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Scientists using CRISPR-based technology to target agricultural pests

January 15th, 2019 / European Scientist

A new paper published on 8 January in Nature Communications describes a ‘precision-guided sterile insect technique’ that can effectively alter insect genes to control female viability and male fertility. The method could potentially be used to suppress increasing pest populations that threaten agricultural crops and to prevent the transmission of deadly diseases. The controllable, …

Satellites warn African farmers of pest infestations

December 3rd, 2018 / BBC, UK

UK researchers have developed an early warning system to prevent the crops of African farmers from being devastated.
The Pest Risk Information Service (Prise) combines temperature data and weather forecasts with computer models.
It then sends farmers a mobile phone alert so that they can take precautions.
It is hoped that the system …

Safeguarding food security with plant health

November 9th, 2018 / International Potato Centre

By the year 2050, the global population is estimated to exceed 9 billion. We will need to feed more people with fewer resources while addressing the challenges posed by climate change. An expected side-effect of rising temperatures is a population boom of the insects and diseases that threaten agricultural productivity. …

Genetic search reveals key to resistance in global cotton pest

October 30th, 2018 / Phys.org

In the most recent battle in the unending war between farmers and bugs, the bugs are biting back by adapting to crops genetically engineered to kill them.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identifies a dominantly inherited mutation that confers resistance to engineered cotton …

Pesticides: what we ought to know

October 8th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Pests are a big nuisance to farmers because, among other things, they reduce crop production.
To overcome the problem, farmers often resort to buying pesticides which are poisonous chemicals manufactured to kill the pests. They may be dusted or sprayed on the crop to prevent pest attack.
The …

Global actions needed to combat fall armyworm

October 1st, 2018 / SciDevNet

Fighting fall armyworm requires global efforts as the pest could spread to more countries, warn scientists. Within the past two years, Fall armyworm has spread to 44 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, threatening the food security of about 200 million people who depend on maize as a staple food crop, experts say. The detection …

Killing fall armyworms naturally

September 3rd, 2018 / Access Agriculture

VIDEO: By making best use of farmers’ friends and local plants on the farm, nature will help you control the fall armyworm and reward you with a good and healthy crop. Watch the …

Counterfeit pesticides cost farmers Sh120bn

August 10th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

The country is losing at least Sh120 billion in revenue to unregistered agro-chemicals dealers and counterfeit pesticides, according to Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK) chairperson Patrick Amayunzu.
AAK said counterfeits account for 15 to 20 per cent of agrochemicals being distributed in the country, posing a threat to farmers and the …

Ghanaian farmers enlist drones to combat fall armyworm invasion

August 7th, 2018 / Genetic Literary Project, US

Farmers at Janga in the West Mamprusi municipality of the Northern Region [in Ghana] are learning how to use drones and other newly introduced chemicals meant to fight an invasion of fall armyworms in the area. The intervention comes at a time when the worms have wreaked havoc on maize …

CABI launches space-age technology to fight crop-devastating pest outbreaks in Kenya

July 24th, 2018 / African Farming, UK

Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), funded by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), is developing a Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) to fight against crop-devastating pest outbrakes in Kenya.
The service was launched at a Plantwise plant clinic in Manyatta in Kenya’s Eastern Province.
Cambria Finegold, global director …