Improving resistance of Kenya’s cabbage and kale crops to TuMV disease

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Farmer tending to her crop of kale. Photo: C. Nellist

A team of international scientists from CABI, the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), NIAB EMR (UK), University of Warwick (UK) and Syngenta (Netherlands) are seeking to improve the resistance of Kenya’s cabbage and kale crops to Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV).

In the distantly-related Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa), a potentially durable TuMV disease resistance trait was identified by Professor John Walsh at the University of Warwick, while work by Dr Charlotte Nellist, of NIAB EMR, UK, Dr Bill Briggs, of Syngenta, and Prof Walsh elucidated the novel mechanism of TuMV resistance.

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How can tomato farming be improved in Kenya? Study finds producers face a ‘myriad of constraints’

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In a recently published paper in Scientific African, CABI’s Willis Ochilo led on a study which captured a better understanding of tomato producers in Kenya, describing in detail the production practices in order to identify challenges and opportunities for increasing tomato productivity for the country’s smallholder communities.

Tomato is a good source of vitamins A and C, and lycopene making it an important crop in terms of food and nutritional security for families in Kenya, and is in fact eaten in nearly all households across the country.

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Plantwise successes revealed in Impact Story Competition

Plant clinic in Nepal

The successes of smallholder farmers in Nepal, Uganda and Kenya – thanks to help from CABI – have become the focus of the Plantwise Impact Story Competition won by three extension workers who helped them combat crop pests and diseases.

Debraj Adhikari, a Senior Plant Protection Officer from Nepal, plant doctor Mubunga Joshua from Uganda and John Mutisya Kimeu also a plant doctor, from Kenya have all been awarded a tablet computer for their accounts of farmers who have reaped increases in yield as a result of intervention from Plantwise plant clinics.

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The Umatui amazing site women group tackle Tuta absoluta

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Located in semi-arid Eastern Kenya, Machakos county is home to the Umatui amazing site women group. The group comprises 15 members who mainly grow tomatoes, cowpeas, pigeon peas, and maize. It is among eight other women groups working with Katoloni Community Based Organisation (CBO),  a non governmental organization under infonet biovision. The CBO runs a mobile Plant Clinic in Machakos county, Kenya and mostly targets organized farmer groups.

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Kenyan farmers reap the benefits thanks to Plantwise plant clinics

plant_clinic47.jpgCABI’s global Plantwise programme has a major impact helping farmers in Kenya grow more and lose less to crop pests and diseases, according to a new impact report published today. Research undertaken by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and published today, shows that:

  • Plantwise contributes to improvements on yields, crop-based household incomes and reductions in pesticide usage for farmers living in plant clinic catchment areas
  • Plantwise is improving institutional coordination in national plant health systems, improving the likelihood of detecting and responding to pest outbreaks such as the fall armyworm
  • Plantwise is improving knowledge of extension agents and management of data, providing detailed insights into where response interventions should be targeted

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South African ban on Kenyan avocado imports now lifted

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Kenya produces 11,000 metric tonnes of avocados annually, 70% of this is from smallholder farmers (© Pexels)

Earlier this month, South Africa’s government announced that it is lifting the decade-long ban on Kenyan avocado imports. This will result in the return of Kenyan avocados to markets in South Africa, and pave the way for the redevelopment of Kenya’s avocado production industry at an international level.

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PRISE: Kenya Stakeholder Workshop July 2018

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PRISE Stakeholder workshop participants, July 2018.

Earlier this month, members of the Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) consortium held a stakeholder workshop in Kenya to update partners, donors and stakeholders on the progress of the project and to discuss future developments over the next four years.

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