Fighting hunger in West Africa with shrubs

The African shrub Guiera senegalensis (© Marco Schmidt)

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.

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Bringing technical support to isolated ethnic groups in the Mosquitia region of Honduras

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.

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Llevando apoyo técnico a las etnias aisladas de la Mosquitia, Honduras

Por Eduardo Hidalgo


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.

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The future for coastal farmers in Bangladesh

Roughly 40 million people in Bangladesh depend on coastal areas for agriculture and is the most important livelihood option (© Pexels)

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.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (05 November 18)

This month’s pest alerts include a report on 8 new species of weevil (Curculionidae) in Saudi Arabia (© Pexels)

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

Tailor-made crop varieties for farmers

Bacterial wilt in tomato crops were the focus of this study (© Pexels)

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.

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Reverse innovation brings new intelligence to food chain pest management

PestSmart promo image

CABI has today launched PestSmart Diagnostics in Europe and North America, a new and unique e-learning course based on training developed for the award-winning Plantwise agricultural programme aimed at farmers in developing countries.

PestSmart promises to benefit the way businesses in the food supply chain manage plant health problems to grow more and better produce.

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