Maize’s New Protector: Parasitic Wasps

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Certain maize landraces obtained from South America have been found to have developed sophisticated defence strategies to cope with insect pests such as the spotted stemborer, Chilo partellus, it was reported today. These findings could help to increase maize yields and improve food security. The spotted stemborer, Chilo partellus, is now a major pest in…
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Cotton Topping Reduces Pests

Cotton topping has been reported to reduce bollworm infestations without negatively affecting cotton yields. Scientists in Mali looked at three bollworm species, which are responsible for the majority of cotton yield losses in sub-Saharan areas of Africa, where topping is no longer employed. Cotton topping is an agricultural technique in which the shoot tips of…
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Do you like your coffee wilted?

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According to CABI’s Peter Baker at the recent ISEAL Conference the International coffee community may be failing farmers in providing them with support in adapting to upcoming climate risks. Changes in the climate can have dire consequences for farmers within developing countries. They can change the distribution ranges of insect pests, causing pests to migrate into…
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New global plant health resource to improve food security

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From the devastating Coffee Wilt Disease to the infectious Wheat Stripe Rust: for the first time ever, distribution maps, diagnostic support and treatment advice for thousands of the world’s most damaging pests and diseases of plants and crops are being made available free of charge on the new Plantwise website, www.plantwise.org, launched today. The Plantwise…
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State of severe food insecurity in Africa

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On the 7 July the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) announced that an appeal to help more that 10 million people in east Africa, suffering from their worst drought in over half a century, would be broadcast on ITV, BBC, Sky, Channel 4 and Channel 5. 
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CABI publishes third working paper

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CABI’s own, Matthew Cock, covers strategic entry points for funding taxonomic support to agriculture in developing countries in the third working paper published by CABI. The importance of taxonomy to agriculture is discussed, with emphasis on how to address the need for taxonomic support in developing countries. One of the subjects explored by this paper…
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New Plantwise videos

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Today over one billion people are going hungry every day – the majority of these are smallholder farmers who rely entirely on their crops to feed their families.  Plantwise aims to help improve food security and reduce poverty by providing knowledge that helps farmers identify pests earlier so that they can control these pests before yields are significantly affected.…
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1000 new ‘Plant Doctors’ trained in Karnataka

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Nearly 1000 farmers in Karnataka are set to be trained as ‘Plant Doctors’ in a major programme funded by the Karnataka State Department of Agriculture and Bio-Control Research Laboratories (BCRL), part of Pest Control India Ltd. (PCI), and supported by CABI. By the end of March 2011 there will be enough trained plant health workers…
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Can science feed the world?

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This was the question posed by Nature’s Special recently. In other words, how can we feed the Earth’s growing population in such a way that no-one goes hungry and nature is left with some land and water of its own? Their answer can be broadly summed up by what Britain’s Royal Society call “sustainable intensification…
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