CABI signs MoU with Agricultural Department Gilgit Baltistan to launch Plantwise programme

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CABI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Agriculture Department Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan to launch the Plantwise programme in order to provide research-based advisory services to farmers.

The agreement, which will deliver Plantwise plant clinic services, was signed by Dr Babar Bajwa, Regional Director – CABI Central and West Asia, and Mr Sajjad Haider who is Secretary, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries at Gilgit Baltistan.
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Pakistan’s papaya pest squashed through biocontrol

By Saleem Shaikh. Reblogged from SciDev.Net

Pakistan’s papaya pest squashed through biocontrol
Copyright: G.M.B. Akash / Pano

A severe infestation of the papaya mealybug (Paracoccus marginatus) nearly wiped out papaya orchards in Pakistan before the largely farmed country decided to replace conventional chemical pesticides that were ineffective with natural predators that proved to be successful.

The system was developed by agro-biotechnologists and entomologists at the Pakistani chapter of the UK-based Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) who introduced the use of Acerophagus papayae, a parasitoid (insects whose larvae parasite upon and eventually kill the host), to effectively control the mealybug infestation.

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Wheat production in Pakistan – Producción de trigo en México

Infected wheat by P. striiformis/Trigo infectado por P. striiformis (Z. Kang)
Infected wheat by P. striiformis/Trigo infectado por P. striiformis (Z. Kang)

Pakistan

According to Reuters (source provided by ProMED-mail), farmers from districts southeast of Islamabad in Punjab province have seen their crops affected by unusual weather this year. First affected by hailstorm and now by heavy rain and cold weather, wheat fields of the region have been damaged severely. Some farmers have lost up to 70 % of their fields and are still waiting to harvest their crops three weeks behind schedule. Experts said that delays in harvesting and damaged plants can increase the chances of attack by yellow rust also called stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis). The fungal disease causes yellow leaf stripes, loss of vigour and stunting of plants.

Extension officers can review factsheets provided by Plantwise such as the Green and Yellow list written in Zambia* and the Plantwise technical factsheet on yellow rust to create a new and country-specific extension message for Pakistan on how to prevent and manage the disease.

*Please note that the pesticides mentioned in this factsheets are specific to Zambia and before giving recommendations check against your national registered pesticide lists.

México

Según El Diario (fuente proporcionada por ProMED-mail), la producción de trigo en la región de Nuevo Casas Grandes (Chihuahua) se ve afectada por la roya amarilla (causada por el hongo Puccinia striiformis) cual ocasionará una disminución del rendimiento. La roya amarilla es una enfermedad muy agresiva en condiciones favorables para su desarrollo (agua libre, temperatura de 10-15 °C y viento) y cuando se usó variedades susceptibles. Es la enfermedad que produce mayores pérdidas en el cultivo del trigo debido a su gran capacidad de dispersión a largas distancias. Se identifica por la formación des estrías estrechas en las hojas, pérdida de vigor y retraso en el crecimiento de las plantas.

Los extensionistas pueden revisar las hojas informativas de Plantwise como la Lista Verde y Amarilla elaborada en Zambia* y la hoja técnica de Plantwise sobre la roya amarilla para crear material nuevo y específico para México sobre cómo prevenir y manejar la enfermedad.

*Por favor, tenga en cuenta que las pesticidas indicadas en la hoja informativa son específicas para Zambia y antes de dar recomendaciones verificar la lista de pesticidas registradas en su país.

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Working together for Plantwise in South and West Asia

Representatives for agricultural development from South and West Asia came together for a two-day conference in Bhurban, Pakistan in April to discuss country plans for Plantwise activities. Decision-makers from countries including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and UK, met to share ideas and knowledge of their plant health systems. Continue reading

Citrus canker – a threat to orange production in Pakistan

Symptoms of citrus canker ©  Timothy Schubert, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood
Symptoms of citrus canker © Timothy Schubert, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood

Last week, key players in Pakistan’s orange production came together for the first Orange Exporters Awards, organised by the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Association and the Department of Plant Protection. During this meeting, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, announced that orange farms in the Sargodha region of Punjab are under threat from diseases, especially citrus canker. Mr Sikandar Bosan pledged financial reward for any farm owners that encourage new research to overcome the region’s citrus canker problem.  Continue reading

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (29 Oct 14)

Turmeric roots
The root knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, has been found on turmeric in Pakistan © Melanie Cook (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license)

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 new hosts (turmeric and black pepper) of root knot nematode in Pakistan,  two fungal leaf spot pathogens on Indonesian cinnamon, and a species of phytoplasma not previously found on apple trees in China.

Click on the links to view the abstracts:

To view all search results for new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases, click here

If there’s another new record you’d like to highlight, please post a comment.

Plantwise in Pakistan and its opportunities to share knowledge

The group of participants for the data sharing and use workshop held by Plantwise at the CABI CWA office in Islamabad
The group of participants for the data sharing and use workshop held by Plantwise at the CABI CWA office in Islamabad

 

In June 2014, Dr Aamir H Malik, CABI Country Coordinator for Pakistan, Cambria Finegold, Head of Project Development for the Plantwise Knowledge Bank and Julien Lamontagne-Godwin, Plantwise scientific officer, organised a workshop in Islamabad that united major stakeholders in the Pakistani plant health system. These included the departments of Extension and Adaptive Research, Pest Warning and Quality Control of Pesticides, Agricultural Information, the National Agricultural Research Centre, the Punjab Seed Corporation and the Horticultural Development and Export Company.

The objective was to demonstrate the power and possible use of the data being generated by the rising number of plant clinics in the country. The participants felt that it is crucial that the data, owned by the Directorate General of Extension and Adaptive Research, is shared to a maximum amount of actors in the plant health system.  This will enable them to work more efficiently in the agricultural domain, depending on their mandates: develop updated and topical research strategies, conduct more targeted extension campaigns, understand the health of various crops in a region and develop better seeds or resistant varieties. Indeed, this is one of the core objectives of Plantwise.

Overall, the workshop was an unqualified success, as many partners are now keen to be linked to the data sharing platform that is the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, and receive topical and interesting data from the Directorate General of Extension and Adaptive Research plant clinics.