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

Photo story: e-plant clinics in Sri Lanka

E-plant clinics in Sri Lanka were launched in June 2015. Since then 190 Plant doctors have been trained and equipped with tablets, with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Agriculture funding half of the total number of tablets themselves. Being equipped with tablets means Plant doctors give higher quality recommendations, and the data collection process is also considerably streamlined. Below are two snapshots of how e-plant clinics are doing in Sri Lanka.

Sagarika 1
Sagarika helps a farmer diagnose his diseased crop

Continue reading

E-plant clinics launched in Mozambique

IMG_20171108_093112050
E-plant clinic in Inhambane Province, Mozambique (© CABI)

E-plant clinics have been successfully launched in Mozambique this November, following two trainings and official launches. The trainings took place in a village called Tenga, Moamba near the capital city of Maputo (around 80 km), and in Morrumbene District near the city of Inhambane.

Training was delivered in partnership with the National Directorate of Agricultural Extension (DNEA), an institution of the Ministry of Agriculture in Mozambique.

Continue reading

Suspected pesticide poisoning in India highlights importance of PPE

A woman picking cotton in a field near Nagarjuna Sagar — Andhra Pradesh, India (by By Claude Renault, via Wikimedia Commons)

On 5th October, the BBC reported that at least 50 farmers have died in the western state of Mharashtra, India, since July, due to suspected accidental pesticide poisoning (see the full article on the BBC website).

Nineteen of these deaths were reported from Yavatmal district, a major cotton growing area, where farmers use a variety of cotton which is meant to be resistant to bollworms. However, this year, despite use of this variety, crop damage caused by bollworm has been highly significant, leading to an increase in the use of pesticides.

Continue reading

PRISE: speaking to the end user – pest alerts for plant doctors in Africa

IMG_0120
Brian Siame shows plant health conversations between plant doctors in the Zambia Telegram group (Photo: David Onyango, CABI)

After 2 hours drive, we arrive in Rufunsa District located approximately 150 kilometres east of the Zambian Capital, Lusaka. After exchanging pleasantries we settle down with Brian Siame, a trained plant doctor and one of the participants in our survey to find out more about plant doctor requirements for pest alert messages.

After a brief explanation of how PRISE will work, Brian was taken through the survey and its relevance to his role. “The pest forecast messages will be sent to plant doctors like you so that you can provide farmers with timely advice and help them manage local pest outbreaks,” explained Abigail Rumsey from CABI. “The alerts will take the form of short text messages, advising on predicted pest life stage and risk level, with the possibility of including the pest image to help ease identification and diagnosis”.

Continue reading

Citrus Greening in Grenada

Citrus Greening, also known as Huanglongbing, was first confirmed in Grenada in 2016. The disease is caused by bacteria which are spread by the Citrus psyllid. The disease causes yellow blotchy mottling on leaves, small lopsided fruit and branch dieback, making the tree uneconomical. Due to Citrus greening’s potential to devastate Citrus yields, Grenada’s Ministry of Agriculture has launched a campaign to control the disease, which has been detected in almost every area of the island. In the video above, Thaddeus Peters, Agricultural Officer for the MoA’s Pest Management Unit, explains the importance and methods of controlling Citrus Greening.  Continue reading