Update: New Pest & Disease Records (14 Oct 15)

Damage to banana roots, like this example caused by burrowing nematodes (Radopholus similis) have been studied in Ethiopia © Scot Nelson, CC BY-SA
Nematode damage on banana roots has been studied in Ethiopia © Scot Nelson, CC BY-SA

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 Nesidiocoris tenuis, a predatory species of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta in Iran, the first report of Chickpea chlorotic dwarf virus infecting tomato crops in Pakistan and root necrosis assessment of plant parasitic nematodes of banana at Arbaminch, Ethiopia.

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Update: Plant Health News (07 Oct 15)

Farmers examine crop residues, a key feature of Conservation Agriculture © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)
Farmers examine crop residues, a key feature of Conservation Agriculture © CIMMYT (CC BY-NC-SA)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the World Food Programme to tackle postharvest loss in Uganda, a key new discovery in the way that nematodes cause damage to plants and using conservation agriculture to boost wheat yields in India.

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Factsheet of the month: October 2015 – Grain storage in metal silos against insect pests

20157800264Last week, 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the new Sustainable Development Agenda to end poverty by 2030. This came at the beginning of a three-day Summit on Sustainable Development during which focussed on implanting changes that will see the Agenda achieve its ambitious aims. The Agenda, consisting of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), will help countries to develop their policies over the next 15 years.

The second SDG on the list is to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.” Globally, 1 in 9 people are undernourished, the majority of whom are in developing countries where food loss is an important factor. Food loss is the food that gets spilled or spoilt before it reaches its final product or retail stage, whereas food waste happens at the retailer or consumer stage. Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (30 Sep 15)

Powdery mildew has been found to affect fennel in Korea. (Quinn Dombrowski. CC BY-SA)
Powdery mildew has been found to affect fennel in Korea. (Quinn Dombrowski. CC BY-SA)

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 the first report of Pepper vein yellows virus infecting red pepper in mainland China, postharvest ginger rhizome rot caused by Fusarium verticillioides in Brazil and the first report of powdery mildew caused by Erysiphe heraclei on fennel in Korea.

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Update: Plant Health News (23 Sep 15)

Earthworms are effective in boosting soil fertility © UNDP (CC BY-NC-SA)
Earthworms can boost soil fertility © UNDP

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the damage to irrigation channels caused by Chilean earthquakes, the promotion of earthworms to improve soil fertility and boost crop yields in Zimbabwe, and a severe reduction in cereal production in Central America as a result of the El Niño.

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Tiny wasp that is having a big impact on pests in the Mekong

Rice productivity is seriously affected by the damage pests cause © IRRI
Rice productivity is seriously affected by pests such as the rice stem borer © IRRI

Rice is the most important crop in the Greater Mekong sub-region of Southwestern China, Laos and Myanmar, providing food, work and income for a diverse range of people living all along the Mekong river. However, the yield of this crop in the Mekong region is still missing the mark in terms of potential, partly as a result of the millions of tons of rice that are lost to pests, including insects, diseases and weeds. Unfortunately, in trying to resolve this, the excess use of pesticides in previous years has caused problems of its own with increasing pesticide resistance and damage to farmer health and the environment.  Continue reading

Plantwise Initiative Equips Farmers with Knowledge in Zambia

NAIS LogoArticle by Dorcas Kabuya Chaaba- NAIS

A small-scale farmer in Chilanga District, Moses Banda has seriously taken up vegetable production. Mr Banda commends Government for its continued support in assisting farmers in addressing crop problems and how best to control them organically.
“My vegetables always had holes due to Sefasefa (Diamond Back Moth) and all I could think of was spraying but little did I know that the chemicals were harmful not only to the soils but humans and the entire ecosystem. Through this interaction with the Plant Doctors, I have learnt insects are being resistant to chemicals and that we should consider treating these insects organically through the use of crop rotation and Neem tree, which is soaked in water and sprayed to infected plants,” he explained.
Plantwise addresses the constant struggle that small-scale farmers go through to produce food by providing affordable, locally available solutions to plant health problems.

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