Plantwise 2012 Highlights

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As we move into the New Year and all that 2013 has to offer it seems like a good time to review some of the achievements of 2012 . Here are a few of the Plantwise highlights of 2012!
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Julien Lamontagne-Godwin at a cacao depot in North Kivu, DRC

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Whenever I am working in Democratic Republic of Congo, I always link up with our partner ESCO, a regional cacao producer and exporter, also active in Uganda.
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Research Projects Into Improving Crop Plants Receive Major Funding

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The University of Illinois has received a five year, $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the photosynthetic properties of key food crops, such as rice and cassava. The project, entitled ‘RIPE- Realising Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency’ has the potential to benefit farmers by improving the productivity of staple food crops. Increasing photosynthetic efficiency…
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Coffee Production in Hot Water- The Impacts of Climate Change on the Future of Coffee Crops

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Coffee (Coffea) is the one of the world’s favourite drinks and the second most traded commodity after oil, accounting for annual retail value of US$ 90 billion. The two main species used in the production of coffee are Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica), which accounts for 70% of coffee production, and Robusta coffee (Coffea canephora). The…
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Knowledge Bank interview with Agfax radio in Africa

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Access to agricultural information especially crop pest information, e.g pest identity and practical control options, is an essential ingredient in increasing agricultural production in developing countries. Where available, such information is always inaccessible and poorly developed and farmers hardly understand the contents. The Knowledge Bank, which was launched in July 2012, is part of the…
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Cassava virus resistance breakthrough for Africa

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One of the worst diseases of the tuber crop, cassava, in sub-Saharan Africa is Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD). Since its resurgence in East Africa in recent years, it is now spreading to Central and Western Africa. The other major disease of cassava in this region, Cassava mosaic disease (CMD), can also cause widespread damage…
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Plant doctor in Tanzania uses the Plantwise Knowledge Bank to diagnose crop diseases

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Mr Kimomwe H. Kimomwe, a plant doctor at the Lukozi plant clinic in Lushoto district, Tanzania explains in this video how he used the Plantwise Knowledge Bank to find out what problem a farmer had on his crop of cabbages. He showed the farmer the results from the diagnostic tool, and the farmer was able…
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New Research on Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease in Kenya

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Update [March 2013]: More information about the pests and viruses associated with Maize Lethal Necrosis disease can be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank. The production of maize, Kenya’s staple food crop, is severely under threat from a fast spreading maize disease known as Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease. The disease is the result of…
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How to improve rice yield using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

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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…
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Farm makeovers in Kenya – Shamba Shape Up

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http://youtu.be/lQABDLVoQWM This Kenyan TV series may be quite different to other reality shows you've seen. Here, farmers get a makeover of their shamba with advice on how to get the most out of their land, including planting tips, which seed varieties to use, and how to store harvested crops.
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