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Archive for the ‘Crop protection’ Category

China develops GM corn variety to combat yield-cutting fall armyworm

Dong Xue | CGTN | April 12, 2021

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Credit: Miaoli County Agriculture Office
Credit: Miaoli County Agriculture Office

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Food security is a major policy issue in China. To strengthen the nation’s seed industry, the country has approved a series of supporting policies, including in South China’s Hainan Province.

Like James Bond once said, “Nothing is impossible.” Lyu Yuping, a veteran plant breeder, had a similar belief and so [he] named his genetically modified corn seed “the 007”.

Lyu has devoted himself to agricultural technology and the seed breeding industry for more than two decades. He believes the corn seeds he’s developed are the real deal.

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Fight against fall armyworm: good progress, more efforts needed

Format News and Press Release Source 

 Posted 16 Apr 2021 Originally published 16 Apr 2021 Origin View original

FAO Director-General reviews action to tackle the destructive pest

Rome, 16 April 2021 – The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, QU Dongyu, today hailed progress in the fight against one of the most destructive pests jeopardizing food security across vast regions of the globe – while urging renewed drive and scaling up of efforts.

Qu was speaking at the latest virtual meeting of the Steering Committee of the Global Action for Fall Armyworm (FAW) Control, attended by over 40 participants including FAO Members, international experts and key research partners. Fall armyworm – known in Latin form as frugiperda, or “lost fruit,” for its crop-wrecking potential – has dramatically spread eastwards from the Americas in the last five years. Having established itself in most of Africa, as well as large swaths of Asia, it has lately been reported in Australia and parts of Oceania. More than 70 countries are now affected; there are fears that the Mediterranean fringes of Europe could be next.

Thriving in warmer climates, FAW primarily feeds on maize crops – but also on wheat, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetables and cotton. The pest’s voracious appetite means that in many parts of the world, food, fuel and fibre are at severe risk. FAO estimates that FAW has contributed to worsening food security for 26 million people. While the bug cannot be eradicated, managing it is vital and possible through a coordinate approach.

Demonstration countries

In his address, the Director-General commended the steps taken to date: eight “demonstration” countries have been chosen as hubs for the Global Action, one for each geographical zone where the threat is most acute – China, India and the Philippines in Asia; and in Africa – Egypt, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Kenya and Malawi. All have set up National FAW Task Forces, and are developing detailed work plans for monitoring, technology evaluation and capacity building. The demonstration countries have also served as links to “scale-up” countries from their region, with some 50 more attending coordination meetings to date.

FAO’S Technical Cooperation Programme has been a “catalytic force to support a number of these efforts,” Qu told participants. The integrated pest management packages are based on the Organization’s guidelines. He added that “it is thanks to the excellent network among key stakeholders in the different countries that we have achieved these results together.”

Down in the field

Aside from the institutional level, FAO has been working to assist those whose livelihoods are most directly threatened. In 2020, despite limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly a million and a half African farmers were trained on scouting and monitoring the appearance and spread of FAW. They also learned about using bio-pesticides and pesticides, as well as nature-based solutions for FAW management.

Those benefitting from this outreach include farmers such as Cyril Nzagumandore, in Rwanda’s Nyamagabe district. “Before, from this 10-hectare marshland, we used to harvest 5 to 6 tons,” he explains. “But in 2017, this dropped to 3.5 tons. We did our best to fight the worm, but had nothing to show for it. When the FAO project came, we understood more about FAW and the technologies it takes to fight it. The FAW mobile phone application I received allows me to collect and share information. Then the agronomist comes and inspects the field. Production has gone back up. Today, from our 10 hectares, we’re harvesting 7 tons.”

Digitalizing the fight against FAW

The app on Nzagumandore’s phone is part of the digital tools FAO has put forward to tackle the FAW challenge. Available in 29 languages, it analyses manually entered data and photos, and uses a mix of artificial and human intelligence, to detect the presence of the worm and offer guidance. Current proposals are to enhance the system with a predictive capacity: this would warn of impending invasions by combining more sophisticated data, ranging from meteorological patterns to insect reproduction cycles to the presence of other host plants in the vicinity.

Overall, thousands of experts and technicians also received training from FAO last year in Africa and Asia – including on mass rearing of natural enemies of FAW, such as particular types of wasps. (Separately, China has included FAW monitoring and control in its own training programmes for nearly 4 million farmer technicians.)

While lauding recent progress, the Director-General also stressed the need for more funding – adding that a Working Group on Resource Mobilization had been set up to that effect.

The meeting agreed on the need to embed the fight against FAW within wider food security and nutrition strategies, in an effort to increase awareness and expand donor engagement. “There is still a lot of work ahead of us,” the FAO Director-General concluded, as he called for stronger, timely national and regional monitoring; early warning capacities; effective technology transfer; and stepped-up capacity development.Primary country

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Weed Seed Destroyer could help address pigweed issues

Weed Seed Destroyer is promoting a novel approach to kills weed seeds with heavy doses of energy.

Forrest Laws | Mar 25, 2021https://www.youtube.com/embed/fsWmK075dx4

Herbicide-resistant weeds are estimated to cost U.S. farmers at least $2 billion a year in profits, according to Jon Jackson, president and founder of Global Neighbor and a presenter at this year’s AgLaunch Start-up Station at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show.

Jackson’s company, which is based in Dayton, Ohio, is promoting a novel approach to killing weed seeds with heavy doses of energy before they have a chance to germinate, grow and produce even more seeds.

“As a company we have developed directed energy floral control,” said Jackson in a video provided by Global Neighbor and AgLaunch. “That means we use light to kill weeds and make seeds nonviable. We kill the weeds when they are seeds. Even a small number of weeds at the wrong time reduces yields and lowers profits.”

This year’s Gin Show was held online due to concerns about the pandemic. You can watch virtual presentations from the 2021 show by clicking on www.farmandginshow.com. You must register and receive a name badge to enter the show.

Using light to make weed seed sterile might seem far out but maybe no more so than the idea of spraying chemicals on weeds 100 years ago. Weed scientists have been researching several methods for destroying weed seeds when they are pulled into the combine during harvest.

“What we’re doing today is making long-term weed control worse,” said Jackson. He gave some examples of the estimated 258 herbicide-resistant weeds, including Palmer amaranth, waterhemp and giant ragweed. “These weed seeds and many others are non-shattered and go through the combine only to be spread all over the field. This is happening to grain farmers across the U.S.”

Global Neighbor’s solution to the problem is the Weed Seed Destroyer. The Destroyer, which is attached to the rear of the combine, applies directed energy to the chaff as it passes through the sorting mechanism.

“We have completed our scaled prototype, and when we run chaff containing Palmer amaranth and other weed seeds through it we make greater than 90% of the weed seeds nonviable,” he said. “It operates independently of the combine so there’s no warranty or maintenance issues for the farmer.”

The company will target farmers who are experiencing severe problems with herbicide-resistant weeds and organic farmers who are in need of solutions for chemical-free weed control. It will sell the product through existing ag dealer networks.

If you’re interested in product information or participating in field trials for the Weed Seed Destroyer, contacr Jackson at jonj@g-neighbor.com or AgLaunch at innovation@aglaunch.com.

Video: Weed Seed Destroyer could help address pigweed issues (farmprogress.com)

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Laikipia village where farmers sleep in farms to deter jumbos

By CLEMENT MASOMBO | March 26th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Joyce Mukami from Nginyii village in Laikipia East is lucky that elephants did not destroy her crop of tomatoes. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

The nightly routine of residents of Nginyii village in Umande ward, Laikipia County, has been upended by the invasion of elephants that descend from the nearby Lolldaiga Hills in search of food.

Locals have to brave the cold as they stand guard over their crops of tomatoes, carrots, French beans and other horticultural produce that prove irresistible to the jumbos, which destroy all fences or hedges erected to stop them from eating to their fill.

Rose Wairimu, 75, knows only too well the health issues she’s exposing herself to in the biting cold, but guarding the farms is a communal activity in which everyone is expected to pull their weight.

“They should just come and take away their animals. Since January, these jumbos only failed to invade our farms for one week. That’s the only time we enjoyed our sleep,” Wairimu said.

Despite the night vigils, Wairimu is counting heavy losses after the elephants invaded her tomato farm and laid waste to her crop. Her neighbour, Alex Ngare, did not fare any better after his crop of French beans was destroyed.

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Syngenta announces site selection for North American crop protection headquarters

Syngenta announced today it has selected its current campus location on Swing Road in Greensboro, North Carolina, to redevelop its North American Crop Protection headquarters. The announcement follows a comprehensive assessment of the company’s future needs and multiple site options in North Carolina and other states. 

The company intends to construct a more than 100,000 square-foot office building to connect with its existing laboratory facility on the north side of the 70-acre campus. Plans also include a complete renovation of the lab facilities. The new workspaces will support about 650 employees and 100 contract workers.

​​“The Syngenta family in Greensboro has been part of the fabric of this community for many decades, and it’s our goal to remain so for many years to come,” said Vern Hawkins, president of Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC. “Our new facilities will enable us to have our Greensboro colleagues on this campus working together in modern, efficient facilities, enabling better collaboration and focus to meet our customers’ needs.”

Elaborate function
The redeveloped headquarters will include contemporary work and conference spaces, health, wellness and fitness centers, a cafeteria, auditorium, coffee areas, and other amenities. In addition, a Customer Experience Center is planned for the company to showcase the innovative products and services it continually provides customers. Employee health, safety and work effectiveness will be key factors in the design and construction.

Construction is expected to begin on the new building later in 2021; the entire project will take about three years to complete. Syngenta is assessing options for the south side of its campus.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce, Guilford County and City of Greensboro have offered Syngenta incentives that can reduce future tax liability and offset costs if commitments, including investment and employment, are met. This will help retain 750 employees and contractors and maintain the significant economic impact Syngenta contributes to the area, along with future capital and other investments. Syngenta’s investment will be more than $68 million in real property improvements, furniture, fixtures and equipment.

In early January 2020, Syngenta announced it had engaged in a comprehensive assessment of is current facilities on Swing Road. The large campus, with 17 structures, was established in the mid-1960’s and was later acquired by a Syngenta legacy company, Ciba-Geigy. Syngenta was formed in 2000 and this site has remained one of the company’s major workplaces in the U.S. Due to the age of the buildings and ongoing repairs and renovations required to maintain an optimal and safe work environment, the company explored options for the future which led to today’s announcement.

For more information:
Syngenta
www.syngenta.com

Publication date: Wed 17 Mar 2021

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By Charlotte Tucker -March 9, 2021Share on FacebookTweet on Twitter

Prof. Irina Borodina, founder of BioPhero

Today BioPhero, the insect pheromone company, today announced it has raised around €14.2 million in Series A funding led by DCVC Bio with participation from new investor FMC Ventures, as well as existing investors Syngenta Group Ventures and Novo Holdings. The startup, which has a mission to replace many chemical insecticides with sustainable biological insect pheromones, will use this funding to ramp up production of several products and to produce pheromones at the quantity, quality, and price required to allow farmers to control major pests in a variety of row crops.

Pheromones, being non-toxic, can be a powerful tool to achieve the objective of insect pest control, while avoiding the negative impacts on environment and biodiversity associated with overuse of synthetic chemicals. Pheromones are naturally produced by insects, but they can also be used very effectively to control the buildup of pest populations in farmers’ fields by disrupting their mating process. They are highly sustainable as they are insect-specific and non- toxic. Not only can they replace insecticide use but they can also reduce over-application by helping to prevent the buildup of resistance against both chemical insecticides and GM seeds.

Following its seed round in 2018, BioPhero developed – and scaled up – new and efficient production methods for insect pheromones using microbial fermentation. The production processes use renewable raw materials, produce less waste than the traditional chemical synthesis, and – crucially – are able to deliver insect pheromones at the cost, quality, and volume required for row crops such as wheat, maize, rice, and soybeans. BioPhero has successfully demonstrated that it can produce pheromones at tonne-scale, and the company is now ready to start production of its first product and to make it available to customers and development partners around the world.

Kristian Ebbensgaard, CEO of BioPhero, explained: “We aim to give farmers a new option: To protect their crops using biological insect pheromones rather than having to rely on insecticides. In row crops this has not been possible until now because of the high cost of pheromones. At BioPhero, we have shown we can break this cost barrier. We are delighted to continue to attract such high-quality investors and see this as a testament to the success we have had in developing and scaling biological pheromone production and delivering new options for growers”.

Unlike with insecticides, insects do not develop resistance to insect pheromones because they are produced by females to attract males for mating and do not present a single target that can easily be overcome by evolution. Insect pheromones are highly effective, have an exemplary safety record and do not harm pollinators or other non-target insects.

“We have been examining the use of insect pheromones in agriculture and new startups in this area for many years. Until now, no company has succeeded in manufacturing pheromones at a cost and scale suitable for worldwide use,” said John Hamer co-Managing Partner of DCVC Bio. “BioPhero’s patented breakthrough platform is the only one that is delivering the cost structure, manufacturing flexibility and quality that allow pheromones to be deployed on major row crops.”

BioPhero was founded in 2016 by Prof. Irina Borodina as a technology spin-out from the Technical University of Denmark. Borodina has assembled a dedicated world-class team with competencies within metabolic engineering, fermentation, chemistry, and process development, also participating as a consortium member in the EU-funded Projects OLEFINE and PHERA. 

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science daily

Gene-editing protocol for whitefly pest opens door to control

Date:
April 23, 2020
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
Whiteflies are among the most important agricultural pests in the world, yet they have been difficult to genetically manipulate and control, in part, because of their small size. An international team of researchers has overcome this roadblock by developing a CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing protocol that could lead to novel control methods for this devastating pest.
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Whiteflies are among the most important agricultural pests in the world, yet they have been difficult to genetically manipulate and control, in part, because of their small size. An international team of researchers has overcome this roadblock by developing a CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing protocol that could lead to novel control methods for this devastating pest.

According to Jason Rasgon, professor of entomology and disease epidemiology, Penn State, whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) feed on many types of crop plants, damaging them directly through feeding and indirectly by promoting the growth of fungi and by spreading viral diseases.

“We found a way to genetically modify these insects, and our technique paves the way not only for basic biological studies of this insect, but also for the development of potential genetic control strategies,” he said.

The team’s results appeared on April 21 in The CRISPR Journal.

The CRISPR/Cas9 system comprises a Cas9 enzyme, which acts as a pair of ‘molecular scissors’ that cuts DNA at a specific location on the genome so bits of DNA can be added or removed, and a guide RNA, that directs the Cas9 to the right part of the genome.

“Gene editing by CRISPR/Cas9 is usually performed by injecting the gene-editing complex into insect embryos, but the exceedingly small size of whitefly embryos and the high mortality of injected eggs makes this technically challenging,” said Rasgon. “ReMOT Control (Receptor-Mediated Ovary Transduction of Cargo), a specific type of CRISPR/Cas9 technique developed in my lab, circumvents the need to inject embryos. Instead, you inject the gene-editing complex which is fused to a small ovary-targeting molecule called BtKV, into adult females and the BtKV guides the complex into the ovaries.”

To explore the use of ReMOT Control in whiteflies, the team targeted the “white” gene, which is involved in eye color. When this gene is functioning normally, whiteflies have brown eyes, but when it is non-functional due to mutations, the insects is supposed to have white eyes. The team found that ReMOT Control generated mutations that resulted in juvenile insects with white eyes that turned red as they developed into adults.

“Tangentially, we learned a bit about eye color development,” said Rasgon. “We expected the eyes to remain white and were surprised when they turned red. Importantly, however, we found that the mutations we generated using ReMOT Control were passed on to offspring, which means that a change can be made that is inherited to future generations.”

Rasgon said the team hopes its proof-of-principle study will allow scientists to investigate the same strategy using genes that affect the ability for the insects to transmit viral pathogens of crop plants to help control the insects and protect crops.

“This technique can be used for any application where you want to delete any gene in whiteflies, for basic biology studies or for the development of potential genetic control strategies,” he said.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Penn State. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chan C. Heu, Francine M. McCullough, Junbo Luan, Jason L. Rasgon. CRISPR-Cas9-Based Genome Editing in the Silverleaf Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci). The CRISPR Journal, 2020; 3 (2): 89 DOI: 10.1089/crispr.2019.0067

Cite This Page:

Penn State. “Gene-editing protocol for whitefly pest opens door to control.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200423130410.htm>.

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Environmentally Friendly Insect Repellent for Agriculture

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A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a biodegradable agent that repels insect pest activity amongst crops without the use of insecticide chemicals.

The use of synthetically produced insecticides in large quantities has been shown to negatively impact on local insect biodiversity and environmental health (e.g. soil and water quality). One such controversial impact which has become an ever increasing threat is that of bee population numbers being reduced due to insecticide use.

Professor Thomas Bruck, Chair of Synthetic Biotechnology at TU Munich and his team have now found an alternative. The insect repellent they have developed has been shown to be ecologically harmless and biodegradable. Being sprayed on crops, the repellent works similar to mosquito repellent, a chemical is released into the air which reduces insect presence.

“With our approach, we are opening the door to a fundamental change in crop production,” says Bruck. “Instead of spraying poison, which inevitably also endangers useful species, we deliberately merely aggravate the pests.”

The research team were inspired by the tobacco plant, which produces a molecule known as cembratrienol (CBTol) on its leaves that protects the plant from insects. Using synthetic biotechnology tools, the team were able to isolate the tobacco genome which is responsible for the production of CBTol and inserted this into the genome of bacteria. Using wheat bran, a widely available by-product from grain mills to feed bacterial, the genetically modified bacteria then self-produce the CBtol molecule.

Initial investigations showed that CBTol spray is non-toxic to insects and other species, yet it is a potent repellent. The fact that this product is biodegradable also results in a greatly reduced accumulation of chemicals in the local environment. This spray has also been shown to contain antibacterial properties, therefore being able to be used as a disinfectant spray that acts specifically against MRSA, pneumonia and listeriosis pathogens.

If you would like further information on this subject, please see the links below:

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International Conference on Global Crop Losses Caused by Diseases, Pests, and Weeds

An international conference on global crop losses was organized by Inra in Paris on three days (October 16 – 18, 2017).  The aim of this conference was to assess how plant diseases, pests, and weeds negatively affect crop health, crop performances, ecosystems and society. Although these negative impacts are well recognized, their quantification is still fragmented or incomplete.

Septoria tritici sur feuille de blé.. © INRA, SIMON J.C.
Updated on 01/23/2018
Published on 11/07/2017

The conference brought together key players in global agricultural and crop health research in order to explore and discuss opportunities related to analyzing, quantifying, and modelling crop losses to diseases and pests.The conference involved some 80 participants from 20 countries.

  • NEW : the final report is available HERE

The event was organized by INRA, through its Flagship Meta-Programs SMaCH (Sustainable Management of Crop Health) and GloFoodS (Transitions to Global Food Security), in partnership with Cirad and the ISPP  and support from the international networks AGMiP and MacSur. See details below.

Key questions addressed by the conference were:

  • What are the effects of diseases, pests, and weeds, on crop performances?
  • How can we understand, quantify, assess, and model these effects?
  • How and what can modelling contribute in the assessment of the impacts of diseases, pests, and weeds, especially on food security?
  • What could be the effects of climate and global changes on crop losses caused by plant diseases, pests, and weeds?

Eight keynotes were presented to address different aspects of crop loss quantification, modelling, and understanding:

  • Impacts of disease and pest crop losses on crop yields and agrosystem performances (K. J. Boote, University of Florida, USA)
    > See the slide show here.
  • Overview of approaches to quantify and model disease and pest losses (S. Savary, INRA, France)
    > See the slide show here.
  • Economic implications of disease and pest losses – modelling and analytical approaches (J. Antle, Oregon State University, USA)
    > See the slide show here.
  • Plant diseases in a changing climate, approaches to assess and estimate future crop risks (A. Von Tiedemann, University of Göttingen, Germany)
    > See the slide show here.
  • Pests and diseases data in the context of yield gaps – the Global Yield Gap Atlas (M. van Ittersum, Wageningen University, The Netherlands)
    > See the slide show here.
  • Linking crops with pests and diseases (K. C. Kersebaum, ZALF, Germany)
    > See the slide show here.
  • Past and ongoing experiences in developing open source online scientific data bases (A. Nelson, University of Twente, The Netherlands and J. Koo, IFPRI, USA)
    > See the slide show here.
  • Importance of disease and pest losses on key world crops – priorities (L. Willocquet, INRA, France)
    > See the slide show here.

> See the extended abstracts here.

These keynotes provided the background for three work groups, which addressed the themes of “Crop Loss Definition”, “Models for Crop Losses”, and “Data: Sources and Sharing”. Work conducted in each of these work groups will lead to a series of reports, including a white paper on crop loss data ontology.

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The event was organized by INRA, through its Flagship Meta-Programs SMaCH (Sustainable Management of Crop Health) and GloFoodS (Transitions to Global Food Security). The conference was organized in partnership with Cirad and the ISPP (International Society of Plant Pathology), and support from the international networks AGMiP http://www.agmip.org/ and MacSur.

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From CABI

Farmers Need Long-Term and Short-Term Solutions to Combat Fall Armyworm in Kenya

Reblogged from Farming First.

1

From a distance, Wycliffe Ngoda’s two acres of shiny green maize crops look healthy and lush. But the tell-tale holes in the leaves and debris on the stems give away an increasingly dangerous secret hidden in more and more maize fields across Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa. The rampant Fall Armyworm caterpillar is once again threatening harvests across the continent for a second year.

The pest, which arrived in Africa from the Americas in 2016, affected around 50,000 hectares of maize in Kenya alone last year, costing 25 per cent of the crop, according to government officials.

This year, the losses could be as high as 50 per cent, threatening Kenya’s food security and farmers’ economic security in a country where the average annual consumption of maize surpasses 100kg per person.

2

“This is one of the deadliest crop pests in the world,” said Dr B.M. Prasanna, director of the global maize programme at CGIAR’s International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), based in Nairobi. “It can have as many as six life cycles in a year and each female moth can lay as many as 1,500 to 2,000 eggs.

“There’s no single solution that will fight it in all the smallholder contexts. But we’re not starting from scratch.”

Government delegates and experts have recently travelled to Brazil to learn how Fall Armyworm is controlled in the Americas, including the use of pest-resistant varieties of maize.

Scientists at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) have also found improved yields in controlled trials of transgenic crops as part of the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) initiative.

3

But while the Kenyan government considers such developments as part of a long-term strategy to reduce the impact of Fall Armyworm, the pest continues to pose a threat in the short-term.

In their desperation to ward off the caterpillar, which can reach the size of a little finger, some farmers even resorted to mixing homemade pesticides.

“I came across Fall Armyworm last year,” said Mr Ngoda, 65, from Mbale, Vihiga county. “We were taken unaware. It’s something that had not occurred here before. The attack was very fast and furious.

“We started looking for local solutions. We took liquid detergents and mixed it with some ash. Eventually we succeeded in fighting it off but the damage was already done. I lost about 50 per cent of my crop, others lost 70 per cent.

“We were using local innovations but it was more like guesswork.”

4

This year, Mr Ngoda said he was better prepared thanks to training in detection and responsible pesticide use provided by the county government and NGOs such as Farm Input Promotions Africa (FIPs-Africa). He said he had applied pesticide to his crops once so far.

The advice included treating crops with pesticides in the morning or afternoon when the caterpillars are active, and spraying to the side to avoid direct contact with the product. FIPs-Africa also contracts specialist sprayers to help farmers safely apply the correct pesticide.

In the meantime, Kenya’s Pest Control Products Board (PCPB) has fast-tracked its approval process for products that can help tackle Fall Armyworm to help address the threat in the short-term. But the challenge in rural areas is ensuring the best advice and information reaches the smallholders.

5

CropLife Kenya organises popular county farmer training sessions every month and CABI has more than 120 Plantwise clinics across Kenya where smallholders can bring in samples of their damaged crop to get expert advice on the necessary remedy.

But more is needed to teach farmers how to live with a pest that is here to stay.

“I wish we had more people,” said Mr Ngoda. “Sometimes, farmers don’t seek solutions and expert advice. We need more surveillance and on farm visits.

“I’m normally guaranteed 40 bags minimum. Last year, I didn’t get 20. I thank God I have a small family and none of them are going to school, otherwise it would have been a total disaster.”

Reblogged from Farming First. Read the original article here→

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