Floods in Haiti and India devastate crops

Hurricane Sandy has left fields in the south of Haiti under water, causing crop losses of up to 40%. This follows damage from a drought and the effects of Hurricane Isaac earlier this year.

Meanwhile, 9000 miles away in Andhra Pradesh, India, rice farmers are also suffering with their crops waist-deep in floodwater following several days of rain from Cyclone Nilam.

There are now serious worries in both countries of food shortages and waterborne diseases.

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Plantwise plant clinics – Pest diagnosis for a farmer in Barbados

A farmer, Pedro Welch, attended the Plantwise plant clinic at this year’s Agrofest 2012, the annual agricultural show in Barbados. He described the problems he was having on his lime tree, and the plant doctor diagnosed the problem straight away, giving advice on how to manage the pest. Watch the video below to see a plant clinic in action.

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Nuclear technology used to develop high altitude barley in Peru

A new video from the International Atomic Energy Agency shows how radiation can be used to make mutations in crop plant DNA. This process applied to a large number of seeds creates a selection of mutants that can be tested to see how well they perform as crops. Research in Peru has led to the development of a new barley variety, which has benefited farmers with its high yield.
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How to improve rice yield using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

This video shows how farmers in East and Southern Africa have been benefiting from increased rice yield after implementing SRI management practices. By following some simple principles in how to transplant the rice seedlings, maintain soil health, carefully irrigate, and manage weeds and nutrients, farmers can now produce a lot more rice than they used to using traditional methods. Continue reading

Plantwise Knowledge Bank fully launched

Knowledge Bank country homepage for Kenya © CABI

The Plantwise Knowledge Bank has now gone live! This central portal for collated global information on crop pests and diseases brings together international science and local material. It is targeted at providing knowledge to all users involved in plant health systems – from farmers on the ground, to researchers and academics, to governments and policy makers.

The most significant development for the Knowledge Bank since its launch as a prototype last year is that information can now be easily filtered by country. The country homepages display relevant information on local pests and their treatment.
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New plant doctors trained in Afghanistan

Afghanistan is one of 24 countries that is establishing plant clinics with help from Plantwise.

In February, new plant doctors were trained in pest and disease identification, and took part in a pilot plant clinic in Bamyan town to test their training.

The plant doctors will be running clinics in various areas of Afghanistan, which farmers will be able to bring their crop samples to for treatment advice and information.

Read more about plant clinics in Afghanistan here: http://www.plantwise.org/default.aspx?site=234&page=4837