BySolveig Danielsen, Luis Medina, Patricia Castillo and Eduardo Hidalgo
Sesame is a crop of great socioeconomic importance for smallholder farmers of the pacific region of Nicaragua. Since the early 90s, the Juan Francisco Paz Silva Cooperative has produced sesame oil, mainly for export to the United States, England and Japan.
Improving food production in drought-prone, insecure areas of West Africa is a major challenge and concern for governments and their respective communities. A new crop management system incorporating the promotion of perennial shrubs may be a key potential solution to such problems.
By Eduardo Hidalgo, Project Scientist, CABI South America
The Mosquitia is a territory of 16,997 km², located on the Caribbean coast of Honduras and inhabited mainly by the indigenous Miskito, Tawahka, Pech, and Garífuna ethnic groups. Of the 100,000 inhabitants, 36% are Miskitos who depend mainly on agriculture and fishing. The Mosquitia is one of the last virgin regions of Central America and one of the biologically richest areas of the planet, housing the Reserve of the Biosphere of Platano River, classified in 1982 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Mosquitia is considered the poorest region of Honduras. As there are no roads, the only way to access the area is by air or by boats locally called pipantes. These isolated conditions make it difficult for the population to access basic public services, including agricultural assistance.
La Mosquitia es un territorio de 16.997 km², ubicado en la costa del Caribe de Honduras y habitado principalmente por las etnias indígenas misquita, tawahka, pech y garífuna. La población es de 100,000 habitantes de los cuales el 36% son misquitos y sus principales actividades son la agricultura y la pesca. La Mosquitia es una de las últimas regiones vírgenes de Centro América y una de las áreas biológicamente más ricas del planeta, albergando la Reserva de la Biosfera del Rio Plátano, clasificada en 1982 como Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO. La Mosquitia es considerada la región más pobre de Honduras. Como no hay carreteras, la única forma para acceder el área es por vía aérea o por el rio, en botes localmente llamados pipantes. Estas condiciones de aislamiento dificultan el acceso de la población a servicios públicos básicos incluyendo la asistencia agrícola.
A recent study published in Nature Climate Change has suggested that the future global effects of climate change will impact the livelihoods of over 200,000 coastal farmers in Bangladesh as sea levels rise. Flooding of saltwater is already negatively impacting coastal residents in the country as soil conditions alter, causing farmers to either change from historic rice farming to aquaculture or to relocate further inland to avoid such salinity changes.
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 Trochoideus desjardinsi in Cuba. 8 new records of Curculionidae in Saudi Arabia and 3 new species of aphids in China. Continue reading →
Bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum) is one of the world’s most devastating plant diseases, with major crops such as tomato, potato and pepper being severely affected. Until now, crop breeders and farmers have had to simply wait for their crops to mature to determine the level of resistance to the disease. New research has shown that with modern metabolomics technology, it is possible to determine the level of disease resistance in plants much earlier at the seedling stage. This development could save both farmers and breeder time and money when growing host crops, and reduce the yield losses caused by the bacterial disease.