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Digital agriculture report: Rural e-commerce development experience from China

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Year of publications: 2021Place of publication: Rome, ItalyPages: #64 p.ISBN: 978-92-5-134510-8Author: FAO and ZJUBy Country/Territory: ChinaPublisher: FAO, ZJUAgrovoc: agrifood systemselectronic commercerural developmentbusiness enterprisesdevelopment plansChinaAbstract:

This publication, produced by FAO and Zhejiang University, examines how rural e-commerce could advance the digital transformation of agri-food systems, including increasing production efficiency, expanding farmers’ market access, improving poverty alleviation, fostering agricultural entrepreneurship, and attracting young generations back to their villages for economic revival and rural revitalization.It is highlighted that an enabling ecosystem with favourable government policies and strategies, public-private partnerships and innovative business models is of great importance to accelerate the development of rural areas in China, and generate larger economic, social and environmental impacts. As the largest developing country in the world, the experience of digital agriculture transformation in China could be shared with other developing countries.The report also discusses some of the challenges encountered and lessons learned during the development of rural e-commerce, as well as the proposals for the way forward.Cite this content as:

FAO and ZJU. 2021. Digital agriculture report: Rural e-commerce development experience from China. Rome
https://doi.org/10.4060/cb4960en

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5 insects that have affected human history

Ozgur Kerem Bulur/Shutterstock.comdomestic-silk-moth_51436627623_o.jpgThe Domestic silk moth made the silk trade, and the web of Silk Roads, the major driver of economic change between east and west. Arkansas entomologists publish book about the impacts of 5 insects on human history.

Fred Miller, U of A System Division of Agriculture | Sep 24, 2021

If you’re happy about reading this story in English instead of French, thank a mosquito.

Specifically, thank Aedes aegypti, also known as yellow fever mosquitos.https://24de73fdce7fa5a61a718dfc331b7447.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

In 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte was trying to expand his holdings in the Americas when he was stopped short in Haiti. At least 30,000 troops fell to yellow fever and malaria, but mostly yellow fever, delivered by mosquitos. Faced with such devastating loss, the French decided to get out of the New World.

Napoleon and the French sold the Louisiana Purchase, which included Arkansas, to then-President Thomas Jefferson to recoup their investment. The rest is history…according to the perspective of entomologists Rob Wiedenmann and Ray Fisher.

Wiedenmann is a professor emeritus of entomology and a former entomology department head for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the U of A. Fisher is a post-doctoral research scientist in entomology for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the Division of Agriculture.ADVERTISINGthe-silken-thread_51435629327_o.jpg

Ray Fisher, left, and Rob Wiedenmann wrote “The Silken Thread, Five Insects and Their Impacts on Human History.” Fisher is a research scientist in entomology. Wiedenmann is a professor emeritus and former entomology department head.

The pair authored “The Silken Thread: Five Insects and Their Impacts on Human History,” published by Oxford University Press this month.

The book examines significant impacts on human history by domestic silk moths, human body lice, oriental rat fleas, yellow fever mosquitos and western honeybees. The silk moth and the honeybee spread economic benefits to civilizations. The other three spread devastating diseases that interrupted the course of western civilization.

Inspiration

The idea for a book was born from a class Wiedenmann taught called “Insects, Science and History.” Originally an undergraduate course that introduced students from other majors to entomology, he revised the class to include insects’ impacts on human life and culture.

After Wiedenmann retired in 2019, he and Fisher, friends since Fisher was working on his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, met for lunch regularly, usually at Hammontree’s. The Fayetteville restaurant gets a shout-out in the book’s acknowledgments. Their conversation frequently turned to stories about the impacts of insects on human history.

“Ray said, ‘You should write a book,’” Wiedenmann said.

They decided it was a two-person undertaking. Wiedenmann had what he refers to in the book as “zillions” of stories about the intersection of insect and human history. It was Fisher’s idea to trim those zillions down to five.

“He had way too many stories to fit in a book anyone would want to read,” Fisher said. “I had to rein him in.”

“We began with, ‘Can we write a cool history with these five insects?’” Fisher said. “Many insects have had diffuse impacts on history. But these five drove huge leaps in history. They have a very narrative story where they made these right-angle changes in the trajectory of human history.”

Just as they began working in earnest, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the course of human history in its own way. Wiedenmann and Fisher collaborated mostly by Zoom. Wiedenmann had the essential elements of history, but they knew they had to find clear historical records and biological evidence to support their narratives.

Fisher proved to be the Indiana Jones of historical and entomological research. “Ray would find these arcane references,” Wiedenmann said, adding that those were driving him crazy. Until they didn’t anymore. “The amoeba reference pushed me over the edge,” he said. “But it was perfect.”

Amoebae eat bacteria. But the bacteria that causes plague has a trick that keeps it from being digested and, instead, uses amoebae to survive under conditions it otherwise could not endure. The full story is in chapter 6. You’ll love it.

Relearning History

As Wiedenmann and Fisher dug deeper into the stories they wanted to tell, they discovered that much of what they thought they knew about history was wrong.

“Everyone knows that fleas carried on rats caused the Black Death plagues in Europe,” Fisher said. “Except they didn’t.”

Fisher said the oriental rat fleas took the plague bacteria out of Asia, but they didn’t cause the rapid spread, turning the plague into the Black Death. Another pest — human body lice are thought to be the culprits that rapidly spread the first two plagues.

“When we think about the Black Death, everything we thought we knew was wrong,” Fisher said.

Every discovery was like a revelation. Wiedenmann said, “I kept asking Luann (his wife), ‘Did you know this?’ Almost daily, we were learning that the history we thought we knew was wrong.”

Their book is also full of little stories that connected their insect subjects to big historical moments, like the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln with what may have been the first attempt at biological warfare.

Before anyone knew that Aedes aegypti mosquitos spread yellow fever, many people believed that clothes worn by the sick could spread the disease. Dr. Luke Pryor Blackburn, a fervent supporter of the Confederacy and hater of anything northern, collected clothing from yellow fever victims, packaged them up and shipped them to auction houses in northern cities, hoping to infect as many Yankees as possible. He even sent one load he claimed could kill at 60 yards to an auction house on Pennsylvania Avenue, a stone’s throw from the White House. He hoped Lincoln would pass by and die.

Wiedenmann and Fisher also show how IBM owes a debt of thanks to domestic silkworms for their role in inventing computers. Check out chapter three for that story.

Tie that binds

The common thread running through each of these insects’ stories is the web of ancient routes collectively called the Silk Roads, by which Chinese marketed silk to the world.

Silk became a major commodity that eventually bound eastern and western civilizations over the Silk Roads. “The history of silk is the history of humans,” Wiedenmann said. And the history of silk begins with the domestication of the silkworm, perhaps as long ago as 7,000 years, he said.

Those Silk Roads became major routes for many purposes, from trade to war. And the insect subjects of The Silken Thread found their way along those roads — both coming and going with the caravans that traveled them.

The human body louse and oriental rat flea, both carriers of the Black Death in their times, found their way to Europe, carried by the caravans that traveled the Silk Roads.

Aedes aegypti came to the Americas by a different and notorious route but was bound to the Silk Roads by external ties. Fisher said the connection was sugarcane, which originated in tropical regions of Asia and found its way to Europe over the Silk Roads. But Europeans, wanting to grow the crop for themselves found that the heat-loving plant thrived in the tropics of the New World. But they required a labor force.

The authors relate how the African slave trade originated on the Atlantic island of Madeira and eventually made its way to the Americas.

Yellow fever originated on islands near Madagascar and spread to and across the African continent. When slave traders began raiding western Africa to enslave the peoples there, Aedes aegypti and their deadly hitchhiker were waiting for them. The mosquitos and yellow fever were transported to the Caribbean on slave ships and eventually spread to the rest of the Americas.

Western honeybees, also known as European honeybees, traveled the Silk Roads in the opposite direction from the other four insects in the book. Honeybees provided a bountiful agricultural product — honey — sought in the east. Not to mention the bees’ gift of pollination for fruit and vegetable crops.

Back to Bonaparte

Poor Napoleon’s bad luck didn’t begin or end with his disastrous encounter with Aedes aegypti and yellow fever. He was defeated three times by the disease-carrying characters of Wiedenmann’s and Fisher’s book.

Before he ran out of luck in the New World, Bonaparte’s Egypt and Syria campaign was brought up short by oriental rat fleas. He set out with 13,000 troops on that mission. After losing some 2,000 of them to flea-borne plague, and being hampered by many more sick, Napoleon bailed out of that operation.

Finally, his Russian invasion was lost in 1812 when his Grand Armée of 650,000 French and allied troops was reduced to 20,000 who returned home healthy. Historians mostly attribute that defeat to the fighting spirit of the Russians and the intense cold of the Russian winter, and they’re not entirely wrong. But Wiedenmann said many died from typhus, spread when the shivering survivors put on the lice-infested coats of those who died from the disease.

Point of view

Wiedenmann and Fisher concede that modern historians may not entirely share their perspectives on history. “We’re not historians,” Wiedenmann said. “We’re just entomologists who have a love for history.”

Wiedenmann and Fisher say the book was a delightful journey of discovery for its authors.

“The wonderful things we learned along the way had everything to do with how much we enjoyed writing this book,” Wiedenmann said.

Wiedenmann and Fisher will hold book signings at the University of Arkansas Bookstore on Oct. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at Pearl’s Books in downtown Fayetteville on Nov. 9 from noon to 1 p.m.Source: University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.TAGS: EDUCATIONRELATED

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1000 Page Reference on Current and Future Developments in IPM
Edited by
Emeritus Professor Marcos Kogan, Oregon State University, USA and Professor E. A. Heinrichs, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

About the Book
This volume reviews current developments in integrated pest management (IPM), focussing on insect pests. It discusses advances in understanding species and landscape ecology on which IPM is founded, as well as advances in cultural, physical and biological methods of control.
  Access a free sample taken directly from the book here!
Buy Now
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New, Improved, and Expanded!
Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases, Pests & Nutrient Deficiencies

Available Now!
April 1, 2021
  It’s here! The new and improved Field Guide is available for free now. Click here to access.   You asked, we delivered. The Soybean Innovation Lab’s (SIL) network of growers, breeders, agronomists, researchers, seed companies, practitioners, and extension agents needed a practical solution for identifying and addressing soybean diseases, pests, and nutrient deficiencies in the field. In response, SIL developed a pictorial, easy-to-use guide that provides diagnostic tools, management solutions, and guidance for achieving a healthy soybean crop.   The new & improved guide includes more information on important soybean pests and diseases, and a section on identifying and managing nutrient deficiencies, commonly confused for soybean diseases in the field. The guide contains more than 110 images gathered from SIL’s disease scouting network and soybean experts.     The Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases, Pests & Nutrient Deficiencies includes 7 sections to identify and address 44 potential threats to yield.   The expanded Field Guide covers important soybean diseases, pests and nutrient deficiencies including, from left, clockwise: Soybean Rust, Frogeye Leaf Spot, Calcium deficiency, Grasshopper, Stink Bug, Caterpillar, Bean Leaf Folder.   As soybean production increases across Africa, disease and pest pressures become more threatening to growers. The soybean industry requires knowledge on how to identify and manage soybean diseases, prepare for outbreaks, and understand varietal resistance to prevent potentially devastating yield losses due to soybean diseases.

The SIL Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases, Pest, & Nutrient Deficiencies is the the first and most comprehensive pictorial guide available to soybean producers in Africa.
    Download pdf here   Access an online version here   Field Guide Authors   The Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases, Pests, & Nutrient Deficiencies Version 2.0 was written by (left to right):  George Awuni, PhD, Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University Glen Hartman, PhD, USDA-ARS and Crop Sciences, University of Illinois Nicole Lee, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois Harun Muthuri Murithi, PhD, Plant Pathologist, ARS-USDA Michelle Pawlowski, PhD, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois Daniel B. Reynolds, PhD, Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University   The first edition of the Field Guide is available in 4 languages: English, French, Portuguese, and Amharic and has been used extensively by SIL’s network of soybean practitioners acoss 24 African countries.     “For the past 4 years all Pyxus agriculture Field Technicians are using the Field Guide to African Soybean Diseases and Pests.

“Whenever they are scouting or scoring pests and diseases they refer to the booklet guidance. It has got easy and simple pics to follow and well explained version of each illustrations.
 
“This has made it easier to distinguish diseases that look alike. So, our scouting, scoring and data recoding on pests and diseases has been easy and the booklet has improved our technicians’ knowledge on soybeans and related aspects. We use it as a field tool all the time.”
 
“Version 2 of the book is most welcome!”


– Dennis Banda, Pyxus International, Malawi
(Photos: Dennis Banda and his Field Guide)  

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Plant Protection Scientists,

I have listed some recently published books that should be of interest to plant protection researchers and technology transfer specialists. These include books on biopesticies, biostimulants  and weed, insect and plant disease managment.

E.A. Heinrichs

IAPPS Secretary General

 

Biopesticides for Sustainable Agriculture, Edited by Professor Nick Birch and Professor Travis Glare, reviews some of the wealth of current research globally; research on identifying, developing, assessing and improving biopesticides. 28 scientists from around the world contribute. Content details may be viewed at this link.

https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__shop.bdspublishing.com_store_bds_detail_workgroup_3-2D190-2D89120&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=20cHrmWg3G9lvuF1XJ0DAVTU8QbZGlMPZmMplM_ZfXU&m=m8hi5D4KNb4HBC_USmTOPXG00zjP7LU7y1OWDQSP8UI&s=dPvQ1-OPo6vE10oHULrD6sQNNookF3ZsAz8luVHcHPg&e=

Together, the collection reviews some of the key steps in biopesticide product development. The topics cover a broad range from microbial to natural substance-based biopesticides, with a strong focus on pheromone and allelochemical semiochemicals as well as peptide-based biopesticides.

Individual chapters are available digitally if there is a particular, specific interest only. However, if you want the whole collection, we have a special offer running in recognition that many people are working remotely at the moment. If you buy the eBook from our website, we will send a physical copy free of charge when the current Covid crisis allows. If purchases are normally made through your library, either forward this email to them or put me in touch as we offer specific library arrangements.

We are aware that many of our customers are working from home at present. It is a very difficult time.  It is quite possible that some of our colleagues may have missed other recent pest control titles. All of these are available in all countries, in whole or in part, physically or online. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Biostimulants for sustainable crop production (Due in June 2020) Edited Dr Youssef Rouphael, Prof. Patrick du Jardin, Dr Patrick Brown, Dr Stephania de Pascale and Dr Giuseppe Colla.

Full details: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__shop.bdspublishing.com_store_bds_detail_workgroup_3-2D190-2D84222&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=20cHrmWg3G9lvuF1XJ0DAVTU8QbZGlMPZmMplM_ZfXU&m=m8hi5D4KNb4HBC_USmTOPXG00zjP7LU7y1OWDQSP8UI&s=n_Q8kWIvizRzQZen1-YWAt55T1jZfnI7DUKz0DUv9mY&e=

Integrated disease management of wheat and barley – Edited Prof. Richard Oliver Full details: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__shop.bdspublishing.com_store_bds_detail_workgroup_3-2D190-2D72711&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=20cHrmWg3G9lvuF1XJ0DAVTU8QbZGlMPZmMplM_ZfXU&m=m8hi5D4KNb4HBC_USmTOPXG00zjP7LU7y1OWDQSP8UI&s=AuIq9BIBuUc4r_HWaJjnAxk3xxNQuzWB1A-foaxJL3Y&e=

Rice insect pests and their management Edited by Emeritus Prof. E A Heinrichs https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__shop.bdspublishing.com_store_bds_detail_workgroup_3-2D190-2D54186&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=20cHrmWg3G9lvuF1XJ0DAVTU8QbZGlMPZmMplM_ZfXU&m=m8hi5D4KNb4HBC_USmTOPXG00zjP7LU7y1OWDQSP8UI&s=OuEDFXoAQk1w58LImN8hhmTfk8PwbrfehgRlhgpJ3DA&e=

Integrated weed management of sustainable agricultureEdited by Prof. Robert L Zimdahl

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Integrated management of diseases and insect pests of tree fruit – by Prof. Xiangming Xu and Dr Michelle Fountain

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Pesticides and agriculture – Edited by Dr Dave Watson https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__shop.bdspublishing.com_store_bds_detail_workgroup_3-2D190-2D72883&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=20cHrmWg3G9lvuF1XJ0DAVTU8QbZGlMPZmMplM_ZfXU&m=m8hi5D4KNb4HBC_USmTOPXG00zjP7LU7y1OWDQSP8UI&s=tLQSsAMttD28BcyZ1mCUN0hqrQcvzwxRiF372KnMtsE&e=

Integrated management of insect pests – Edited by Emeritus Prof. Marcos Kogan and Emeritus Prof. E A Heinrichs

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Critical issues in plant health – 50 years of research in African agriculture – Edited by Dr Peter Neuenschwander and Dr Manuele Tamo

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For more information contact:

John Parsons

Email:: John.parsons@bdspublishing.com

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fall-armyworm-frontal-MER-563x744

 

New Technical Guide for Africa

Last month, USAID, in collaboration with international and national research and development partners, released the first edition of the Fall Armyworm Technical Guide. This technical manual shares the latest protocols related to integrated pest management to control this agricultural pest in Africa.

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Invasive Apple Snails- Book Cover

Joshi R.C., Cowie R.H., & Sebastian L.S. (eds). 2017. Biology and management of invasive apple snails. Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija 3119. 406 pp.​”

 

Open link in new window to view:

 Invasive Apple Snails Book 2017 – final.pdf

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Langkawi

 

5th International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods

This week we’re bringing you news of an event currently taking place. The 5th International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods in Langkawi, Malaysia. Held every four years, the goal of the symposium is to create a forum for biological control researchers and practitioners who conduct arthropod biological control programmes where they can meet to exchange information and discuss up-to-date issues relating to biological control.

Information about our recently released ‘Rice insect pests and their management’ book as well as a range of our other titles featuring insect pests, with be available at the conference.  Written by a distinguished team of entomologists led by Professor E. A. “Short” Heinrichs of the University of Nebraska, this innovative product, available in print and digital formats, will provide a comprehensive resource of information on approximately 100 species of the most important insect pests affecting rice cultivation, with over 150 photographs to help identify them.

Delegates of the conference will also have the chance to win their own copy of the book as a poster prize.

For more information visit the product page on our website or watch this week’s video from Francis.

 

Find out more about this title from Francis
@bdspublishing
Website
LinkedIn
Bookshop

 

 

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University of Greenwich/Natural Resources Institute

For a digital version of the handbook go to:

Click to access TheAfricanArmywormHandbook_2014revision.pdf

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To see video go to:

https://shop.bdspublishing.com/checkout/Store/bds/Detail/WorkGroup/3-190-9781786761965

Rice_pests_aRice_pests_b

 

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Description

The rice plant is an ideal host for many insect species. All of the plant parts are vulnerable to insect-feeding from the time of sowing till harvest. There are over 800 insect species damaging rice in one way or another, although the majority of them do very little damage. In tropical Asia only about 20 species are of major importance. In Africa, 15 species of insects are considered major pests of rice and in the Americas about 20 species are considered major pests.

To develop effective pest management strategies, it is essential to properly identify and to understand the biology and ecology of insect pests and the arthropods that help regulate their populations. This book effectively utilizes the unique knowledge and expertise of leading rice entomologists from Africa, Asia and the Americas to provide the first global coverage of rice insect pests. The discussion of each pest includes geographical distribution, plant hosts other than rice, description and biology, plant damage and ecology.

Key features

  • Covers almost 100 species of the most important insect pests affecting rice cultivation
  • Brings together the key research on each pest, including description and biology and effects on rice plants
  • Written by a team of leading entomologists with experience of rice pests in Asia, Africa, the United States and Latin America
  • Includes over 150 photographs and images

Sample content

Not sure what you’re getting if you buy this book? Click on the cover image below to open a PDF and preview pages from the book.  Alternatively, watch our informative video introduction.

What others are saying…

‘The authors need to be congratulated to have pulled together such a large body of relevant information on rice pests and made it available to pest management professionals in the field as well as scientists in the laboratories in a very approachable and easy to use format.”
Hans Herren, Millennium Institute; formerly Director General of the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), winner The World Food Prize and numerous other awards.

Table of contents

The insects discussed are categorised based on feeding types:

1. Root and stem feeders
2. Stem borers
3. Rice gall midges
4. Leafhoppers and planthoppers
5. Foilage feeders
6. Panicle feeders

The book concludes with a discussion of integrated management of insect pests

 

 

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