Food Gardening in the Anthropocene

community garden in California
By Daniela Soleri, University of California, David A Cleveland, University of California, Steven E Smith, University of Arizona In early September 2017, the fall equinox was approaching, and things were different in our garden. The heat-loving basil plants that should have been slowing down as the days shorten and cooler weather usually arrives, were showing…
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Food for thought: Fungal biological resources to support international development – challenges and opportunities

Powdery mildew spores on wheat – the second most important food crop in the developing world after rice (Copyright CABI).
At first glance it might be hard to see how the exploitation of microbes, especially fungi, can have the power to help humanity meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), feed the world’s growing population and improve the bioeconomies of poorer nations. But a team of international scientists from CABI, the Westerdijk Institute and the…
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Remembering Anthony Johnston – former Director Commonwealth Mycological Institute

Anthony Johnston (left) was Director Commonwealth Mycological Institute between 1968 to 1983. He was instrumental in the changeover from manual to computerised production of abstract journals and setting up a computer database with an on-line retrieval service.
By Dr David Smith, Director Biological Resources at CABI It was sad to hear of the passing of Anthony Johnston, a plant pathologist and former Director of the Commonwealth Mycological Institute (CMI) 1968-1983. He is fondly remembered by his colleagues, some of whom are still working at CAB International (originally CAB – Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux) which…
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Improving disease resistance in Kenyan crops

By Dr Charlotte Nellis, (NIAB EMR, UK)  It is estimated that globally two billion people suffer from deficiencies in essential vitamins and nutrients, termed ‘hidden hunger’.  Sub-Saharan Africa has a number of countries that have high levels of hidden hunger, including Kenya, which is ranked 2nd and 17th worst in Africa and the world, respectively.…
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CABI hands over Phytosanitary Risk Management Programme (PRMP) to provincial stakeholders in Pakistan

By Umair Safdar, Communication Development Executive, CABI Central and West Asia (CABI CWA), Rawalpindi CABI in Pakistan implemented a USAID/USDA funded project ‘Phytosanitary Risk Management Programme in Pakistan (PRMP)‘ from 2014 to 2019. CABI’s scientific team upgraded the infrastructure at the relevant provincial agricultural departments and strengthened the capacity of Pakistan’s current agricultural system so…
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Village-based film screenings prove a popular way to reach and inform farming families in Northern Ghana

Duncan Sones, from the CABI GALA communications team, reflects on the first two years of the soybean campaign in Northern Ghana. In the last two years, there have been 346 village-based film screenings of films made by CABI to show farmers how to grow soybean. Take into account the use of Facebook for a music-based…
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Finding the farmers of the future: Encouraging youth engagement in agriculture

Special International Youth Day report by Rebecca Quarterman The number of young people involved in agricultural work in East Africa is significantly dwindling in an age of celebrity, quick income and the ‘side hustle’.  Quite simply, the future of farming rests in the hands of the youth of today and tomorrow – otherwise agriculture’s vital…
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Improving smallholder farmers’ livelihoods and food security through insects for feed

By Solomon Agyemang Duah, Communications Specialist at CABI based in Ghana Poultry farming is practised by almost all smallholder farmers in West Africa but feed and in particular protein sources are becoming increasingly expensive thereby, affecting meat and egg production, reducing family incomes and, ultimately, putting food security at risk. Fish farmers are suffering a…
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Safer food in Pakistan through Aflatoxin control

By Dr Sabyan Faris Honey, CABI, and Deborah Hamilton, USDA Aflatoxin, produced by a poisonous fungus, is a serious threat to food security by contaminating many of Pakistan’s agricultural products, including cereal grains, chilies, dry fruits and nuts, and milk. Indeed, the average contamination in wheat and maize in Pakistan, for example, is five and…
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The Fertilizer Optimization Tool: maximising profit from fertiliser

By Duncan Sones. Originally published on Spore. A quiet revolution in fertiliser recommendations has led to the development of a phone app that could make a positive contribution to tackling Africa’s depleted soil and supporting the growing demand for food in a time of climate change. Duncan Sones, from the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International’s…
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