Early pest warnings and IPM advice are improving food security for maize farmers in Ghana

Pest warnings are changing the way that smallholders in Ghana farm. Smallholder maize farmers in Ghana have long grappled with the challenges posed by crop pests. Over the past few years, this has included the notorious fall armyworm. This voracious invader has, in the past, led to significant crop losses. And the losses have impacted…
Read Further

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (06 November 2023)

strawberry plant
We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this month include the first report of Dolichothrips indicus in Colombia and the first report of a species of Neopestalotiopsis on strawberry in Canada.
Read Further

Kenyan farmer perceptions of biological control of papaya mealybug

The papaya mealybug problem in Kenya The invasive papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus) is a devastating pest to many crops, with a host range of over 200 plants. The species was first detected in Africa in 2010 in Ghana and then in 2016 in Mombasa County in Kenya. In Kenya, where horticulture makes up 60% of…
Read Further

Biocontrol agent released to safeguard crops from parthenium weed in Pakistan

Invasive plants can be extremely harmful to crops. “Famine weed” or parthenium is one such plant. Native to tropical America, it was accidentally introduced to several countries. In Pakistan, the weed now covers thousands of hectares of agricultural and rangeland. And it poses an economic burden to farmers.
Read Further

Pests and diseases: cocoyam production in Ghana

Pile of cocoyam corms.
Cocoyam species are a staple crop in Ghana that hold significant importance for food security, particularly in times of famine and natural disasters. Despite being known for their hardy nature, cocoyams are vulnerable to a range of pests and diseases which can threaten their production. Cocoyam production also faces additional challenges which affect crop yields…
Read Further

Controlling the papaya mealybug pest – progress made in coastal Kenya

An initiative to combat the destructive papaya mealybug in Kenya is reaping rewards. A natural predator – a parasitic wasp – has been introduced to coastal counties to help control the pest. This tiny wasp is helping to prevent the damage caused by the mealybug. It’s not only helping to save papaya farms. It’s safeguarding…
Read Further

“Let’s talk about it”: Championing gender dialogues in Ghana’s advisory services

In Ghana, as in many other countries, women face challenges accessing extension advisory services. To improve the provision for women, in 2021, PlantwisePlus assessed the barriers to women’s participation in and access to extension services. The programme team used an FAO-developed tool called the Gender and Rural Advisory Services Assessment (GRAST).
Read Further

How has a ‘writeshop’ helped to address invasive apple snail in Kenya?

Invasive species, like apple snail, are a threat to food security. It’s important that they’re quickly managed before they start to spread. One of the best ways to do this is to share plant health knowledge with smallholder farmers. And writeshops are an excellent tool for gathering evidence-based information to do this. In this blog,…
Read Further

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (13 October 2023)

fusarium on pea
We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this month include the first report of Fusarium sacchari causing root rot of tobacco in China and the first report of Fusarium commune causing root rot of field peas in Canada.
Read Further

6 ways that PlantwisePlus tools are transforming digital development 

Digital development has come a long way over the past decade. And it’s helping farmers to access agricultural knowledge. Reaching smallholders with farming know-how can be challenging. Most smallholders have limited access to agricultural information. Moreover, public extension services are becoming more difficult to access. Tanzania only has four extension agents per 10,000 farmers. In…
Read Further