A new AI-powered app scans banana crops for early signs of disease

By Emma Bryce. Reblogged from Anthropocene. The banana is the world’s most popular fruit: we consume 100 billion of them a year. And yet, their future is threatened by a spate of diseases that are ravaging crops worldwide. Now, researchers have developed a tool to tackle these silent killers: an artificially-intelligent smartphone app that can scan banana…
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Homemade botanical remedies: can they really work for pest control?

By Rebecca Quarterman For many low-income farmers, commercial pesticides are too costly to use. Seemingly, the next best option for many is to turn to homemade botanical insecticides using local sources. But how reliable are these resources, and are they safe to recommend? A CABI-authored paper published in Agronomy for Sustainable Development reviews the efficacy…
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CABI programmes showcased at International Conference on Plant Protection in Horticulture

CABI programmes, Plantwise and Action on Invasives, have showcased their expertise in plant protection and improving rural livelihoods to a global audience of agriculture experts and scientists at the recent International Conference on Plant Protection in Horticulture held at ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru.
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Crop-devastating pests in Rwanda to be targeted with space-age technology from PRISE programme

Pests, which threaten to destroy key cash and food security crops including maize, tomato and beans, are to be prioritized as part of an integrated pest management strategy using state-of-the-art space-age technology. Scores of smallholder farmers in Rwanda are the latest to benefit from the CABI-led consortium, funded by the UK Space Agency and the Global Challenges Research…
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COSMIC: Workshop to develop locust management tools in China

Grassland habitats play an important ecological and economic role in Inner Mongolia, China. The primary threats to this ecosystem are grasshoppers and locusts, which are major pest insects across China. There are currently a range of monitoring and management strategies in place to control and reduce the damage caused by these pest species. However, successful…
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Aerobotics: Supporting precision agriculture across Africa

Aerobotics, a Cape Town-based agritech startup company has recently partnered with the South African Federation of Agricultural Organisations (AgriSA) to launch a free data service for farmers using a range of spectral imaging technology. As a company, Aerobotics specialises in farm monitoring processes using a number of modern spectral imaging technologies, including satellite and drone…
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CABI collaborates on new research which suggests crop pests more widespread than previously known

Insects and diseases that damage crops are probably present in many places thought to be free of them, new research shows. Pests that have not been reported in a certain area are usually assumed to be absent, but analysis by the University of Exeter shows many pests are “currently unobserved, but probably present” (a likelihood…
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Farmers in Malawi to benefit from space-age technology in fight against devastating crop pests

Farmers in Malawi are the latest to benefit from a CABI-led consortium, funded by the UK Space Agency, which is providing a Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) to fight pest outbreaks that could devastate crops and livelihoods across the country. The service, which uses state-of-the-art technology to help inform farmers in sub-Saharan Africa – including Zambia, Ghana and…
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World Food Prize winner’s vision sown in CABI-led Plantwise programme in Myanmar

World Food Prize Laureate for 2019 Simon N. Groot, founder of East-West Seed, helped train CABI Plantwise plant doctors in Myanmar so farmers can grow more and lose less to pests and diseases (Photo: World Food Prize). Simon N. Groot, the Dutch founder of East-West Seed, has won the World Food Prize 2019 for empowering millions…
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CABI collaborates on innovative approach to tackling pesticide resistance evolution

Close-up of a southern armyworm on a leaf
CABI is joining an international team of scientists, led by the University of Stirling, to take a ‘revolutionary approach’ in attempting to tackle resistance to pesticides in insects with a specific focus on crops pests in Brazil. The £620,000 study will see UK-based Dr Belinda Luke working on the mass production of fungal biopesticides and formulation development…
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