In the news...

Managing resistance of African stem borer to BT-maize

July 5th, 2018 / Farmers' Weekly

Andri Visser, a doctoral student at the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University, explores how assumptions about the behaviour of the African stem borer affect the resistance management strategy and sustainability of Bt-maize.
he African stem borer has proved a formidable foe for maize producers in South Africa. …

AU to support research to combat pests threat in agriculture

July 5th, 2018 / Prensa Latina

The African Union (AU) will contribute to the development of research to prevent the threat posed to the farmers of the continent by the increasing presence of the corn borer, it was known today.
In this regard, they will collaborate closely with international scientists from the Insect Institute of Nairobi, Kenya, …

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 …

A tobacco-derived insect repellent – for crops

June 13th, 2018 / New Atlas

Although it’s associated with nasty cigarettes, the tobacco plant is also a potential source of vaccines, biofuel and antibiotics. Now, a chemical from the plant is also being used as a bug repellent for crops, which could replace eco-unfriendly insecticides.
One of the problems with insecticides is the fact that they …

‘Sexy plants’ on track to replace harmful pesticides to protect crops

June 8th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

“Sexy plants” are on the way to replacing many harmful pesticides, scientists say, by producing the sex pheromones of insects which then frustrate pests’ attempts to mate.
Scientists have already genetically engineered a plant to produce the sex pheromones of moths and are now optimising that, as well as working on …

Minimising further insect pests invasions in Africa

June 4th, 2018 / SciDev.net

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) recently offered prize money for the best and digital tools that can be used to help combat the fall armyworm (FAW), an invasive pest that has spread across Africa. The winners will be announced in the coming months.
Identified in over 35 African countries …

Sub-Saharan farmers are being bankrupted… by a worm

June 1st, 2018 / Huffington Post

The fall armyworm infestation in sub-Saharan Africa is bankrupting farmers who cannot afford expensive insecticides to protect their crops. Struggling farmers are now resorting to selling off their land to the highest bidder. Farmers say the pest, which was first detected in central and western Africa in 2016, has become …

Underestimated microscopic problem for coffee crops

May 22nd, 2018 / Technology Networks

The plants which produce one of the most popular drinks in the world, coffee, are targeted by a microscopic worm, but scientists are fighting back.
An underestimated problem in coffee farming, the parasite has been found in soil samples across the coffee growing world thanks to a new and quick detection …

African conference confirms growing strength of plant disease research network

May 18th, 2018 / University of Bristol

Delegates from ten African countries joined counterparts from the UK at the CONNECTED Virus Network Africa Launch Conference, which took place in Kampala, Uganda.
Bristol University-based CONNECTED team members Dr Diane Hird and Richard Wyatt attended to co-ordinate operations along with local National Crops Resources Research Institute staff, following pre-conference organisation …

Uganda’s biggest agricultural problems

May 15th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali, writes:
Agriculture is the science of growing crops and rearing animals for food and income.
The sector, which is our biggest employer, is however faced with a number of challenges that need immediate attention.
They range from climate change, incurable crop diseases, a fast growing population, land …