Update: Plant Health News (10 Apr 15)

Onions in storage in Burkina Faso © André de Jager, IFDC
Onions can be affected by pests in storage, reducing the value of the crop © André de Jager, IFDC

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the identification of genes that increase resistance to potato late blight, improved onion storage in Burkina Faso and the identification of a natural bacterium that kills plantain moth larvae.

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Plant Health Rallies: Giving Rwandan agronomists the tools to inform the public

Plant Health Rallies: Giving Rwandan agronomists the tools to inform the public

In November 2013, three members of the CABI Plantwise team (Dr Noah Phiri and Peter Karanja of the Nairobi office, and Julien Lamontagne-Godwin of the UK office) visited Musanze in the Northern zone of Rwanda. 12 participants from the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) were trained in techniques to inform the surrounding rural communities on serious pests and diseases of important crops, particularly maize stalk borer and Lethal Necrosis, and potato late blight. During the 4 day training, participants were taught to develop a simple extension message that can be announced clearly in less than ten minutes. This message explains the background to the problem, discusses symptoms, and recommendations to prevent or reduce its effects in the field.

In the picture above, Jeanne Priscille Ingabire uses a megaphone to alert the village of Bikara of an impending talk on maize stalk borer. Kalisa Jean Pierre (left) and Stanislas Mushimiyimana (right) both hold onto a banner to gain more public interest before the talk.

This technique complements the established plant clinics in the area, and will help the RAB team inform and help more people with their agricultural pests and diseases.