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.
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.
Climate-smart agriculture calls for pest management that controls farm pests and diseases in a way that does not negatively affect ecosystem services and human health.
Climate change affects not only farming practices in that extreme events may flatten trees and crops. It also affects the distributions and life cycles of animals and insects such as pests, disease-causing organisms and crop-pollinating insects and animals. Farmers in Vietnam speculate that the increase in temperatures brought about by climate change might be favouring certain pests.
To further understand the behavior, control and management of pests and diseases in the light of climate change, the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) Southeast Asia is conducting “Pest Smart”, a two-year initiative under the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA) Climate-Smart Villages (CSVs) project.
Farmer representatives and project team members of Rohal Suong Climate-Smart Village in Cambodia learn about rice pest management in light of climate change.
Many people attribute floods, droughts and cyclones to climate change and these natural disasters impact greatly on agricultural productivity. But recent scientific evidences show that pests are getting a boost from climate change. The increasing temperature and erratic rainfall cause pests and diseases to thrive and infest crops in wider ranges of places globally.
Effective surveillance and integrated pest management could curb the devastating impacts of tomato pest, Tuta absoluta, also called tomato leaf miner, which is ravaging the crop in Nigeria, experts say.
T. absoluta has affected most parts of northern Nigeria tomato farms in Kaduna state, causing a loss of more than 1 billion naira (about US$3.5 million), leading to rising tomato prices, according to the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) — an organisation working with African governments and research institutions to monitor the spread of the pest.
Damien Nsabiyumve explaining the role of “plant doctors” in the “Plantwise” programme
The 7th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW7) organized by the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) is took place in Kigali-Rwanda from June 13-16. During this event many companies and organisations attended, and brought their products and services to market and share innovations from different regions.
One billion farmers all over the world, responsible for growing the food the feeds the planet, are under unprecedented pressure from a changing climate. For eight months in a row now, temperatures have been the highest on record. Food shortages are affecting an estimated 100 million people in the wake of drought prompted by the strongest El Niño we have ever seen.
We urgently require ways of helping farmers preserve food security, and adapt to these harsher realities. We also need to ensure farmers can be part of the solution to climate change, given that food systems account for 19-29% of total greenhouse gas emissions.