“With the Plantwise Factsheets Library app, I am complete”

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In the Kabwe District of Zambia, Adamson Andrew Tembo is the acting senior agricultural officer (SAO) working with the Ministry of Agriculture. He is trained as an agricultural engineer and his role has been as an irrigation engineer. He was transferred to Kabwe District in January 2017 and assumed the role of SAO in July that year. Kabwe district has five plant clinics; one permanently based at Chililalila and the rest mobile plant clinics; operated by two plant doctors. Although Mr Tembo has not been trained as a plant doctor, he has access to a rich Plantwise informational resource; the Plantwise Factsheets Library app on his phone.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (19 July 18)

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July pest alerts contains a report on Alternaria alternaria, the causal agent of leaf blight on sunflower in South Africa (© Pexels)

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 thrips from India, the description of a new species of PolycestaDejean from Chile and a report on the causal agent of leaf blight on sunflower in South Africa.

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Plant clinics, pests and pads of paper

The CABI Blog

“We’ve arrived everyone. Off the bus”. Ten journalists, myself and five other CABI staff disembark eager to write our own stories on this, a landmark day, for one of CABI’s latest projects – the Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE).

PRISE, led by CABI and funded by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), uses state-of-the-art technology to help inform farmers in sub-Saharan Africa of pest outbreaks that could devastate their crops and livelihoods. 12 July 2018 marked the launch of the project in Kenya.

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TerraSentia: The Automated Crop Monitoring Robot

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TerraSentia robot to aid crop breeding processes (© The Silicon Review)

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois have developed a completely automated robot capable of monitoring crops in the field during growth periods with the aim of aiding crop breeders in the extensive task of developing and comparing plant cultivars.

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Madagascan bananas may soon be extinct

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Photo: ‘Green Bananas’ by Holger Link on Unsplash

Bananas we buy across the world could be threatened with extinction in the future. This claim is due to the decline of wild banana species which could be the last resort for saving the world’s most popular banana, the Cavendish.

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Environmentally Friendly Insect Repellent for Agriculture

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Naturally biodegradable insect-repelling chemical developed by researchers to target agricultural insect pests (© Pexels)

A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a biodegradable agent that repels insect pest activity amongst crops without the use of insecticide chemicals.

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