Joint forces against highly invasive Fall Armyworm Pest

Reblogged from plantix.

PEAT, CABI and ICRISAT launch the first live tracking tool for Fall Armyworm (FAW) in India.

The Fall Armyworm is a very invasive pest which is highly destructive to more than 80 plant species. The pest is native to America and has conquered the African continent in 2016. Since then, it has cost economies billions of dollars in crop losses and caused millions of farmers and their families destitution and hunger.

 

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The Bugs Are Coming, and They’ll Want More of Our Food

Reblogged from The New York Times

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A European corn borer caterpillar. Many insects get hungrier and reproduce more quickly in warmer temperatures. Credit Scott Camazine/Science Source

Climate change is expected to make insect pests hungrier, which could encourage farmers to use more pesticides.

Ever since humans learned to wrest food from soil, creatures like the corn earworm, the grain weevil and the bean fly have dined on our agricultural bounty. Worldwide, insect pests consume up to 20 percent of the plants that humans grow for food, and that amount will increase as global warming makes bugs hungrier, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.

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Why African farmers should balance pesticides with other control methods

By Esther Ndumi Ngumbi. Reblogged from The Conversation.

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Insects are constantly adapting to methods used to control them. Shutterstock/Alf Ribeiro

Insect pests cause almost half of the crop losses in Africa. If the continent is to feed its growing population, farmers must find ways to control them. Pests account for high losses in other developing regions too.

For smallholder farmers in particular, pest management needs to be affordable, safe and sustainable. It should avoid the drawbacks of synthetic pesticides as far as possible. Research is now showing that integrated approaches can achieve these goals.

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Open source seeds

Sack of flax seeds
© Daryl Ehrensing/Oregon State University

“Open source software is accompanied by a licence that encourages people to share it and create new programs with it, and at the same time prevents anyone from releasing a program that uses the code under any other form of licence. The creativity embedded in the code cannot be privatised. Kloppenburg and a group of like-minded seed companies, plant breeders and academics want to apply similar licences to plant genetic resources.” Continue reading