How bees can be a friend to smallholders

By Karoline Kingston

Bee with pollen on its legs drinking nectar from a flower

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 – could mean more efficient, high quality pollination of crops, as well as pollinating wild plants for cattle and other livestock to graze on. The sale of honey could also provide a vital additional source of income. But the bees need human help in return; the global bee population is in decline due to the use of harmful pesticides, climate change and habitat loss. Finding a productive partnership between these small creatures and smallholders could benefit both sides. Continue reading

Más allá del conocimiento: Estrategias para frenar el daño del gorgojo de los Andes en Perú

Por Fernando Escobal Valencia, Doctor de Plantas – INIA-Plantwise, Cajamarca –  Perú

Sesión Experiencias MIP Gorgojo de los Andes

El caserío Secsemayo pertenece al Centro Poblado Chamis, distrito Cajamarca, en la región Cajamarca; está ubicado a 20 kilómetros en dirección al sur – oeste de la ciudad capital, geográficamente enclavado en los andes cajamarquinos a 3,200 m.s.n.m.; bajo estas condiciones, la papa es el principal cultivo, cuya producción se destina íntegramente al consumo y seguridad alimentaria de aproximadamente 150 familias rurales.

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Plant health key to reducing world hunger

By Katie Tomlinson

On the 16th October, World Food Day events will take place around the globe to draw attention to the growing problem of world hunger and malnutrition.

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Shockingly, the FAO has reported that 10% of the global population experienced severe food insecurity in 2017 and that world hunger has increased for the third consecutive year. Key drivers in this trend have been recent climate variations and extreme weather events and increasing impacts of pests and diseases.

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The role of earthworms in sustainable agriculture

By Jaswinder Singh

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Greek philosopher Aristotle described earthworms as the ‘intestines of the earth’. (Photo credit: USDA, Flickr)

Sustainable agriculture means the production of food from plants or animals using different agricultural techniques that protect communities, the environment, and animal welfare. The extensive use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to boost crop yields may have resulted in good yields and productivity, but it has caused the efficiency of the soil to deteriorate throughout the world day-by-day. This modern agricultural practice has caused a steep fall in the biodiversity (above and below the ground) associated with cropland ecosystems.

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‘Plant doctors’ to help Myanmar farmers reduce crop losses

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The practical plant doctor training sessions took place in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar (Photo: East-West Seed)

A new program in Myanmar has just produced its first group of ‘plant doctors’ – experts who can help farmers reduce their losses by diagnosing problems with their crops.

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Voices of farmers facing the Fall armyworm

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Deo Mutekanyiza beside his maize field (Photo: Farm Radio International)

Masindi and Kiryandongo are the maize-growing regions of Uganda, and maize – or corn – is a staple crop, cooked into a porridge for breakfast or into ugali for dinner.

The Fall armyworm is threatening maize crops in Uganda – and by extension the food security of Ugandans. It’s expected to damage up to 1.39 million tonnes of maize.

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9 ways to get climate-smart agriculture to more people

CIAT blog

This is the final post as part of our Climate Smart Agriculture Week (20 – 24 November 2017)

Understanding which agricultural practices work best, and where, to halt the impacts of climate change is one thing. But making sure those practices are adopted by communities – farmers, decision and policy makers – is another thing.

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