Artificial Intelligence in Africa: Google’s new AI centre in Ghana

Chinyunyu Plant Clinic in Rufunsa district, Zambia.
AI tools could potentially help farmers identify and target crop pests in the field using just a mobile device. Image: ©David Ng’ambi for CABI

Google’s first artificial intelligence (AI) lab in Africa has opened in Accra, Ghana. The tech giant aims to support researchers with the tools and environment necessary to develop AI products to solve numerous problems faced across the continent within the agriculture sector.

Continue reading

“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.

Continue reading

Controlling whiteflies: How marigold is helping to promote safer alternatives for pest management

beautiful-bloom-blooming-1031628
Marigold (Asteracae) are commonly used as tools for the prevention of whitefly infestations in fields (© Pexels)

In a recently published study, researchers have identified the natural insect repelling chemical produced by marigold, reinforcing what farmers have culturally used for years as a tool to prevent or reduce whitefly infestations.

Continue reading

Maize lethal necrosis disease on the decline in Kenya

Maize_field

Plant clinic data collected by Plantwise countries in East Africa has corroborated a statement from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) which said maize lethal necrosis disease (MLN) is “under control but not eradicated”.

Continue reading

Meeting the needs of women farmers in Pakistan

IMG_20171113_121452
A women-only plant clinic takes place in Punjab province, Pakistan

Globally, women represent 43% of the agricultural labour force but they have less access than men to credit, education, land ownership, high quality inputs, and rural advisory services. Agriculture can be a powerful pathway out of poverty but without fair access to these things, women aren’t always in a position to fully benefit.

Continue reading

Farmers in Malawi fund first purpose-built permanent plant clinic to fight pests and diseases

Malawi plant clinic 7 2019.jpg

A group of farmers in Ntcheu district, Central Malawi, have clubbed together to fund the first purpose-built permanent plant clinic to help fight a range of crop-devastating pests and diseases that threaten their livelihoods and food security.

Pengapenga Plant Clinic, which previously operated under a tree in the market place, is now providing a more attractive and fit-for-purpose brick structure which is giving the 1,000 smallholder farmers it serves shelter from the rain.

Continue reading

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

Epilobe_feuilles_etroites_01.jpg
This month’s pest alerts include a report of a new species of Momphidae moth (Mompha lacteela) in the Netherlands, which is commonly found egg-laying on willowherb with its larvae mining in the plant roots (© Delphine Menárd)

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 the first report on North American poplar leaf rust fungus (Melampsora medusae) in China, reports on a new species of Momphidae identified in the Netherlands and a new relative of the Irish famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans in South America. Continue reading