the causal agent of leaf blight on sunflower in South Africa

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 thrips from India, the description of a new species of PolycestaDejean from Chile and a report on the causal agent of leaf blight on sunflower in South Africa.

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TerraSentia: The Automated Crop Monitoring Robot

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TerraSentia robot to aid crop breeding processes (© The Silicon Review)

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois have developed a completely automated robot capable of monitoring crops in the field during growth periods with the aim of aiding crop breeders in the extensive task of developing and comparing plant cultivars.

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Environmentally Friendly Insect Repellent for Agriculture

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Naturally biodegradable insect-repelling chemical developed by researchers to target agricultural insect pests (© Pexels)

A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a biodegradable agent that repels insect pest activity amongst crops without the use of insecticide chemicals.

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Investing in smallholder farmers for a food-secure future

Mr. Kampinga

Smallholder farmers provide the vast majority of the world’s food supply, and ‘small-scale farming’ is the largest occupation group of economically active people, 43% of which are women.

Approximately 2 billion of the world’s poorest live in households that depend on agriculture in some form for their livelihoods, whether this is for market or subsistence. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that growth in agriculture in developing countries is on average almost 3 times more effective in reducing poverty (relative to non-agriculture GDP growth).

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (08 June 18)

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Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus has now been recorded infecting courgettes in Morroco (© 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 Melon necrotic spot virus in Brazil, the first report of chrysanthemum stem blight and dieback (caused by Tomato spotted wilt virus) in China and the first report of Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus infecting zucchini/courgette in Morocco.

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Making data digital in Pakistan

By Umair Safdar, Plantwise Pakistan

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Agriculture is increasingly knowledge-intensive with a continuing need to provide the right information to the people who need it most, making a real difference to their livelihoods. This ensures food security for the ever-growing population by providing the best possible remedies for crop health issues. Globally, rapid adoption of ICT tools and applications provides new avenues to share and access information.

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Fostering knowledge and confidence to feed more

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Valli Kupuswamy with her grand-daughter, Pouvisha, in their kitchen. Photo: Sanjit Das/Panos

Globally, an estimated 815 million people go hungry each day. Without access to healthy food, they are chronically undernourished. Meanwhile, in spite of advances in agricultural technology, approximately 40% of the food grown annually in rural communities is lost to pests and diseases. People living with persistent hunger need and deserve a sustainable solution based on self-reliance. Reducing the losses caused by plant health problems by just 1% could mean feeding millions more.

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