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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Transforming farmers and plant doctors into pest-smart agents in their communities

By Sathis Sri Thanarajoo. Reblogged from the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security blog. Pest-Smart program aims to increase the awareness of farmers on alternative pest-related practices and enhance the capacity of plant doctors in dealing with pests and diseases. Farmers and plant doctors in Ekxang Climate-Smart Village (CSV) in Laos were trained…
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Exploring the “art” in “climate-smart”

Originally published on CGIAR CCAFS Art has a place in climate discussions. Children, who are usually deemed too young to understand complex topics such as climate change must be involved as well.  A campaign with the theme “Climate Change: Youth Can Do Something” was organized on 7 October 2018 in Tra Hat Climate-Smart Village (CSV)…
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Unregistered herbicides use rampant among smallholders

By Alex Abutu. Reblogged from SciDev.Net. African rice smallholders are increasingly using low-quality, unregistered herbicides because of inadequate capacity of governments to enforce strict monitoring of national pesticides regulations, a study says.
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Amid global soil crisis, governments struggle to reach farmers

By Fatima Arkin. Reblogged from devex. To help tackle nutrient deficiency and plastic pollution in India’s soils, the country has one of the best knowledge delivery systems and trained human resource power in agriculture research. And yet, over 59 percent of the farming households receive no assistance from either their government or the private sector,…
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Swapping Pesticides with Beetles Could Put Money in Farmers' Pockets

By Wei Zhang. Reblogged from Agrilinks. Every time you see a ladybug—also known as the ladybird beetle—you should tuck it in your wallet as a lucky charm to bring prosperity, according to the folklore of many countries. There’s a grain of truth in the old stories. Research shows that each ladybird in a cotton field in…
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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…
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The Bugs Are Coming, and They’ll Want More of Our Food

Reblogged from The New York Times 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…
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Why African farmers should balance pesticides with other control methods

By Esther Ndumi Ngumbi. Reblogged from The Conversation. 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…
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Open source seeds

“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…
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