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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

News for 2019

All our latest news.

For media enquiries, contact Wayne Coles (w.coles@cabi.org) or Rachel Winks (r.winks@cabi.org).

Read the CABI Blog here.

Strong partnerships towards global food security focus at CABI’s 20th Review Conference

18 September 2019 - Creating stronger partnerships to help build an inclusive and sustainable future for millions of smallholder farmers and greater global food security was the focus of CABI’s 20th Review Conference held on 12-13 September 2019 at the Runnymede Hotel in Egham, UK. Delegates from CABI member countries and partner organisations heard how creating stronger partnerships – with both the public and the private sectors – are key to reducing inequalities across the food value chain. ...

CABI’s Global Health provides free open access to aid Hurricane Dorian recovery

12 September 2019 - CABI’s Global Health – the go-to bibliographic database for the study and practice of national, regional and international public health – is making relevant content available for free to support the international relief effort following Hurricane Dorian. The focused area on Global Health on natural disasters that covers aspects such as sanitation, diseases, vulnerable groups, nutrition and mental health will be made open access, as a way of contributing to the recovery from...

Script launches science communication award for Master’s degree students and graduates

11 September 2019 - Science-based Master’s degree students and graduates in Africa stand a chance to win an expenses-paid trip and two-day mentorship at The Conversation Africa by writing a clear, concise and jargon-free 800-word article about their research. The Script Science Communication Award, in collaboration with Script’s partner, The Conversation Africa, is open to scientists who complete the free ‘Media Skills for Scientists’ online course. The prize will cover one winner’s flights, a...

CABI collaborates to improve resistance of Kenya's cabbage and kale crops to TuMV disease

10 September 2019 - A team of international scientists from CABI, the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), NIAB EMR (UK), University of Warwick (UK) and Syngenta (Netherlands) are seeking to improve the resistance of Kenya’s cabbage and kale crops to Turnip mosaic virus (TuMV). In the distantly-related Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa), a potentially durable TuMV disease resistance trait was identified by Prof John Walsh at the University of Warwick while work by Dr Ch...

Penicillium fungus grown from original Fleming strain goes on world tour to China and India

9 September 2019- Penicillium, a fungus which has been grown from a strain of Sir Alexander Fleming’s original culture maintained by CABI, is currently on a world tour to China and India as part of a ‘Superbugs’ exhibition in conjunction with the Science Museum in London. The fungus, which takes pride of place amongst more than 30,000 other specimens in CABI’s Genetic Resource Collection, was previously displayed for 18 months as part of the Science Museum’s ‘Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives’...

Securing food security and livelihoods through Sustainable Agricultural Intensification in Ghana

6 September 2019 - Smallholder farmers in Ghana are enjoying greater food security and more profitable livelihoods by practicing Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) alongside the government’s overarching plan to promote ‘one village, one dam’, ‘planting for food and jobs’, and ‘rearing for food and jobs.’ A CABI-sponsored field trip to Northern Ghana revealed farmers – unblighted by the devastating Fall armyworm – celebrating successful yields for their crops by employing various SAI...

'$10bn to feed 10 billion by 2050', CABI tells AGRF

4 September 2019 - CABI has told the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2019 that investment in agritech needs to double to at least $10bn a year if the world’s smallholder farmers are to help feed a global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. Dr Dennis Rangi, CABI’s Director General, Development, speaking as part of a panel discussion on the subject of digital innovations to strengthen the resilience for smallholders in African food systems, said the financial burden must be met...

Partnership explores the ecological intensification of smallholder farms in Kenya

28 August 2019 - CABI is working in partnership to explore the prospect of smallholder farmers in Kenya achieving greater yields through ecological intensification (EI), thereby helping to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals ‘No Poverty’ and ‘Zero Hunger’. Scientists from CABI, the University of Reading, the Natural History Museum (UK) and the National Museum of Kenya, are conducting surveys of smallholder farms in Kiambu and Muranga counties to determine the challenges facing farmers and...

Fields on fire: new research reveals alternatives to harmful crop residue burning in India

20 August 2019 - Adoption of alternative farming practices can increase farmer profits and avoid burning crop residue, according to a new paper co-authored by CABI scientist, Mr Arun Jadhav. Published in the leading journal, Science, the paper states that alternatives to crop reside burning – a practice that clears fields of grain harvest stubble but contributes to air pollution – can yield significant improvements in air quality. Results show that ‘Happy Seeder’ based systems can be more profi...

CABI signs contract to ensure greater food security through aflatoxin control in Pakistan

19 August 2019 - CABI has signed a contract with the Crop Diseases Research Institute (CDRI) to help ensure greater food security in Pakistan by evaluating an eco-friendly biocontrol to mitigate poisonous aflatoxins which can decimate crops such as maize and wheat. Aflatoxin Control in Pakistan is a public-private partnership program led by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), alongside a US company Ingredion and its subsidiary in Pakistan, Rafhan Maize Products Co. Ltd. The col...

Project launched to create stronger food value chains in Pakistan

13 August 2019 - CABI has launched a project to create greater food value chains in Pakistan by introducing certification facilities for quality assurance and stronger market linkages in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of the country. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been agreed between CABI and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which will see CABI scientists providing technical assistance in a move towards more technology-based agricultural practices. The programme, formally inaugur...

Dr Niklaus J. Grünwald appointed Editor-in-Chief of new journal, CABI Agriculture and Bioscience

6 August 2019 - Dr Niklaus J. Grünwald has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the forthcoming CABI Agriculture and Bioscience inter-disciplinary, open access journal due to be launched later this year. Dr Grünwald, a Research Plant Pathologist with the Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Oregon, USA, and a Professor (courtesy) at Oregon State University, brings a wealth of experience to the role, with previous experiences as Editor-in-Chief of Phytopathol...

Dr David Smith celebrates nearly half a century in science at CABI

6 August 2019 - When microbiologist Dr David Smith started work for CABI in 1974 the world was a very different place. Abba had won the Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Waterloo’ and went on to become a global pop sensation, a Renault 16TX car would have set you back £1,894.75 (£20,682 in today’s money) and Richard Nixon became the first US president forced to resign amidst the Watergate Scandal. Now 45 years later, and with no intentions to retire just yet, Dr Smith, CABI’s Director of Biological...

CABI offers global guidance to help protect the world’s trees and forests from harmful pests and diseases

5 August 2019 - CABI’s expert scientists in the field of ecosystems management and invasion ecology have presented new guidance on ways to help protect the world’s trees and forests from harmful pests and diseases such as the box tree moth and ash dieback. Dr René Eschen led an international team of researchers who suggest that a number of important factors should be considered when monitoring for non-native pests that can pose a serious threat to forest resources and have significant negative ...

Study suggests biological controls to fight crop pests can be a viable alternative to pesticides for rice farmers in the Greater Mekong Subregion

5 August 2019 - Between 2011 and 2015, CABI set up 22 Trichogramma rearing facilities as part of a project to promote the use of biologically-based Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for rice and maize crops. In addition to creating the Trichogramma rearing facilities, IPM strategies for rice and maize were developed in Southwestern China, Laos and Myanmar. This included measures such as balanced fertilisation, pest monitoring, alternative wetting and drying in rice, the growing of flowering plan...

Traded forest tree seeds pose a great risk of introducing harmful pests, new research shows

31 July 2019 - CABI has led an international team of scientists who strongly suggest that the global trade of forest tree seeds is not as safe as previously believed, with insect pests and fungal pathogens posing a great risk to trees and forest ecosystems worldwide. Non-native insect pests and fungal pathogens present one of the major threats to trees and forest ecosystems globally, with the potential to cause significant ecological changes and economic losses. The Asian emerald ash borer, fo...

Crop-devastating pests in Rwanda to be targeted with space-age technology from PRISE programme

31 July 2019 - Pests, which threaten to destroy key cash and food security crops including maize, tomato and beans, are to be prioritized as part of an integrated pest management strategy using state-of-the-art space-age technology. Scores of smallholder farmers in Rwanda are the latest to benefit from the CABI-led consortium, funded by the UK Space Agency and the Global Challenges Research Fund with co-funding from the CABI-led Plantwise programme, that is using a combination of earth observat...

Continuing the biological fight against a hardy foe – the maize-devastating western corn rootworm

29 July 2019 - CABI is continuing the fight against the maize-devastating western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) by collecting more than 22,000 live specimens of this chrysomelid beetle for further research into its biological control. Dr Stefan Toepfer has been busy in the maize fields of southern Hungary gathering the insects, which, of Mexican origin, have invaded many maize production areas of North America and Europe – adapting to nearly all management options regardless of...

CABI teams up with ÉLÉPHANT VERT to fight crop-destroying locusts and grasshoppers

23 July 2019 - CABI has teamed-up with Swiss biological control producers ÉLÉPHANT VERT to lead a fresh fight against the global scourge of crop-destroying locusts and grasshoppers with a safe and environment friendly product – Green Muscle™. Locusts and grasshoppers regularly decimate crops in many parts of Africa and Asia with locusts, in particular, responsible for invading in swarms of millions – leaving behind ravaged fields and putting livelihoods and food security at severe risk. For ex...

Script project paves the way for Uganda’s first Annual Media Convention dedicated to science journalism

22 July 2019 - SciDev.Net through the innovative Script project – aimed at nurturing the science journalists of tomorrow – has helped pave the way for Uganda’s first Annual Media Convention dedicated to advancing science journalism and communication. More than 360 people, including Uganda’s Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye (pictured third right above), gathered to discuss the increasingly important role science news and analysis has to play in forging import...

Fighting the scourge of scale insects affecting livelihoods and food security in Kenya

17 July 2019 - CABI is working in partnership, as part of a Darwin Initiative-funded project, to help secure livelihoods and the food security of smallholder farmers and their families in Kenya blighted by scale insects such as coffee mealybug and cassava mealybug. Experts in native and non-native crop pests and knowledge and data management, from organisations including the Natural History Museum in London (project lead), the National Museum of Kenya (NMK), the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock...

MARDI-CABI Joint Laboratory Kicks Off in Malaysia

16 July 2019 - The 1st Steering Committee meeting of the Joint Laboratory between the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), has this week taken place at the MARDI headquarters in Malaysia.   This meeting is the first follow-up activity after a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a Joint Laboratory was signed in October 2018, in Beijing, China during the CABI Asia Pacific Regional Consultation. The ...

CABI calls for greater investment in food security programmes to help stem global rise in hunger

16 July 2019 - CABI is today calling for greater investment in food security programmes to help stem the global rise in hunger following the publication of a UN report which says more than 820 million people worldwide are still going hungry. The report, from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), highlights that while the n...

Newly appointed FAO Director General, Dr Qu Dongyu, plays important role in building China-CABI partnership

10 July 2019 - Dr Qu Dongyu, Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), has been appointed Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. From 1 August 2019, he will lead the agency’s international efforts to curb global hunger. Dr Qu Dongyu played an important role in building the China-CABI partnership, helping CABI to safeguard food security in the East Asia region and beyond through joint endeavours. China has been...

Scientists release new allies in the battle against invasive yellow toadflax in the Rocky Mountains

10 July 2019 - A team of international scientists are collaborating to fight the noxious weed yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) in Montana’s world-famous Rocky Mountains with the help of a tiny insect – the shoot-galling weevil Rhinusa pilosa. Yellow toadflax, first introduced from Wales in the late 1600s as an ornamental and medicinal plant and to make textile dyes, is an aggressive invader – listed as a noxious weed in more than 10 US states (including North and South Dakota, Colorado, Nevad...

Extension campaigns launched help fight Fall armyworm in Kenya and Uganda

9 July 2019 - A series of extension campaigns, launched by CABI and partners, in Kenya and Uganda are helping in the fight against the invasive pest fall armyworm. These campaigns, which started in 2017, used integrated ICT-enabled approaches combining radio, SMS, and community video screenings with the aim of improving awareness, knowledge and management practices for fall armyworm. Although smallholder agriculture is the main contributor to agricultural production in Africa and vital to food ...

CABI joins international team of scientists calling for a Global Surveillance System to fight crop diseases

28 June 2019 - CABI has joined an international team of scientists calling for a Global Surveillance System (GSS) to fight a range of diseases which threaten priority crops including maize, potato, cassava, rice, beans and wheat. The team, which includes the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – lead authors of a new report published in Science (28 June 2019), say a GSS is needed to ‘improve and interconnect crop biosecurity systems which could go a long way to improving global...

CABI collaborates on new research which suggests crop pests more widespread than previously known

25 June 2019 - Insects and diseases that damage crops are probably present in many places thought to be free of them, new research shows. Pests that have not been reported in a certain area are usually assumed to be absent, but analysis by the University of Exeter shows many pests are “currently unobserved, but probably present” (a likelihood of more than 75%). The study identified large numbers of pests in this category in China, India, southern Brazil and some countries of the former USSR. ...

CABI shares expertise in agriculture and sustainable development at European Development Days 2019

20 June 2019 - CABI has today shared its expertise in agriculture and sustainable development at the European Development Days (EDD) 2019 event in Brussels attended by 4,500 organisations and more than 140 world leaders and nine Nobel Prize laureates. The EDD, organised by the European Commission, is Europe’s leading forum on development and brings the global development community together each year to share ideas and experiences that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to some of...

African scientists eager to share their research get a boost with Script and The Conversation Africa Science Communication competition

18 June 2019 - Script is giving course graduates who have an article published with The Conversation Africa the chance to win an exclusive mentoring experience at the publication’s office in Nairobi, Kenya. The competition, which will fund one winner’s flights, accommodation and subsistence up to a value of €1,000, is open to scientists who have completed the Script ‘Media Skills for Scientists’ online course, and get their story published by The Conversation Africa before 31 August 2019. In l...

Farmers in Malawi to benefit from space-age technology in fight against devastating crop pests

17 June 2019 - Farmers in Malawi are the latest to benefit from a CABI-led consortium, funded by the UK Space Agency, which is providing a Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) to fight pest outbreaks that could devastate crops and livelihoods across the country. The service, which uses state-of-the-art technology to help inform farmers in sub-Saharan Africa – including Zambia, Ghana and Kenya where it is currently operating – gives farmers invaluable information to help them manage pests such ...

CABI to analyse the impacts of crop pests and diseases which threaten global food security

12 June 2019 - CABI has received a US $200,000 grant from the Grand Challenges program, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to begin an ambitious undertaking to capture and measure the global impacts of crop pests and diseases with the ultimate aim of helping to improve global food security. Data and knowledge management experts at CABI will now work with scientists Professor Katherine Denby from the University of York and Professor Sarah Gurr of the University of Exeter, ...

CABI hosts side meeting on operationalizing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) at the 15th CAADP Partnership Platform Meeting

12 June 2019 - CABI is today hosting a discussion led by a panel composed of representatives from Economic Community of Central African states (ECCAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Alliance for Commodity Trade in East and Southern Africa (ACTESA), German Society for International Corporation (GIZ) and the Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance (KAAA), at the 15th CAADP Partnership Platform Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. CABI’s Dr George Oduor, Global Director Value Chain...

CABI’s publishing business strengthens partnerships with China

3 June 2019 - CABI’s publishing business has been busy strengthening partnerships in China by showcasing the benefits of its range of print and online products and services to Chinese clients and partners, and exploring opportunities of further collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in Beijing. Dr Andy Robinson, CABI’s Managing Director, Publishing, led a delegation from CABI who outlined the organisation’s new publishing strategies and development plans – includ...

CABI shares expertise in international conference concerned with impact of climate change on food security

23 May 2019 - CABI scientist Dr Sabyan Faris Honey has shared his expertise in implementation of biological control program for apple codling moth in Balochistan province, Pakistan as part of the International Entomological Congress (IEC 2019) on Conversing Emerging Entomological Challenges and their Solutions. Dr Honey, representing CABI’s Phytosanitary Risk Management (PRMP) team, delivered a presentation looking at Pakistan perspectives to deal with the exploration and exploitation of biocon...

Scientists recommend measures to contain rapid woody weed spread in Baringo County, Kenya

23 May 2019 - A team of international scientists, including CABI’s Dr Urs Schaffner, have recommended ways to manage the devastating spread of the woody weed Prosopis juliflora, where in Baringo County, Kenya, its coverage rapidly increased by 2,031 percent in just 28 years. PhD student Purity Rima Mbaabu, affiliated to the University of Nairobi and co-supervised by Simon Choge, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Dr Sandra Eckert, Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Swit...

CABI shares expertise in new app to help reduce reliance on toxic pesticides

15 May 2019 - CABI has provided its expertise in crop pest and disease management as part of a new multi-lingual tool to help farmers in Mexico, India, Brazil, Colombia and Kenya reduce their reliance on more harmful and less environmentally-friendly pesticides. The new app, called Pesticides and Alternatives, has been created as part of a collaboration with the ISEAL Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coalition to find better, less chemical-dependent, ways for farmers to manage agricultural pest...

CABI partners Rwandan university to help train more plant doctors to fight crop pests and diseases

15 May 2019 - CABI is working with the University of Technology and Arts of Byumba (UTAB) in Rwanda to train more plant doctors who, as part of the Plantwise programme, help farmers identify and treat a range of pests and diseases which threaten their crops. The agreement, recently signed between Dr Elizabeth Nambiro, Plantwise Regional Coordinator, Africa, and Prof Dr Fr Nyombayire Faustin, Vice Chancellor of UTAB, will see the fundamentals of how Plantwise works taught to second year students...

CABI’s new quarantine facility creates greater capacity for Parthenium research in Pakistan

13 May 2019 - CABI has increased its capacity to fight the highly invasive and destructive Parthenium weed by opening a new quarantine facility at its Central and Western Asia (CWA) offices and laboratories in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Parthenium is an aggressive invasive weed which can have a devastating impact on pasturing fields, crops, and forests. In Ethiopia for example, sorghum yields were reduced by as much as 97 percent, while in India Parthenium infestations have resulted in yield losses ...

CABI collaborates on innovative approach to tackling pesticide resistance evolution

8 May 2019 - CABI is joining an international team of scientists, led by the University of Stirling, to take a ‘revolutionary approach’ in attempting to tackle resistance to pesticides in insects with a specific focus on crops pests in Brazil. The £620,000 study will see UK-based Dr Belinda Luke working on the mass production of fungal biopesticides and formulation development from CABI’s laboratories in Egham, Surrey, while Dr Yelitza Colmenarez, and Natália Corniani – from CABI’s centre in Sã...

CABI-led £1.6 million collaboration helps reduce China’s reliance on harmful pesticides

7 May 2019 - A CABI-led project involving an international team of remote sensing and plant protection experts is helping China reduce its reliance on harmful pesticides to fight crop pests and diseases including yellow rust fungal disease of wheat and locusts. The £1.6 million STFC Newton Agri-Tech Fund-financed project is leaving a lasting legacy in helping the Chinese Government reach its goal of zero increase in pesticide use by 2020 – adopting more sustainable controls, where possible, ins...

CABI publishes recommendations to fight scourge of parthenium weed in Central West Asia

29 April 2019 - CABI has today published a new evidence note highlighting a list of recommendations to fight the highly-invasive parthenium weed which can have significant impacts on human health, the environment, livestock production and health and crop yields. The report ‘Parthenium: Impacts and coping strategies in Central West Asia’, states that the aggressively-spreading weed, now classified as a ‘superior weed,’ is extremely prolific being capable of producing up to 30,000 seeds per plant...

CABI shares expertise in transboundary plant pests at G-20 MACS in Tokyo

29 April 2019 - CABI scientists Dr Ulli Kuhlmann and Luca Heeb have shared their expertise in transboundary plant pests which threaten global food security at the Meeting of G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS-G20) held in Tokyo, Japan. The annual MACS-G20 meeting, which have taken place since 2012, are based on an initiative of the agricultural ministers of the G20 States – including the UK, China and the United States – to address central questions in fields of agriculture and nutrition w...

New study reveals the massive ecological and economic impacts of woody weed invasion in Ethiopia

25 April 2019 - CABI scientists have revealed the massive ecological and economic impacts that the invasive alien tree Prosopis juliflora has had across the Afar Region of north eastern Ethiopia. Dr Urs Schaffner, who is supervising lead author Mr Hailu Shiferaw for his PhD studies, contributed to the Science of the Total Environment published research which shows that the devastating Prosopis was a major reason for losses in annual ecosystem service values in Afar Region estimated at US $602 m...

CABI showcases its expertise in agricultural knowledge to Hungary’s researchers and scientists

23 April 2019 - CABI has showcased its expertise in agricultural knowledge to some of Hungary’s leading information experts, librarians and scientists as part of a special open day aimed at raising awareness of its knowledge databases, compendia and e-books. The Hungarian Electronic Information Service (EISZ) organised the event which gave the opportunity for CABI’s Daniel Lungu, Area Sales Manager, Central and Eastern Europe, to highlight the benefits of CABI’s key publishing products – includ...

Female farmers and extension workers should take the lead in reducing gender inequality in agriculture

16 April 2019 - A CABI-led study which compares male and female perceptions of access to and use of agricultural advisory services to help improve yields says women should take a lead role in helping to reduce inequalities which hinder their contribution to farming. Julien Lamontagne-Godwin, lead author of a new paper, published in the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, says a network of ‘trained and knowledge-rich female lead “contact” farmers’ could be trialled to understand its...

New CASA programme to benefit 565,000 smallholders in Uganda, Malawi and Nepal

16 April 2019 - A new five-year £30 million UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded programme is aiming to improve the livelihoods of 565,000 smallholder farmers and their families in Uganda, Malawi and Nepal by stimulating investment in emerging agri-markets. The Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme, a key part (Component A & C) of which is led by NIRAS in partnership with CABI and Swisscontact, will see at least £4 million of addition...

Farmers in Malawi fund first purpose-built permanent plant clinic to fight pests and diseases

10 April 2019 - A group of farmers in Ntcheu district, Central Malawi, have clubbed together to fund the first purpose-built permanent plant clinic to help fight a range of crop-devastating pests and diseases that threaten their livelihoods and food security. Pengapenga Plant Clinic, which previously operated under a tree in the market place, is now providing a more attractive and fit-for-purpose brick structure which is giving the 1,000 smallholder farmers it serves shelter from the rain. Tho...

CABI’s latest ‘weapon’ in the fight against devastating crop pests showcased at Commission on Phytosanitary Measures

4 April 2019 - CABI’s latest ‘weapon’ in the fight against devastating crop pests has been presented to delegates at the International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC) Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) held at the FAO headquarters in Rome. Dr Washington Otieno, CABI’s Plantwise Programme Executive, told delegates at the 14th session of the CPM this week that CABI’s new Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) tool provides National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs) with the ability to assess ...

Budding science journalists offered ‘big break’ mentoring opportunity from Nation Media Group and Radio Nigeria

3 April 2019 - Budding science journalists are being offered a step up the career ladder thanks to a new mentoring scheme from Script in collaboration with Nation Media Group and Radio Nigeria. Anyone who completes Script’s ‘Science Communication Skills for Journalists’ free online course can apply for the opportunity before 30 April 2019, with successful applicants being chosen by an editorial panel made up of experts from SciDev.Net and either Nation Media Group or Radio Nigeria by 1 June 201...

Plaque of the new European Laboratory unveiled during the 11th Joint Lab Steering Committee meeting at CABI Switzerland

2 April 2019 - Representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and CABI met for the 11th Steering Committee of the MARA-CABI Joint Laboratory for Biosafety at CABI’s Swiss Centre in Delémont. The meeting was an opportunity to review the Joint Laboratory’s achievements in 2018 as well as approving its plans for 2019. Delegates also took the opportunity to officially unveil the plaque of the European arm of the J...

CABI-led study recommends improvements to how impacts of Non-Native Species are assessed

1 April 2019 - CABI has led an international team of Non-Native Species (NNS) specialists who have compiled a list of recommendations to improve the way in which the impact of a range of invasive pests – such as the tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta – are assessed, potentially helping towards ensuring greater global food security. Lead authors Dr Pablo González-Moreno and Dr Marc Kenis, Senior Researchers at CABI are two of 89 NNS experts from around the world who have collaborated on the paper, ...

Scientists confirm first report of egg parasitoid in Africa to fight devastating fall armyworm

1 April 2019 - A group of scientists have confirmed the first report of an egg parasitoid Telenomus remus in Africa which could prove an important biological weapon in the fight against the devastating fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) that threatens the food security of more than 200 million people. Dr Marc Kenis, Head of Risk Analysis and Invasion Ecology at the CABI Centre in Switzerland, led an international team of researchers from seven countries, who suggest Telenomus remus provides ...

SciDev.Net quizzes Congolese health minister on country's Ebola crisis

28 March 2019 - SciDev.Net - the world’s leading source of reliable and authoritative news, views and analysis about science and technology for global development - has quizzed the Congolese health minister on the country's Ebola crisis which is seeing its efforts to quell the number of cases hampered by violent conflict. Amzath Fassassi's published interview with Oly Ilunga Kalenga, who said restoring public trust was key to fighting Ebola, comes in the same week that CABI launched its revampe...

CABI serves course in Integrated Pest Management for international students hungry for success

28 March 2019 - Twenty-four agricultural students from around the world, including China, Cuba, Vietnam, Myanmar, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Pakistan, have passed a five-day course in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) organised by CABI. Dr Stefan Toepfer, Visiting Professor at the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS), delivered the course which trained MSc and PhD students on various areas aspects of IPM – vital to help pr...

CABI’s Global Health upgraded with refreshed look, extended content and new features

26 March 2019 - CABI’s Global Health – the go-to bibliographic database for the study and practice of national, regional and international public health – has undergone a major upgrade which includes a refreshed look, extended content and new features. Global Health now has its own interface and boasts more than 3.2 million records dedicated to public health, with full text hosted for over 100,000 articles including 375 CABI book chapters, 140 reviews from CABI’s very own e-journal CAB Reviews ...

MAS ICM course welcomes agricultural students for the 5th year

14 March 2019 - The Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Integrated Crop Management (ICM) course has welcomed another 12 international students for the 2019 academic year. An opening ceremony was held in Delémont, the capital of the Swiss Canton of Jura to mark the occasion. The MAS ICM course offers agricultural professionals working in areas such as extension, research and education the opportunity to build on a previous Master’s or Bachelor’s degree and adopt holistic principles of ecology, ...

CABI research helps ‘harvest’ the prospect of more sustainable tea production in India

14 March 2019 - CABI scientists have revealed that India’s tea – which accounts for around 27 percent of the world’s tea production – could be protected from devastating crop pests with more environmentally friendly and sustainable biological controls rather than an over reliance on pesticides. As part of research funded by Unilever and working with partners including the Tea Research Association (TRA) and The United Planters’ Association of Southern India, the researchers believe that ecologic...

CABI scientists showcase their expertise in microbiology at European Parliament

7 March 2019 - Three CABI scientists have this week been sharing their expertise in microbiology at the European Parliament and follow up workshop at Scotland House in Brussels to highlight the value of marine resources in research and development. Dr David Smith, Director of Biological Resources, chaired a breakfast meeting hosted by Clare Moody MEP – which was organised by the European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster (EMBRIC) project – before attending a workshop entitled ‘T...

CABI announces major commitments in fight against invasive species

6 March 2019 - Coinciding with its regional consultation with member states in Africa, CABI hosted a policy summit on invasive species in Gaborone, Botswana. About 70 delegates representing policymakers, research, the private sector and civil society from across Africa gathered to learn about and discuss the impact of invasives as well as the technical and policy solutions required to defeat them. In his opening keynote, the Honourable Dr George Boahen Oduro, Deputy Minister from the Ministry o...

Legacy of AgriTT programme lives on at Rwandan biocontrol facility to fight crop pests

6 March 2019 - The legacy of the Working in Partnership for Agricultural Technology Transfer (AgriTT) programme – funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) – is living on at a facility in Rwanda which is producing biological control agents to kill a variety of crop pests including the devastating fall armyworm. The Rwandan Agriculture and Animal Resource Board (RAB) is continuing to operate a biocontrol agent mass production facility at its southern station in Rubona that...

CABI and ACIAR sign AUD $2.1 million four-year agreement to steer future collaboration

4 March 2019 - CABI and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) have signed a four-year agreement worth AUD $2.1 million to guide future collaboration that will fight a range of crop pests and disease which threaten global food security. CABI CEO Dr Trevor Nicholls and Professor Andrew Campbell, CEO of ACIAR, signed the partnership agreement which will help fund Australia’s membership of CABI, the CABI Development Fund (a seed fund to support the piloting of innova...

Phone app set to transform how low-income farmers in Africa invest in fertilizer

27 February 2019 - An upgrade to a mobile phone app now offers farmers across Africa even more benefits and cutting-edge fertilizer use technology. This will help farmers to grow healthier, more productive with increasingly profitable crops, as a result of more informed use of how small amounts of fertilizer impact the crops which they grow. Pilot work on the CABI Fertilizer Optimizer app in Uganda has shown that some farmers realised up to a seven-fold increase in yields. Using funding from th...

Strong, inclusive and empowering partnerships vital to tackling the world’s food crisis

26 February 2019 - Dr Dennis Rangi, CABI’s Director General, Development, has told CABI’s African Regional Consultation in Botswana that strong, inclusive and empowering partnerships are key to tackling not only Africa’s but the world’s food crisis where some 815 million suffer chronic undernourishment. Dr Rangi, told government representatives from CABI Member Countries, from Botswana to Zimbabwe, and delegates from partner organisations, including the African Union Commission (AUC) and the So...

CABI shares expertise on rubber tree blight in major new Amazon documentary series

22 February 2019 – CABI is today sharing its expertise on the devastating rubber tree blight disease – that could severely impact upon the world’s rubber production for essential items including tyres, shoes and the seals on a multitude of household and industrial items– as part of a major new Amazon documentary series now airing. Dr Harry Evans, who has dedicated more than 40 years of his career to studying rubber tree blight disease (Microcyclus ulei), stars in ‘This Giant Beast That is The G...

CABI helps facilitate and supervise Regional Master Class in Plant Biosecurity in Indonesia

21 February 2019 - CABI has helped facilitate and supervise a Crawford Fund-sponsored Regional Master Class in Plant Biosecurity in Salatiga, Indonesia, aimed at building a higher level of expertise across emerging areas of science, policy and agribusiness. Dr Annamalai Sivapragasam, Regional Director and Plantwise Regional Team Leader, Malaysia, shared his expertise at the Master Class which brought together 25 candidates from Java Island in the archipelago with the aim of building their capac...

Digital technology and data driven innovation highlighted at CABI’s 399th Executive Council meeting

21 February 2019 - The use of digital technology and data driven innovation to help fight agricultural pests and diseases and increase global food security was highlighted at CABI’s 399th Executive Council meeting in London yesterday (20th February 2019). Executive Council, consisting of representatives of all CABI member countries, is an important part of CABI’s governance, approving annual accounts and budgets, the admission of new members and key policy decisions. In his opening remarks Dr L...

PKR 94.4 million project to biologically fight cotton, fruit and vegetable pests in Pakistan

18 February 2019 - CABI scientists are implementing a two-year PKR 94.4 million project to help thousands of farmers fight cotton, fruit and vegetable crop pests and increase their profits by using more environmentally-friendly and sustainable biological controls. CABI in Pakistan has signed an agreement with the Sindh Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Project (SIAPEP) to deliver Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to key cash crops in Sindh Province including cotton, sugarcane, okra,...

Dr Matthew Ryan appointed to Phytobiomes Alliance's Board of Directors

12 February 2019 - The International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research has announced the appointment of Dr Matthew Ryan and Dr Natalie Breakfield as new Board members of the organization. Dr Ryan is curator of the Genetic Resource Collection at CABI. A microbiologist by training, Dr Ryan is specifically interested in pure and applied mycology, biodeterioration and natural product research. He is involved in several CABI projects, such as The Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI) pr...

CABI scientist Dr Julie Flood honoured by The British Society for Plant Pathology

11 February 2019 - CABI’s Dr Julie Flood has become only the second female scientist to be awarded an Honorary Membership of The British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP) for her outstanding contribution to plant science – particularly tropical crop diseases including vascular wilt of coffee and diseases of oil palm and cocoa. The award was confirmed on the day of the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science today (11 February) which aims to ensure full and equal access to and part...

CABI joins in the celebrations for UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science

11 February 2019 - CABI is today celebrating the invaluable contribution women in science make as part of the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science by showcasing some of its own female scientists, board members and development communications professionals. As part of a special focus we look at Dr Julie Flood who this year becomes only the second female Honorary Member of the British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP). Julie has previously served as President of the BSPP as part of ...

CABI helps map ferocious speed and likely cause of woody weed spread across Ethiopia

7 February 2019 - CABI scientists have helped map the ferocious speed and probable cause of a devastating spread of the invasive alien tree Prosopis juliflora (Swartz DC) across an area equivalent to half of neighbouring Djibouti in the Afar Region of north eastern Ethiopia. Dr Urs Schaffner, who is supervising lead author Hailu Shiferaw for his PhD studies, contributed to the Scientific Reports published paper ‘Modelling the current fractional cover of an invasive alien plant and drivers of it...

Dr Ismahane Elouafi welcomed to new post on CABI Board

7 February 2019 - Dr Ismahane Elouafi – ranked by Muslim Science as among the 20 Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World – has been welcomed as a non-executive director on the CABI Board. The appointment was confirmed on the eve of the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 which aims to ensure full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. Dr Elouafi, who is currently Director General of the International Centre for Biosa...

Plantwise successes revealed in Impact Story Competition

6 February 2019 - The successes of smallholder farmers in Nepal, Uganda and Kenya – thanks to help from CABI – have become the focus of the Plantwise Impact Story Competition won by three extension workers who helped them combat crop pests and diseases. Debraj Adhikari, a Senior Plant Protection Officer from Nepal, plant doctor Mubunga Joshua from Uganda and John Mutisya Kimeu also a plant doctor, from Kenya have all been awarded a tablet computer for their accounts of farmers who have reaped i...

Spread of dangerous waterweed in Southern Africa could be 'devastating', according to CABI scientist

1 February 2019 - CABI scientist Dr Philip Weyl has warned that a dangerous waterweed spreading across Southern Africa could have 'devastating' repurcussions on ecosystem functioning and utlization as well as life-supporting services such as fishing. Dr Weyl, a Research Scientist in Weed Biological Control, told SciDev.Net that the Limnobium laevigatum, or South American sponge plant, should not be underestimated because it has fast growth rate and an incredible ability to disperse. In a repor...

CABI wins grant to help boost food security in India and Ethiopia through opening access to data

29 January 2019 - CABI has been awarded a $1.49 million grant from the Gates Foundation to work with them to help increase food security in India and Ethiopia through better access to data on soil health, agronomy and fertilizers. The grant will see CABI encouraging and enabling governments, universities and research organizations in the two countries to see the benefits and apply best practices regarding the sharing of data which, ultimately, will help farmers grow healthier and profitable cro...

CABI shares expertise at workshop concerned with threat of invasive species to Gibraltar

25 January 2019 - Dr Pablo González-Moreno, one of CABI’s senior researchers with expertise in invasive plant ecology, has joined a workshop of international scientists concerned with investigating the invasive non-native species that pose the greatest threat to Gibraltar’s terrestrial and marine environments. Dr González-Moreno shared his knowledge and expertise of terrestrial plants as well as details of CABI's Action on Invasives programme, which is championing an environmentally sustainable...

Lessons in agriculture: CABI joins UNESCO International Day of Education celebrations

24 January 2019 – CABI is joining the UNESCO International Day of Education celebrations today by highlighting all its efforts to help support the scientists of today and tomorrow in the fight against agricultural pests and diseases. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. As the world marks the very first International Education Day, UNESCO calls on governments and all partner...

CABI-partnered ‘Seeing is Believing’ project goes ‘under the microscope’ for Facebook Live event

22 January 2019 - The CABI-partnered ‘Seeing is Believing’ project, which empowers farmers with smartphone imaging, is going ‘under the microscope’ on Thursday (24 January 2019) as part of a special Facebook Live Q&A event. Dr Berber Kramer, Applied Microeconomist at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) who partner with CABI on the CGIAR Inspire Challenge Grant-funded project, will be answering questions on the innovative scheme at 9am Washington DC time or 2pm GMT. To ...

CABI joins 'kick-off' meeting for EU-funded MicrobiomeSupport project

15 January 2019 - CABI has joined a range of international partners for a 'kick-off' meeting of the EU-funded project MicrobiomeSupport which aims to carry out research into the microbiome in the food system and its importance to human and environmental health. Dr Matt Ryan, a microbiologist and Curator of CABI's Genetic Resource Collection, was part of a delegation of scientists who met in Ottawa, Canada, for the launch meeting of the project which is based upon Coordination and Support Action...

CABI scientists are leading the fight to control one of the UK’s most invasive weeds – Himalayan balsam

14 January 2019 - CABI experts in the field of classical biological control are leading the fight to manage one of the UK’s most invasive weeds – Himalayan balsam – thanks to the nationwide release of the rust fungus Puccinia komarovii var. glanduliferae. Dr Carol Ellison, who has over 30 years’ experience of the biological control of weeds using fungal pathogens, told a specially convened NERC-sponsored workshop on Himalayan Balsam at Royal Holloway, University of London, the rust release prog...

CABI updates International Soft Fruit Conference on fight against devastating invasive fruit fly

11 January 2019 - CABI scientist Dr Lukas Seehausen has updated delegates at the International Soft Fruit Conference in s-Hertogenbosch, in the Netherlands, on the very latest research in the fight against the devasting fruit fly Drosophila suzukii. Dr Seehausen, a research scientist in risk analysis and invasion ecology based at CABI’s Swiss centre in Delémont, said a biological control agent – the parasitoid Ganaspis cf. brasiliensis – could soon be released to manage the invasive pest in Eur...

News from 2018.