Fall Armyworm: A new collaboration to disseminate best management practices to farmers

From the 13th to the 15th of November 2017, USAID and CIMMYT held a Regional Training and Awareness Generation Workshop on Fall Armyworm Pest Management for Eastern Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Participants from 11 countries attended the workshop to discuss short, medium and long term strategies to control Fall Armyworm in Africa. Following its accidental introduction into West Africa, the pest has spread quickly to the whole continent. The current and predicted yield loss to maize from FAW over the 2017-2018 season in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to reach US$ 3 billion.

DSC_0973
Fall armyworm caterpillar from ICIPE rearing facilities (Photo credit: Thomas Wallace, Africa Lead)

Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (15 Dec 17)

paprivi8
Electron micrograph of Papaya ringspot virus, PRSV-P (© Jorge A.M. Rezende)

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 a first report of snow mould (Typhula cf. subvariabilis) in Antarctica, the first report of Drosophila suzukii and the black locust gall midge (Obolodiplosis robiniae) in Poland.

Continue reading

How ICTs are key to Plantwise’s sustainability

OWN BLOG PHOTO 1
Tablets being used at a Plantwise plant clinic in India. Photo: CABI

The Plantwise programme has expanded in terms of its plant clinic network, the number of countries involved and the number of farmers reached since its launch in 2011. This expansion has been facilitated to a significant extent by an ICT infrastructure, i.e. the Knowledge Bank and e-plant clinics (plant clinics equipped with tablets). Mozambique, Nepal, Malawi, Nicaragua and Jamaica are piloting e-plant clinics this year and more countries are showing increasing interest. The programme has overcome various obstacles and the advantages, both practical and data-based, are now being seen at a variety of locations.

Continue reading

Plantwise Pest Alerts – free email subscription service

Are you interested in keeping up to date with crop pest and disease literature reports? You’re invited to sign up to our monthly pest alert email containing links to recently published scientific literature from around the globe.

On sign up, select which country or region you are interested in, or the Worldwide regional option. Feel free to sign up more than once if you would like to receive reports on multiple countries or regions.

Continue reading

CABI leads rapid identification of Fall Armyworm

Fall Armyworm larvae seen in Ghana (J. Crozier, CABI)

Identifying armyworms usually involves taking the larvae that have caused the damage, waiting for them to develop in to adults and then studying the body and markings of these adults to identify the species collected. This process causes delays to identification, and could therefore delay action for what are some of the most ravaging crop pests in the world. However, scientists from CABI and Ghana’s Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate have been able to speed up identification using molecular techniques to confirm the identity of fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) from the larvae alone.

Continue reading

Shifting gears: expansion of e-plant clinics in Kenya

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid!”  Passionate words spoken in 2014 during an indelible Oscar moment. The utterance of these words, coupled with the winning of an Academy Award, announced Lupita Nyong’o’s entry into the global stage. Two years later in Lupita’s country of origin, Kenya, long-held dreams in the plant health sector are realized.

Plant doctors (in green lab coats) attending to farmers at Kithumu plant clinic in Embu County

Indeed, the journey to realizing the usefulness of mobile technologies for the plant health sector has been long, and to some extent treacherous. Was the Plantwise program setting up the agricultural extension officers for failure? Was the program having unrealistic expectations? Could it be, in the program’s quest to keep up with the times, it was essentially building an ivory tower? All these were questions Plantwise grappled with in 2014 when it introduced mobile technologies for the running of plant clinics.

Continue reading

Making the most of the knowledge bank: How to enhance your country’s content

Contributed by Léna Durocher-Granger and Kate Dey

Are you perhaps a coffee expert, a research scientist, post-graduate student in crop management, an extension officer working at the Ministry of Agriculture? Would you like to contribute to the plant health system of your country, bring the Plantwise methodology to your institute, help us with the translation of content so it can be used locally or improve your extension writing skills?

Well, we have made it easier for you to get involved with the development of essential extension materials and enhance pest management and control information for your country. You now have the power to download and edit Green Lists– a type of Pest Management Decision Guides (PMDGs) which provide simple and vital prevention, management and control information for extension workers and farmers. They contain generic non-chemical and non-hazardous advice such as cultural and mechanical control.

Continue reading