How can tomato farming be improved in Kenya? Study finds producers face a ‘myriad of constraints’

Extension worker speaks with Masai men about their crops
In a recently published paper in Scientific African, CABI’s Willis Ochilo led on a study which captured a better understanding of tomato producers in Kenya, describing in detail the production practices in order to identify challenges and opportunities for increasing tomato productivity for the country’s smallholder communities. Tomato is a good source of vitamins A…
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How bees can be a friend to smallholders

Bee with pollen on its legs drinking nectar from a flower
By Karoline Kingston In an unprecedented study, honey bees have been found to be the world’s most important single species pollinator in natural ecosystems. Working alongside wild bees, they are also said to be responsible for every one in three bites of food. For the smallholder farmer, befriending bees – both honey and wild –…
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CABI-led £1.6 million collaboration helps reduce China’s reliance on harmful pesticides

Close up of a locust on a white background
A CABI-led project involving an international team of remote sensing and plant protection experts is helping China reduce its reliance on harmful pesticides to fight crop pests and diseases including yellow rust fungal disease of wheat and locusts. The £1.6 million STFC Newton Agri-Tech Fund-financed project is leaving a lasting legacy in helping the Chinese Government…
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (07 May 2019)

Close up of a pink orchid flower
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 of Pratylenchus neglectus on maize in Hungary, the first report of Cecidochares connexa parasitism in West Africa and a report on Phalaenopsis petal spot disease in Taiwan.
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Artificial Intelligence in Africa: Google’s new AI centre in Ghana

Chinyunyu Plant Clinic in Rufunsa district, Zambia.
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.
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“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…
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Controlling whiteflies: How marigold is helping to promote safer alternatives for pest management

Close-up of a fiery orange marigold flower
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.
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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”.
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Meeting the needs of women farmers in Pakistan

A women-only plant clinic in Pakistan; a group of women gather round extension workers
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.
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Farmers in Malawi fund first purpose-built permanent plant clinic to fight pests and diseases

Brick-built Malawi clinic
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…
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