Soil-dwelling worms threatening farmers’ livelihoods

By Wilson Odhiambo. Originally published on SciDev.Net.

As soil-dwelling worms threaten smallholders’ livelihoods, governments should act fast, writes Wilson Odhiambo.

Garden of Sanfo Karim, Burkina Faso.jpg
Farmer and son inspecting their cabbage field Copyright: Ollivier Girard/CIFORCC BY-NC-ND 2.0
David Magondo, a father of three from Central Kenya, has been farming for over 35 years in an activity that has helped him feed and take care of his family.

But the once dependable source of income and livelihood for the 57-year-old farmer is now a nightmare due to the soil-dwelling parasitic worms that render farming less productive.

Continue reading

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

20157800105Researchers 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 the most effective management practices are preventative. Chemical control using nematicides is not recommended for the control of nematodes as these chemicals are often expensive and highly toxic to both humans and the environment.  Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (17 Sep 14)

A new species of leafhopper has been identified in Brazil © Steven Severinghaus (CC BY-NC-SA)
A new species of leafhopper has been identified in Brazil © Steven Severinghaus (CC BY-NC-SA)

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 Fusarium wilt in blueberry caused by Fusarium oxysporum in China, a new species of Beamerana from southeastern Brazil and new records of plant parasitic nematodes from rhizosphere of onion in Iran. 

Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (03 Sep 14)

Podosphaera xanthii, commonly found on Cucurbitaceae has been identified as the causal agent of eggplant powdery mildew in Qingdao © Gerald Holmes (CC BY-NC)
Podosphaera xanthii, more commonly found on Cucurbitaceae has been identified as a causal agent of  powdery mildew in eggplant © Gerald Holmes (CC BY-NC)

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 occurrence of Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum on banana pseudostems in the Brazillian state of Minas Gerais, fire blight disease on apricot and cherry plum in Hungary and identification of the pathogen causing eggplant powdery mildew in Qingdao, China.

Continue reading