Farmer representatives and project team members of Rohal Suong Climate-Smart Village in Cambodia learn about rice pest management in light of climate change.
Many people attribute floods, droughts and cyclones to climate change and these natural disasters impact greatly on agricultural productivity. But recent scientific evidences show that pests are getting a boost from climate change. The increasing temperature and erratic rainfall cause pests and diseases to thrive and infest crops in wider ranges of places globally.
Effective surveillance and integrated pest management could curb the devastating impacts of tomato pest, Tuta absoluta, also called tomato leaf miner, which is ravaging the crop in Nigeria, experts say.
T. absoluta has affected most parts of northern Nigeria tomato farms in Kaduna state, causing a loss of more than 1 billion naira (about US$3.5 million), leading to rising tomato prices, according to the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) — an organisation working with African governments and research institutions to monitor the spread of the pest.
One billion farmers all over the world, responsible for growing the food the 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.
A loud booming voice on a megaphone breaks the silence in the farming village of Kaptum centre..”Akwaa! lo mite kapurto nyepo ceyec cepo nyepokaptisyet!”, (come attend a plant health rally by ministry of agriculture officials). Farmers quickly gather and listen attentively as Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) officials conduct the plant health rally.After the rally, we meet Betty Seyekwo, a hardworking farmer and mother of seven children living in Kapchorwa-Uganda. Last season, she planted beans in her 2 acre farm and harvested 13 bags. This was a decline from the previous season when she harvested 20 bags. Before changing crops to beans, Betty was predominantly a maize farmer until a strange disease wiped out her entire crop.
Betty Seyekwo (right) confers with a colleague during the plant health rally
Betty Seyekwo studies a pesticide malpractice poster after the plant health rally
Farmer interviews being conducted after the plant health rally
Contributed by Aldo Hanel and Naitram Ramnanan, CABI.
The Northern Range region in Trinidad and Tobago is not only home to the most pristine and untouched areas of the country but it also provides the best agroecological environment for christophene (chayote) production in the country. Follow up from a sample brought to a plant clinic in 2015 revealed that the disease known as Gummy Stem Blight, caused by the fungus Didymella bryoniae, was pervasive in christophene farms in the Northern Range. Government reports show that since the outbreak of this disease, christophene production has dropped significantly.
At the beginning of January, a new research centre opened in Benin, which aims to boost productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers, and create job opportunities. Researchers based at the Green Innovation Center, which has been funded by the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will develop tools for training and improve frameworks for collaboration and innovation with the ultimate goal of improving farmer livelihoods.
Initially, the centre will focus on pastoral agriculture, rice and soybeans, which are both important nutritional crops and key commodities in the area. Soybeans are particularly high in protein, a macronutrient which is still lacking in many diets in Subsaharan Africa. However, like all crops it is susceptible to numerous pests and diseases. This month’s factsheet of the month focuses on Purple Stain of soybean. This disease is caused by the fungus Cercospora kikuchiiwhich causes seeds to turn purple and affects the price that they fetch on the market. Continue reading →
Excerpt from The New Times article, published 22 January 2016
It is a Monday evening and Dominique Nkundukozera, a farmer in Rusatira Sector in Huye District, is seated on a chair at Kinkanga market, with several cassava stems. He had brought the stems for examination by experts at a ‘Plant Health Clinic’ at the market.
“Before the Plant Clinic initiative, I was losing about 60 per cent of my produce each season. It was unbearable because I could not even recoup the investment on the farm; however, since I started getting advice on disease management, losses have declined to 20 per cent” Continue reading on The New Times website→