Crop-devastating pests in Rwanda to be targeted with space-age technology from PRISE programme

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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 Fund with co-funding from the CABI-led Plantwise, that is using a combination of earth observation technology, satellite positioning and plant-pest lifecycle modelling to provide an evidence-based Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE).

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Investing in smallholder farmers for a food-secure future

Mr. Kampinga

Smallholder farmers provide the vast majority of the world’s food supply, and ‘small-scale farming’ is the largest occupation group of economically active people, 43% of which are women.

Approximately 2 billion of the world’s poorest live in households that depend on agriculture in some form for their livelihoods, whether this is for market or subsistence. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that growth in agriculture in developing countries is on average almost 3 times more effective in reducing poverty (relative to non-agriculture GDP growth).

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The chicken or the egg?

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Photo: Ruben Alexander  

“I started with just 100 chickens”, begins Mr Jean Claude Ruzibiza.

He goes on to explain how from small beginnings he has now become Managing Director of Rwanda Best, a farm producing 4,500 eggs a day and growing fruit and veg to satisfy a significant part of nearby Kigali’s hungry population.

With malnutrition in the world causing the stunting of an estimated 155 million children in 2016 the quality of food consumed is as imperative as its quantity.

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Agricultural innovation framework agreed in Rwanda

Contributed by Rachel Winks, CABI.

Agricultural innovation framework agreed in Rwanda

The partner organisations of the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP) met in Kigali, Rwanda, on 19-21 January to agree a new concept for agricultural innovation: the common framework on capacity development for agricultural innovation systems. With growing global population and increased food demand, agricultural innovation can help improve food security, increase farmers’ incomes and protect use of natural resources. CABI has been a key contributor to the agricultural innovation framework, bringing valuable experience of its Plantwise food security programme to the platform.

The common framework includes concepts, methodologies, principles and tools to help people better understand and harness agricultural innovation. It emphasizes interconnectedness and the importance of bringing individuals and organisations together to co-create new knowledge.  Continue reading

Update: Plant Health News (25 Feb 15)

Uganda are considering use of GM bananas resistant to Xanthomonas wilt © Pascale Lepoint / Bioversity International
Uganda are considering use of GM bananas resistant to Xanthomonas wilt © Pascale Lepoint / Bioversity International

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the Giant African land snails invading Cuba, the debate over GM bananas in Uganda and a new report from the World Food Programme on connecting farmers to markets.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Maize lethal necrosis has spread to Rwanda

Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms
Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms. Credit: Rob Reeder © CABI

Report by Abigail Rumsey, Beatrice Uwumukiza and Bellancila Uzayisenga.

In the past two years, we have reported on the presence of the maize lethal necrosis (MLN) disease in East African countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The disease is also present in South Sudan. The most recent report has been of its spread to the Northern Province of Rwanda. Continue reading

New Video: The first IPPC & Plantwise Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya

Plant health stakeholders from across East Africa met in Nairobi for the first ever workshop hosted by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat and Plantwise. Watch as attendees exchange national experiences in plant protection using resources from Plantwise and the IPPC in the process. They renew strategies for greater coordination on plant health, face common challenges, and share plant pest strategies from across the region, all to support trade, food security and the environment.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.plantwise.org and ippc.int