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

By Emma Bryce. Reblogged from Anthropocene.

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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 plants for early signs of infection, and alert farmers before it takes hold on their crops.

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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.

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Farmers showing active interest for Pest-Smart practices in Ekxang Climate-Smart Village. Photo: Arnaud Costa (CABI)

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 on biologically-based alternatives to agrochemcicals used in vegetable production on 24 October 2018. Three women farmers, 16 men farmers and five plant doctors from the Plant Protection Center (PPC) participated in the training that was organized as part of the Pest-Smart project. The project, funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), aims to develop pest-smart technologies and practices in CSVs. In the long run, it aims to foster communities that can address pests and diseases in a “climate-smart” manner.

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Exploring the “art” in “climate-smart”

Originally published on CGIAR CCAFS

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Students showed their art works after a drawing contest in Tra Hat Climate-Smart Village. The contest showed that even at a young age, students can visualize their understanding of climate change issues. 

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) in Vietnam by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA) to enhance the youth sector’s understanding of climate change issues and enable them to visualize their learnings through their own drawings.

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Amid global soil crisis, governments struggle to reach farmers

By Fatima Arkin. Reblogged from devex.

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Cultivated soil. Photo by: Jan Kroon

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, according to the 2013 National Sample Survey conducted by the Indian government, the latest and most authoritative of its kind.

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Swapping Pesticides with Beetles Could Put Money in Farmers’ Pockets

By Wei Zhang. Reblogged from Agrilinks.

34096134693_27bfc1e954_bEvery 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 the North China Plain provides an economic benefit to farmers of at least 0.05 yuan, or one U.S. cent. This may not sound like much, but consider: Doubling the current ladybird density in two-thirds of Chinese cotton fields could bring farmers around $300 million per year.

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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 cost economies billions of dollars in crop losses and caused millions of farmers and their families destitution and hunger.

 

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