The impact of invasive species on human health

By Giuseppe Mazza and Elena Tricarico, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy Invasive species are becoming a popular topic in newspapers: when articles appear, they mainly report the damages invasive species can cause to our ecosystems (e.g. reduction or disappearance of native species as well as habitat modification) or to our economic activities: fishing or…
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CABI hosts the Common Framework volumes developed by the Tropical Agricultural Platform

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…
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Making progress on the biological management of Red Palm Weevil at KhairPur – Sindh

By Riaz Mahmood and Naeem-ul-Haq, CABI Central and West Asia (CWA), Rawalpindi Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is of high economic importance for livelihood for hundreds of farmers families in Pakistan. Fruit and tree parts are of many uses. Date palm trees are spread over 98,000 hectares across Pakistan making it the fifth largest date…
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Dr Rob Reeder goes ‘bananas’ about pests and diseases on the Urban Farm Podcast

Plant pathologist Dr Rob Reeder has this week spoken to Greg Peterson of the US-based Urban Farm Podcast about how the global supply of bananas (particularly the Cavendish variety) could be put at risk from a three-pronged attack of pests and diseases. In the podcast, Dr Reeder reveals the reasons why the fungus known as…
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How Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Enter the Food Chain in non-GMO Producing Countries

How Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Enter the Food Chain in non-GMO Producing Countries - by Tatjana Brankov A superficial review of the legislation on transgenic foods and feeds indicates that consumers in non-GMO producing countries consume GMO-free food. However, less attention is paid to the fact that GMOs can enter the food chain through the import of transgenic foodstuff and feedstuff or by contamination. In some countries, transgenic food production is fully equal to conventional production. The concept of substantial equivalence, developed by the OECD and further elaborated by FAO/WHO “embodies the concept that if a new food or food component is found to be substantially equivalent to an existing food or food component, it can be treated in the same manner with respect to safety, i.e. the food or food component can be concluded to be as safe as the conventional food or food component” (FAO/WHO 1996). Such a…
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Building capacity for greater food security in Pakistan

As part of CABI’s mission to help farmers grow more and lose less, we have been funded by USAID – via the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – to help Pakistan improve its sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) systems and therefore open up its fruit and vegetables to more high-end global markets that were previously untapped. Currently these products only contribute 13% of the country’s export but improvements to its SPS capabilities could see this number rise significantly.
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Around the World in 80 Spices

From the dawn of civilization spices were sought after eagerly. The seafarers of the ancient lands braved the raging waves and winds to go to distant lands in search of spices and aromatics. The discovery of the fairyland of spices and Spice Islands was one of the major aims of most circumnavigations that the age of Renaissance had witnessed. Such navigational expeditions and discoveries had opened up the flora and fauna of many countries to the rest of the world; the most notable among them was the ‘Columbian exchange’ following the discovery of American continent by Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. Columbus went in search of India and black pepper but discovered America and red pepper. The exchanges that followed the discovery of new lands changed radically the cuisines of the world and medicines too, “reshaping every one’s food basket and medicine chest significantly.”
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Irrigation facilities to enhance all year seed supply by farmers in central Uganda

Lack of access to quality seed, particularly of traditional crops that are not well integrated into the formal sector, remains a key challenge for increased productivity of these crops in African farming systems. CABI, working with national and regional partners, aims to strengthen seed systems in Africa through developing farmer seed enterprises and linkages to…
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Stuffed and starved: is sufficiency the new efficiency?

Attending a recent Chatham House event, one statistic seemed to encapsulate the crisis of our current food system: 795 million eat too little while 2 billion eat too much. After the initial shock of hearing this, I couldn’t help but wonder; if there’s plenty of food to go around why are we simultaneously starving and…
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Capitalising on Africa’s agriculture to achieve ‘zero hunger’

CABI board member Professor Ruth Oniang'o talks about winning the 2017 Africa Food Prize and how CABI is working towards helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger.
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