In the news...

Fears for food security and the future of farming families, as Fall Armyworm spreads to Asia

August 17th, 2018 / India Blooms

The UN agency is offering its expertise to farmers and Governments in the region to help them manage Fall Armyworm. The insect was recently detected in India, marking the first time it has been found in Asia, and FAO fears it is “highly likely” to spread, with southeast Asia and …

10 ways CRISPR will revolutionize environmental science

July 31st, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

The hot new gene editing technique CRISPR has been making headlines for its potential to treat or prevent diseases. But medicine isn’t the only science where CRISPR is opening doors. This powerful genetic engineering tool is already helping scientists develop technologies to protect or repair the environment from human harm.
CRISPR: …

How to control bean stem maggot pest

July 27th, 2018 / FarmBiz Africa

Kenya such as Machakos, Makindu and Kajiado where it causes yield losses of between 50 to 100 per cent according to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization.
The leaves of damaged plants show mining tracks where the maggots feed. The lower parts of the stems become dry, swollen and cracked. …

Deploying the most effective Fall Armyworm-combatting technologies

July 27th, 2018 / Namibia Economist

The African Development Bank will on 26-27 July 2018, host “From Plan to Action,” a meeting on controlling Fall Armyworm in southern Africa.
The meeting will bring together ministerial level government representatives and experts from the government of Zambia, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United States Agency for International Development …

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 …

New UN-supported farming app is cream of crop in tackling fall armyworm

June 26th, 2018 / UN News

Launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Pennsylvania State University, the talking mobile phone app – whose name is Nuru – can identify the insect, which is in fact a caterpillar.
“Many African farmers might have heard about Fall Armyworm but are seeing it for the first time,” FAO …

On the offensive against fall armyworm in Africa

June 22nd, 2018 / CIMMYT

The fall armyworm could cause maize yield losses projected at $2.5 to $6.2 billion a year. Experts estimate that Africa will need an investment of at least $150 to $200 million annually for research and pest management to mitigate related damage.
The voracious fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has marched across Africa …

New menacing cassava pest identified in West and Central Africa

May 25th, 2018 / African Science News

A new pest—southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll)—has been discovered in West and Central Africa!
Originating from the tropical regions of the Americas the fall armyworm (FAW) adult has a remarkable capacity for long distance migration and high female fertility. Its crop-destroying caterpillars can cause serious damage to maize but also to …

New pest identified in West and Central Africa!

May 24th, 2018 / IITA

A new pest—southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll)—has been discovered in West and Central Africa!
This introduced second armyworm species from the Americas was first found in cassava fields in south-eastern Nigeria in December 2016, reported Dr Georg Goergen, Entomologist/Biocontrol Specialist and Head of IITA’s Biodiversity Center in Bénin. Its presence was …

Protecting cassava from disease? There’s an app for that

May 16th, 2018 / Scientific American

An image-recognition smartphone app uses AI to help farmers in sub-Saharan Africa identify up to five different diseases.
Cassava is one of the developing world’s most important crops. Its starchy roots and leaves are a staple food for more than 500 million people in Africa each day. And Africa produces half …