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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Floods in Haiti and India devastate crops

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Hurricane Sandy has left fields in the south of Haiti under water, causing crop losses of up to 40%. This follows damage from a drought and the effects of Hurricane Isaac earlier this year. Meanwhile, 9000 miles away in Andhra Pradesh, India, rice farmers are also suffering with their crops waist-deep in floodwater following several…
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Bean and Gone – Controlling the Coffee Berry Borer Using Integrated Pest Management

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The Coffee Berry Borer, Hypothenemus hampei, is a tiny beetle which is widely considered to be the most damaging pest of coffee plantations in the world. Originating in Africa, it is now found in almost all coffee growing areas in the world as an invasive species, with nearly 160 records from different areas worldwide on…
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Discovery of genes for resistance to black Sigatoka in bananas

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Researchers at Equador’s Biotechnology Research Centre (CIBE) have isolated the genes that are responsible for conferring resistance to black Sigatoka in the naturally resistant banana variety Musa Calcutta-4. Scientists have now been able to develop a protocol for the genetic transformation of banana cultivars Williams and Orito as well as the plantain cultivars Barraganete and…
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Shouting out about plant clinics

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Plantwise works with in-country agencies to set up plant clinics, which farmers can attend with a sample of their affected crops to obtain a diagnosis and treatment advice. Plant clinics are often run in larger towns or villages, and farmers can travel many miles to talk to a plant doctor to solve their crop problems.…
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Need to control rodents on your crops? Use birds of prey!

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The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel is encouraging farmers to use barn owls (Tyto alba) to control rodent pests on their crops. They aim to attract barn owls by constructing nest boxes; so far 2,000 have been distributed to farmers. As barn owls only hunt at night, day-hunting kestrels are also being…
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India’s Food Security Challenges

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Agriculture is very important to India, employing 55% of its population and providing 16.5% of its annual GDP. The industry as a whole is worth US$ 17.5 million alone in exports. However, it’s not all plain sailing, with low productivity and regional groundwater depletion currently threatening Indian agriculture. Climate change and the demands of an…
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Wheat rust and climate change – a possible connection

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A possible link between wheat stripe rust and climate change was observed by researchers meeting at the International Wheat Stripe Rust Symposium, which convened in Aleppo, Syria last week. The symposium organised by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) aimed to review the current global status of wheat stripe rust…
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