A new AI-powered app scans banana crops for early signs of disease

By Emma Bryce. Reblogged from Anthropocene. The banana is the world’s most popular fruit: we consume 100 billion of them a year. And yet, their future is threatened by a spate of diseases that are ravaging crops worldwide. Now, researchers have developed a tool to tackle these silent killers: an artificially-intelligent smartphone app that can scan banana…
Read Further

Plant doctor advice increasing availability of clean banana suckers in Kitema, Uganda

By Mary Bundi and Charles Tumuhe In Uganda the majority of the young people are unemployed, and efforts to create employment opportunities within the agriculture sector are yielding little to no interest among them. Agriculture is not viewed as a viable employment sector, due to the perceptions that agriculture as a profession is labour intensive,…
Read Further

Madagascan bananas may soon be extinct

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.
Read Further

Robert Reeder on Protecting Banana Crops

“Bananas, along with lots of crop plants are under threat from pests and diseases. The reason that bananas are particularly threatened is their lack of genetic diversity.” Listen to CABI’s very own Rob Reeder talk to Greg Peterson on this podcast from The Urban Farm. Rob talks in detail about the increasing threat to the…
Read Further

Is it time for genetically modified bananas in Uganda?

Uganda is the world’s second largest producer of banana crop, with individuals consuming around 1.5 pounds of banana every day. Due to this major need for the success of banana crops within the country, plant pests and diseases are ever more threatening.
Read Further

Update: Plant Health News (16 Mar 16)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the success of the M9 banana variety in Uganda, a study into the timeline of climate change effects on agriculture and a warning on the use of miticides in Almond IPM.
Read Further

Factsheet of the month: November 2015 – Using natural nematicide plants against banana nematodes

Researchers at Queen’s University, Belfast, have developed a new method to control the parasitic nematodes that devastate banana crops and cause billions of dollars of crop losses annually. It is hoped that this new technology will reduce these losses, boosting the incomes of subsistence farmers in developing countries. Nematodes are notoriously difficult to control, and…
Read Further

Update: Plant Health News (01 Jul 15)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including a reduction in banana yield in the Philippines due to the effects of El Niño on rainfall, a pest causing severe damage to tomato production in Nigeria and the use of pheromones to control insect pests in the field. Click on the…
Read Further

Factsheet of the month: April 2015 – Trapping banana weevils

According to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Tanzania and Uganda, who produce almost half of all bananas in Africa, are only achieving 9% of their expected yield. This year sees the start of a 5-year project to develop high-yielding, pest resistant banana hybrids. Rony Swennen, the project’s leader, says that he hopes this…
Read Further

Update: Plant Health News (25 Mar 15)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including early reports on the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, the first carbon neutral banana farm recognised in Costa Rica and training for Citrus farmers in Ghana on the use of technology to increase yields. Click on the link to read more…
Read Further