International consortium established to connect
research with practical field solutions against pest
NAIROBI (Kenya) — As the invasion of the voracious fall armyworm threatens to cause US$3-6 billion in annual damage to maize and other African food staples, 35 organizations announced today the formation of a global coalition of research for development (R4D) partners, focused on developing technical solutions and a shared vision of how farmers should fight against this pest. After causing extensive crop damage in Africa, the presence of the fall armyworm was recently confirmed in India.
Africa Food Prize awarded to Agricultural Research Institute for leadership and innovation in finding solutions to the continent’s most pressing challenges
The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), one of the lead centers of the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), was recognized for generating solutions on and off the farm that have improved the lives of millions in the face of climate change, a surge of crop pests and disease, and an urgent need for youth employment.
Farmer Joyce Mapeto shucks maize after harvesting her crop in in Pindukai village, Shamva district, Zimbabwe. Photo: Peter Lowe/CIMMYT
A new study from scientists with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) shows that drought tolerant (DT) maize varieties can provide farming families in Zimbabwe an extra 9 months of food at no additional cost. As climate change related weather events such as variable rainfall and drought continue to impact the southern African nation at an increasing rate, these varieties could provide a valuable safety net for farmers and consumers.
Flashback: In early 2015, Kenya’s National Irrigation Board (NIB) purchased Aflasafe to help deal with aflatoxin contamination in maize, a predicament afflicting some of its irrigation schemes. For example, in most years, the UN’s World Food Programme was unable to purchase maize from the towns of Hola and Bura in Kenya owing to excessive aflatoxin. Fastforward to 2017: What were the results of this NIB purchase then, and today, two years on? Read on!
It’s blowing in the wind. Follow Sarah Chughu’s ‘pointing’ finger. See the tiny specks in the clouds on the left? That’s Aflasafe KE01 which Sarah was broadcasting at Galana-Kulalu, Eastern Kenya, in July 2016. An all-natural product, Aflasafe consistently reduces aflatoxin by between 80 and 99% at harvest and in storage. (Photo: U Mutuku/IITA)