Improved Pest Control From Macho Hormone Treated Male Fruit Flies

strawb
The Mexican Fruit Fly Anastrepha ludens is the most important native fruit fly pest of citrus in America and also infests other economically important crops such as peaches, peppers and mangoes. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mexico has developed a Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) method which involves exposing huge quantities of male fruit flies to…
Read Further

New Research on Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease in Kenya

strawb
Update [March 2013]: More information about the pests and viruses associated with Maize Lethal Necrosis disease can be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank. The production of maize, Kenya’s staple food crop, is severely under threat from a fast spreading maize disease known as Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease. The disease is the result of…
Read Further

How to improve rice yield using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

strawb
This video shows how farmers in East and Southern Africa have been benefiting from increased rice yield after implementing SRI management practices. By following some simple principles in how to transplant the rice seedlings, maintain soil health, carefully irrigate, and manage weeds and nutrients, farmers can now produce a lot more rice than they used…
Read Further

Sweet potato improving Vitamin A status in Uganda

strawb
A variety of sweet potato has been shown to decrease childhood blindness, when eaten regularly. The variety, called Orange Sweet Potato (OSP), provides higher levels of β- Carotene (the precursor the body uses to produce Vitamin A) than its white and yellow counterparts.
Read Further

MaryLucy’s diary – training plant doctors in Kenya

strawb
Yesterday, Mrs Rael Taiy, the District Agricultural Officer for Trans Nzoia East, told us that her and the extension team are very happy about the plant clinics as the initiative greatly complements their extension work. Farmers present their ‘sick’ plants and they are given solutions immediately by the plant doctors. This reduces pest incidence and…
Read Further

US drought could spark a global food crisis

strawb
The US is currently facing its most severe drought of the past 50 years, raising questions about the implications for global food security. The US is a major producer of grain, including maize and soybean, which have both been adversely affected by the drought, causing a knock-on effect for the global market. The predicted reduction…
Read Further

Big names ask British Prime Minister to act on hunger issues

strawb
Today, David Beckham, in his role as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, is meeting British Prime Minister David Cameron to deliver a letter calling for action on nutrition and hunger issues in developing countries. The letter, signed by UNICEF supporters including over 50 well-known sports and entertainment stars, requests that Mr Cameron makes a bold move at…
Read Further

Plantwise plant clinics start up in China

strawb
A pilot scheme of Plantwise clinics has started in China. Huanhuan Wan and Caroline Scotter-Mainprize report on the success of the first clinic session in Southwest China. China’s first Plantwise plant clinic was successfully established in Rongjiang town, Xing’an county, Guangxi province, Southwest China on 19 May 2012. A great number of local farmers arrived…
Read Further

Pesticide use does not guarantee increased yields

strawb
The ongoing decline of pollinators has caused a global concern. Factors contributing to this decline include among others, use of pesticides, habitat destruction such as bush burning, bee diseases and pests (Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and Varroamite), and climate change.  Research in Ghana has revealed that cocoa and oil palm production is on the decline…
Read Further

Aphids Run Scared from GM Wheat

strawb
Genetically Modified wheat, gifted with the ability to fight off plant pest attacks, is being grown in England. In a situation similar to the film The Happening, wheat crops are now able to defend themselves against aphids. In the barely-believable movie, plants gained the ability to release chemicals that affected people’s behaviour in order to…
Read Further