Smallholder farmers in Malawi are growing fertilizer trees on their farms to improve food production

Malawi farmer in his maize field intercropped with fertilizer trees. Photo: Mark Ndipita/ICRAF
Malawi farmer in his maize field intercropped with fertilizer trees. Photo: Mark Ndipita/ICRAF

The adoption of fertilizer trees on farms is a simple and effective way to improve soil fertility, food productivity and therefore contribute to food security. Yet, there is still little empirical research that documents the impact of fertilizer trees on food security among smallholder farmer households. Researchers from the World Agroforestry Centre carried out a study in Malawi to analyze the impact of the adoption of fertilizer trees on food security among smallholder farmers

Reblogged from the Agroforestry World Blog. Read the full article here→

Pakistan’s papaya pest squashed through biocontrol

By Saleem Shaikh. Reblogged from SciDev.Net

Pakistan’s papaya pest squashed through biocontrol
Copyright: G.M.B. Akash / Pano

A severe infestation of the papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus) nearly wiped out papaya orchards in Pakistan before the largely farmed country decided to replace conventional chemical pesticides that were ineffective with natural predators that proved to be successful.

The system was developed by agro-biotechnologists and entomologists at the Pakistani chapter of the UK-based Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) who introduced the use of Acerophagus papayae, a parasitoid (insects whose larvae parasite upon and eventually kill the host), to effectively control the mealybug infestation.

Continue reading

Plant clinic established in Cambodia Climate-Smart Village to address crop pests

By Fiona Emdin. Reblogged from the CGIAR CCFAS blog.

A plant health advisor advises a farmer on how to treat pests affecting her crop at the plant clinic. Plant clinics will help promote integrated pest management practices in the village. Photo: F. Emdin (WorldFish)

Different doctors treat different types of diseases. When the villagers of Rohal Suong in Cambodia feel sick, they can consult a doctor. Now when their crops are sick, they can also go to another doctor, a plant health advisor, who can provide information on the best methods to treat crop pests and diseases.

Continue reading

“Stop those pests!” – Great Success for CFS43 Side Event

Reblogged from the IPPC blog.

Jingyuan Xia (IPPC), Kim Ritman (Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of Australia) and Dr Washington Otieno (CABI); © IPPC

The side event was co-organized by the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of Australia with a manifold success. The side event was held during the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS43) on 18 October 2016, and marked an important event for plant health awareness promotion. The side event was chaired and opened by Mr Jingyuan Xia, the IPPC Secretary; and five distinguished panelists convincingly presented the links between the plant health and food security, including Mr Kim Ritman (Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of Australia), Mr Washington Otieno (CABI), Maria Saponari (Italian National Research Council and CIHEAM), Mr Rui Cardoso Pereira (FAO/IAEA), and Mr Craig Fedchock (IPPC).

Continue reading

A greater role for educational animation in extension?

Blog contributed by Nick Quist Nathaniels, Independent Consultant, Denmark

A freeze-frame animation showing a mouldy groundnut kernel © CCRP/ McKnight Foundation’
A freeze-frame from animation showing a mouldy groundnut kernel © CCRP/ McKnight Foundation

Computer animations are a rather special and exciting communication medium. For example, they can be used to illustrate the basic biology of pests and diseases and explain control measures. Animations are also an effective way to show changes that occur over a long time or at the landscape, watershed or even the global level. A combination of animation with spoken explanations can make such phenomena much easier to grasp. Being able to ‘see’ the phenomenon helps viewers imagine why individual or collaborative actions may be needed to address otherwise hidden problems. Continue reading

The secret to cutting global hunger rates around the world? Hello, ladies.

By Morgan Shoaff. Reblogged from Upworthy.com

There’s a pretty simple way we could be feeding an additional 150 million hungry people around the world. It’s not through some super advanced technology or billion-dollar idea that someone just came up with. The answer has been right in front of us for a very long time:

Women. Women farmers are a secret weapon to fighting hunger.

‌Photo via Esther Havens/The Adventure Project

Continue reading

Paying a visit to the Plant Doctor in Uganda

By Katie Tomlinson. Reblogged from the Cabot Institute blog.
Two weeks ago I organised a visit to a plant clinic in the Mukono district of central Uganda. The plant clinics are run by district local government extension staff with support from CABI’s Plantwise programme and offer a place where farmers can bring crop samples to get advice on how to prevent and cure diseases.

Why does Uganda need plant clinics?

It’s estimated that smallholder farmers loose 30 – 40% of their produce to plant health problems before harvest, which threaten food security, income and livelihoods. Ugandan farmers suffer heavily from pests and diseases, including maize stalk borer, wheat rust, banana bacterial wilt, coffee wilt and cassava viral diseases. The situation is always changing, as outbreaks of disease emerge and persist across the country.

Read the full article the Cabot Institute blog→