In the news...

Fall army worm is here to stay unless a miracle happens

October 16th, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

Speaking at a meeting on disaster risk management in Tunis, Monday Ahonsi, the fall army worm portfolio manager at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), said it was important that stakeholders in agriculture address early enough the strategies by which every country will counter the spread of the pest. …

Cowpea: A food and animal feed crop

August 31st, 2018 / Open Access Government

“Cowpea is a food and animal feed crop grown in the semi-arid tropics particularly the savannahs of West Africa but also other parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas. It originated in Southern Africa and the cultivated form was domesticated in West Africa.
“While it is a very important crop in …

Diversifying agro-ecosystems to suppress crop pests

July 5th, 2018 / AgriLinks

Insect pests are a major cause of crop yield losses around the world and an important cause of food insecurity in developing countries. The development of effective policies to support more sustainable pest management requires a better understanding of the factors that determine farmers’ pest management decision making within the …

Weeds are winning the war against herbicide resistance

June 28th, 2018 / Scientific American

Herbicides are under evolutionary threat. Can modern agriculture find a new way to fight back?
For farmers, protecting fields from pests and plagues is a constant battle fought on multiple fronts. Many insects have a taste for the same plants humans do, and pathogenic microbes infect leaves, shoots and roots. Then …

Cassava breeding hasn’t improved photosynthesis or yield potential

May 16th, 2018 / University of Illinois, US

Video: University of Illinois researchers analyzed four cassava cultivars preferred by African farmers and found unimproved varieties photosynthesize better than varieties selected for improved pest and disease resistance. …

Scientists discover wild relative of tomato resistant to many insects

April 18th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Scientists from the Wageningen University & Research have discovered a wild tomato species from the Galapagos Islands that is resistant to a wide range of insect pests. The wild tomato is closely related to the cultivated tomato, making the resilience easier to interbreed into the latter and ultimately make it …

Scientists recommend Bt maize as solution to fall armyworm Infestation in Kenya

January 24th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Kenyans are on the brink of starvation following a heavy infestation by the fall armyworm on their maize farms. First reported in the country in March last year, the pest has ravaged over 250,000 hectares of maize farms in 27 out of 47 counties.
A fact-finding mission by an OFAB-Kenya-led team …

Food shortages loom as Nigeria battles fall armyworm infestation

September 7th, 2017 / Cornell Alliance for Science

Nigeria’s agriculture minister is warning of major food shortages and other social and economic problems for his nation if the fall armyworm invasion is not controlled. Scientists believe the pest arrived in Africa in a shipment of maize, and are calling on farmers to fight the invasion by to …

Kenya to provide farmers with insect resistant Bt cotton seeds in pilot trials

August 11th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A genetically modified cotton seed variety with high resistance to the Boll worm infestation is due to be released to the farmers in Kenya soon.
Director of the Thika based Horticultural Research Institute and lead Researcher Dr Charles Waturu, said the new variety will be released to farmers in dry irrigation …

Climate change, transgenic corn adoption and field-evolved resistance in corn earworm

June 21st, 2017 / Royal Society Open Science, UK

Increased temperature anomaly during the twenty-first century coincides with the proliferation of transgenic crops containing the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) (Bt) to express insecticidal Cry proteins. Increasing temperatures profoundly affect insect life histories and agricultural pest management. However, the implications of climate change on Bt crop–pest interactions and insect resistance …