Nuclear Development in Zambia: A Positive for Environmental Protection?

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A rural nuclear power plant (© Pexels).

The agriculture sector in Zambia employs around half of the country’s labour force and provides the largest source of employment opportunities for rural women. However, although the sector contributes 6.5% GDP and 9.6% of the national export earnings, the industry is one of the most under-developed in the country.

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CABI joins Koppert to reduce the reliance on chemical use in pest management in Kenya

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CABI has initiated activities with Koppert Biological Systems to increase the fight against crop pests and diseases which threaten the food security and livelihoods of thousands of farmers and their families in Kenya.

CABI has signed a collaboration agreement with Koppert to deliver more Plantwise plant doctor training in Kenya, with funding from the Koppert Foundation. This includes plans to further raise the awareness and promotion of biocontrol methods as part of integrated pest management (IPM) advice given to farmers.

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NextGen Cassava Improving Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Unhealthy cassava leaves (© CABI)

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has paired with the UK Government to award the Next Generation (NextGen) Cassava Breeding Project $35 million with the aim of promoting the growth of cassava crops and to improve food security in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (7 Feb 18)

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Purple grape vineyard and rows (© CC0)

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 grapevine yellow speckle viroids in Nigeria, the first report of tomato ringspot virus (Secoviridae) in a vineyard in Ohio, USA and the first report of pepper vein yellow virus in Pakistan.

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Is It Time for Genetically Modified Bananas in Uganda?

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Banana plantation (© CABI)

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.

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Lead Battery Soil Contamination in Africa and the Implications on Plant and Human Health

Globally, battery manufacturing and recycling plants have been identified as the major sources of soil lead contamination that have resulted in lead exposure to neighbouring communities via the accumulation of lead within plants.

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Masai child next to Opuntia stricta (© CABI)

Lead is naturally found in soil in relatively low concentrations (10-50 mg/kg) in which it is taken up by plants via the roots and accumulates within root cells as lead is used in low levels by plants. Excessive lead concentrations found within plants have been shown to reduce the functionality of morphological, biochemical and physiological functions as well as promoting deleterious effects. For more detailed information on the effects of lead on plant health, see here.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (5 Jan 18)

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Invasive Golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) eggs on freshwater aquatic plant (© Dr. Raju Kasambe)

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 the golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) in Iraq, the first report of Ceratocephalus falcatus smut caused by Urocystis eranthidis and a new species of thrip (Genus: Odontothrips) in China. Continue reading