Breathe easy with biocontrol

The Invasives Blog

SneezeOne in four people in Europe suffer from hay fever, affecting the quality of life of millions. The average cost of hay fever related diseases amounts to around €600 per patient per year from treatment costs and lost time working.

One of the worst offending invasive plants for hay fever sufferers is the North American common ragweed Ambrosia artemisiifolia.

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CABI hosts the Common Framework volumes developed by the Tropical Agricultural Platform

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Now freely available on the CABI.org website, the Common Framework on Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems produced by the Tropical Agriculture Platform.

TAP is a coalition of more than 40 partners, initiated by the G20 in 2012. Its main focus is the development of national capacities for agricultural innovation. By helping to bridge the capacity gap, TAP aims to pave the way for agricultural innovations that meet the demands of smallholder farmers, small and medium-sized agribusinesses and consumers.

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Sentimentality stifling youths’ agricultural future

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Photo: Steve Mbogo

I know from personal experience it’s difficult for parents to let go of things they’ve cherished for years – for my dad, it’s broken antique chairs that he insists he’ll fix when he ‘has a spare moment’… i.e. never. ‘What’s the link between clutching on to family objects and youth engagement in agriculture,’ I hear you ask?

Projecting such forms of sentimentality towards traditional crops is stifling youths’ economic prospects in agriculture.

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Plant clinics, pests and pads of paper

“We’ve arrived everyone. Off the bus”. Ten journalists, myself and five other CABI staff disembark eager to write our own stories on this, a landmark day, for one of CABI’s latest projects – the Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE).

PRISE, led by CABI and funded by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), uses state-of-the-art technology to help inform farmers in sub-Saharan Africa of pest outbreaks that could devastate their crops and livelihoods. 12 July 2018 marked the launch of the project in Kenya.

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It must be Halal, right?

It must be Halal

The world Halal food market is valued at $700 billion. Pakistan only contributes $28 million, less than 0.5%, to this market despite having the second largest Islamic population in the world.

In Pakistan, although roughly 97% of the population follows Islam, there is not a single Halal certified food chain in the country.

A recent journal article published by CABI scientists, Dr Mazhar and Dr Bajwa, along with Dr Collins from the University of Queensland discusses some remarkable findings on the state of the Halal food chain in Pakistan.

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Chocolate SDGs unwrapped

Chocolate SDGs

 

“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.”1

Should we prioritise chocolate in this universal call to action?

Threats to the cocoa industry including low productivity, marketing challenges, pests and disease, environmental concerns and access to education, pests and disease, environmental concerns and educational access, are predicted to cause a global supply shortage of 1 million tonnes by 2020.

Without understanding something of the lives and livelihoods producing this dietary indulgence you’d consider this issue a first world problem – so what? I’ll just have to skip that mid-afternoon choccy pick-me-up. No big deal.

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Family-centric cinema: a Q&A on changing the conversation for women in agriculture

IStock_000006886178XXXLargeWomen need first-hand information and knowledge about new agricultural technologies to have a say on how family farms are run, according to Dannie Romney, Global Director, Development, Communication and Extension, CABI.

Dannie is currently Project Executive for the Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) and Gender and the Legume Alliance (GALA) projects working jointly in Ghana. 

Understanding that families are a unit of production directs how the GALA project supports small-scale farming households to achieve sustainable legume intensification.

The project team recognise the gender issues involved and the constraints women may face in adopting a family-centric learning approach. The first step is to improve their access to information and knowledge on farming techniques.

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