A greater role for educational animation in extension?

Blog contributed by Nick Quist Nathaniels, Independent Consultant, Denmark

A freeze-frame animation showing a mouldy groundnut kernel © CCRP/ McKnight Foundation’
A freeze-frame from animation showing a mouldy groundnut kernel © CCRP/ McKnight Foundation

Computer animations are a rather special and exciting communication medium. For example, they can be used to illustrate the basic biology of pests and diseases and explain control measures. Animations are also an effective way to show changes that occur over a long time or at the landscape, watershed or even the global level. A combination of animation with spoken explanations can make such phenomena much easier to grasp. Being able to ‘see’ the phenomenon helps viewers imagine why individual or collaborative actions may be needed to address otherwise hidden problems. Continue reading

Update: Plant Health News (20 May 15)

One of the illustrations from the pesticide safety guide produced by FAO and ILO (Image: Julien Batandéo)
One of the illustrations from the pesticide safety guide produced by FAO and ILO (Image: Julien Batandéo)

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including a model for sustainable onion production in India, a new training guide produced by FAO and ILO to protect children form the harmful effects of pesticides and a Chinese agricultural technology company providing support to improve food production in Tanzania.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Update: Plant Health News (06 May 15)

Ecuador plans to improve traceability of its products from field to market. Photo by Vilseskogen/Chris Yardin, via Flickr

Here’s a taste of some of the latest stories about plant health, including the encouragement of citizen cooperation in the fight against fruit flies in Chile, exciting new projects to improve agriculture in Ecuador and an update from IITA on the spread of papaya mealybug in Tanzania.

Click on the link to read more of the latest plant health news!
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Factsheet of the month: September – Bacterial wilt management in tomatoes

Bacterial wiltLast month, SciDevNet reported on a hybrid tomato variety that is encouraging Nepali farmers back into tomato production after the majority of plantations were wiped out by storms and disease 5 years ago. The variety, known as Shrijana, is high-yielding, wilt and disease-resistant and flavoursome. The higher yields have increased farmers’ incomes, thus raising their standard of living. This has allowed more farmers in Nepal to send their children to private schools. However, Nepali scientists will continue to research new varieties as it is possible that Shrijana could become susceptible to bacterial wilt over time.

Bacterial wilt is a common and devastating disease affecting a large number of hosts including potato and tomato. It is caused by the bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum which can cause damage to host plants at all growth stages. There are a variety of control measures that have found to be effective against the disease, of which the use of resistant varieties is just one. To read more about additional control measures, read this month’s Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers which was produced by employees from the Horticultural Research and Training Institute (Horti) in Tengeru, Tanzania. Please note this factsheet is also available in Swahili.

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Factsheet of the month: August – Sulphur to control powdery mildew in cashew

Sulphur to control powdery mildewLast weekend, a team of experts from the Naliendele agricultural research institute (NARI) held a seminar in Tanzania to present lectures on the prevention and control of pests affecting cashew. Although cashew production in Tanzania has declined since the 1970s, it remains an important cash crop in the coastal regions of the country. The seminar, held in Mkinga District, aimed to bring extensionists and researchers together to promote the exchange of ideas and provide the extension officers with the knowledge to be able to advise farmers on how to improve the health, and therefore the yields, of their cashew crop.

Powdery mildew is the most important disease facing cashews in Tanzania and was the subject of one of the lectures held in Mkinga District. The disease, which is caused by a fungus, causes patches of white powder to appear on the surface of the leaves and other plant parts. To find out about how sulphur can be used in the management of powdery mildew on cashew,  read the Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers created by employees from Mkuranga District Council and the Ministry of Agriculture in Tanzania. This factsheet is also available in Swahili.

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Marginalised issues in food security: Oxford Food Security Forum 2014

Women making tortillas in Guatemala  ©  David Amsler
Women making tortillas in Guatemala © David Amsler

A blog by Léna Durocher-Granger and Rachel Hill

On 4th May we attended the Oxford Food Security Forum’s Annual Conference. The conference aimed to address some of the topics in food security research that have become excluded or marginalised.

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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