12th Arab Congress of Plant Protection
5-9 November, 2017
Cairo, Egypt
Contact: 12th ACPP Secretariat
Email acpp2017@arc.sci.eg
Phone +202-3748616
Website: http://www.acpp2017.arc.eg

Many thanks.
Khaled M. Makkouk
Advisor for Agriculture and Environment
National Council for scientific Research (CNRS)
P. O. Box 11-8281
Riad El-Solh 1107 2260, Beirut, LEBANON
Telephone: 01-840260 ext. 414
Mobile: 03-942081
Fax: 01-822639
E-mail: khaled.makkouk@cnrs.edu.lb
Website: www.cnrs.edu.lb



Uganda’s First Field Observation of GM Potato Shows Extreme Resistance to Late Blight

The first field trial of genetically modified (GM) potatoes resistant to potato blight conducted in Uganda from October 2015 to January 2016 has been completed at the Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (KaZARDI) of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) near Kabale.

Twelve highly resistant GM potatoes of ‘Desiree’ and one of ‘Victoria’ varieties from the International Potato Center (CIP) showed extreme levels of resistance compared to the non-GM plants of the same varieties. Using genetic transformation, three resistance (R) genes from wild relatives (Solanum bulbocastanum, and S. venturii) were transferred into farmers’ preferred varieties and the results are encouraging. A number of partially resistant varieties exist, but these are not preferred by farmers and consumers. This first observation of zero-fungicide potatoes marks an important milestone in the development and future deployment of biotech potato varieties to farmers in Africa that will significantly reduce losses and cost of production.

In Uganda, losses due to potato late blight can reach up to 60%, forcing farmers to spray fungicides up to 15 times to protect their crops. About 300,000 smallholder households grow potatoes for their subsistence living and income generation. Losses due to late blight represents between 10-25% of their revenue from potato.

For more details about this project, contact Dr. Andrew Kiggundu/NARO (akiggundu@kari.go.ug), or Dr. Marc Ghislain/CIP (m.ghislain@cgiar.org).

Coffee farmers ask govt help to control CLR

By Yogesh Pokharel, Kathmandu, Jan. 10: Coffee farmers and stakeholders have warned that Nepali coffee might be wiped out within a few years from now if no urgent steps were taken to protect it from the endemic coffee leaf rust.

The coffee leaf rust (CLR) is a disease caused by a fungus, Hemileia castatrix, and is SPREADING in many coffee producing districts and has destroyed several coffee orchards in Nepal.

Talking to The Rising Nepal, Prachanda Man Shrestha, chairperson of Beautiful Coffee Nepal, said that the rust had widely destroyed the coffee plants in many districts in Nepal and demanded urgent steps to control it.

“Though coffee rust was identified recently, it had already spread in many coffee orchards of Nepal,” he suspected.

“Nepali coffee farmers even do not have expertise what step to take next to protect our coffee from it,” Shrestha said and added that the concerned stakeholders should work to find immediate solution or it would be too late to protect Nepali coffee.

He asked the concerned stakeholder to take prompt action with expert’s advice to control the rust.

“There is an urgent need of bringing experts to help suggest what steps to take in such a situation,” he said.

Bal Bahadur KC, former chairman of District Coffee Cooperative Union, Lalitpur, said that the endemic rust has posed serious threat to the coffee in the district.

“The rust has destroyed more than 75 per cent coffee trees in Durlung Organic Coffee Cooperative and affected all the coffee producing areas of the district,” he said.

Thuladurlung, Gimdi, Chandanpur, Pyutar and Kamidanda are major coffee producing village development committees (VDCs) in Lalitpur district.

He said that coffee production has reduced by more than 50 per cent and warned that the plants would be totally eliminated within next five years if urgent steps were not taken to project Nepali coffee from this disease.

He said that the production of coffee had fallen sharply owing to the infection of White Stem Borer and suspected that the endemic coffee leaf rust might eradicate Nepali coffee.

Lalitpur district would produce more than 62 metric tonnes of dry parchment coffee. However, the production has fallen down to less then 20 metric tonnes dry parchment in 2015.

Coffee rust was officially identified in Nepal in April 2015. However, the disease had severely affected many coffee orchards in Lalitpur and other districts in the country.

Meanwhile, the National Tea and Coffee Development Board (NTCDB) has formed a team under its coordination to curb the transmission of the endemic rust and devise necessary measures for its control and management.

“We have formed a team including representatives from all stakeholders and institutions working with coffee to take immediate step for the control and management of the disease,” Raghupati Chaudhari, Deputy Executive Director at the NTCDB, said.

He informed that the team would request Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Ministry of Agriculture Development and other organisations for it.

He said that the disease was reported to have damaged coffee in Lalitpur, Kavre, Syanja and Kaski districts.

The chances of the transmission of the disease in other parts of the country is equally high as the disease transmits through air.

Coffee is one of the major emerging cash crops in Nepal. Nepal produces around 450 metric tonnes green beans coffee annually, almost 70 per cent of which is exported.


12:00 AM, January 20, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 20, 2016

Thakurgaon, Panchagarh

Potato growers of Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts are worried due to attack of late blight disease at different villages of the two northern districts.

Leaf blight is a fungal disease, locally known as ‘patamora rog’. If immediate steps are not taken, leaves of the affected plants crumple, turn blackish, and die shortly, said Arshed Ali, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Thakurgaon.

“The disease appeared due to cold and foggy weather and fluctuation in temperature between day and night. To check the disease, we are suggesting farmers to spray on their potato fields two gram of Mencozeb or Metalexyl medicine mixed with one litre of water once a week,” he said.

He claimed that the situation is still under control.

During a recent visit to Yakubpur, Farabari, Chameshwari, Balia and Rahimanpur villages under Thakurgaon Sadar upazila and Moidandighi, Sipaipara and Sakoa villages in Boda upazila of Panchagarh district, this correspondent saw many late blight affected potato fields.

Frequent use of medicine adds to the production cost, said several farmers, who were seen spraying medicine to save the crop.

“I cultivated potato on two bighas (one bigha = .3306 acres) of land, spending about Tk 60 thousand, but a portion of the plants got damaged by the disease. As per suggestion of experts, I sprayed medicine on the field to save the remaining crop,” said Koileshwar Barman, 35, of Yakubpur village.

He had also incurred loss of Tk 45,000 by cultivating early variety of potato as the seeds rotted after 20/25 days of sowing seeds, he said, adding that many other early potato growers of the area faced the same this season.

This season 23,080 hectares of land has been brought under potato cultivation against the target of 21,800 hectares in Thakurgaon while in Panchagarh, the cultivation area is 8,680 hectares of land against the target of 9,505 hectares.

The DAE had set production targets of 4.38 lakh 370 tonnes and 1.86 lakh 773 tonnes of potato in Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts.


Eating stink bugs could boost health in Africa

Copyright: Government of B.C.

Speed read

  • Researchers assessed chemical components of an edible insect
  • They identified 12 amino acids, four flavonoids and ten essential fatty acids
  • Experts say identifying edible insects could boost health and food security
A new study has identified essential nutrients in an edible insect known as stink bug and suggests it as an alternative food source to help meet the dietary demands of an increasing human population.

The study, published in the PloS ONE journal on 5 January, resulted from funding from the German Academic Exchange Service to aid postdoctoral fellowships in African centres of excellence.

Researchers from Kenya and Zimbabwe collected stink bugs — known scientifically as Encosternumdelegorguei — from Jiri Forest in south-eastern Zimbabwe during June 2014, when the insect’s abdominal fat composition is at its highest.

“Some of the traditional foods, including insects such as the edible stink bug, are highly nutritious and beneficial to human health and should be promoted into mainstream diets.”

Baldwyn Torto, International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology

The researchers created four harvesting quadrants that covered the entire forest. In each quadrant, they harvested the stink bug from branches of ten randomly selected trees. The researchers searched for chemical components such as antioxidants, amino acids, essential fatty acids and toxins.

“We found high protein, fatty acids and anti-inflammatory chemicals such as flavonoids content,” says Baldwyn Torto, a scientist at the Kenya-based International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) and a corresponding author of the study. He adds that the edible stink bug has the potential to help lessen nutrient-deficient communities in Africa where vegetables and animal sources may be limited.

The researchers identified seven essential fatty acids for human nutrition and health out of the ten they found, four flavonoids and 12 amino acids, including two considered to be the most limiting in cereal-based diets.

The stink bug gets its name from the liquid it ejects when threatened, which smells strongly but is not dangerous.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, producing 70 per cent more food could help satisfy the estimated 9 billion human population by 2050. Edible insects could contribute to the world’s food security, says Torto, adding that most communities do not know which edible insects are truly nutritional and have beneficial effects on human health.

“This is what inspired our research to contribute to food security and income generation among the communities … across the African continent. Some of the traditional foods, including insects such as the edible stink bug, are highly nutritious and beneficial to human health and should be promoted into mainstream diets,” Torto tells SciDev.Net.

“We further recommend the creation of a database of all insects consumed across Africa to allow scientists to investigate their nutritional and health benefits and to develop methods for their mass rearing and processing,” he says.

Stacia Nordin, agriculture and nutrition education specialist for the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Feed the Future project in Malawi, concurs with the observation that edible insects are often a source of high-quality source of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, with the potential to improve nutrition.

However, she points out that good food safety standards need to be in place before insects can become a food source for the masses. “Food safety is paramount from production through processing, storage and consumption,” she says.

This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s Sub-Saharan Africa English desk.


Robert Musundire and others Aflatoxin contamination detected in nutrient and anti-oxidant rich edible stink bug stored in recycled grain containers (PloS ONE, 5 January 2016)

– See more at: http://www.scidev.net/global/nutrition/news/stink-bugs-boost-health-nutrition-africa.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=SciDevNewsletter&utm_campaign=international%20SciDev.Net%20update%3A%2025%20January%202016#sthash.jxGJD4iP.dpuf


IPM in (8) principle(s)

August 05, 2015

An ENDURE team of 17 co-authors has just published a review paper on the European Union’s eight principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The paper provides researchers, advisers and farmers with an approach for applying these legal requirements intelligently to promote local innovation while reducing reliance on pesticides and associated risks. The authors hope that interest in this approach may help garner support from European and national policy makers to set incentives promoting IPM extension work, demonstrations, research and implementation.

Rather than searching for a universally applicable silver-bullet solution, the authors argue in favour of a broad approach that takes local specificities into account and allows all farmers to engage in IPM at any point within the continuum. Their vision stems from the realistic acceptance that pesticide-based crop protection is simple and efficient in generating spectacular short-term results. More sustainable alternative strategies will inevitably be more complex and knowledge-intensive in their initial development stage.

The process envisioned therefore requires learning, adaptation, and tweaking of a number of farm management practices. It requires extending the challenge of crop protection to larger spatial and temporal scales, and generating more complex cropping systems better adapted to the local context. It also requires attention to non-technical aspects such as the social environment in which farmers operate, collective learning and farmers’ inclination for step-wise rather than drastic changes.

But the approach is viable, and the authors offer real-life examples of successful experiences with the types of tactics and strategies suggested.

The authors note that 70 years of reliance on chemical protection has led to the development of cropping systems that have become inherently vulnerable to pests. By emphasising Principle 1 on prevention, the authors offer concrete illustrations on how to modify cropping systems to make them more robust in the absence of pesticides. The authors also identify the limits and opportunities associated with Principles 2 to 7 – a logical sequence starting with observation and ending with using chemicals as a last resort. Last but not least, a new slant is given on the question of evaluation (Principle 8) regarding the need for the development of new performance criteria and their routine use among the farming community.

For more information:

Barzman M, Bàrberi P, Birch ANE, Boonekamp P, Dachbrodt-Saaydeh S, Graf B, Hommel B, Jensen JE, Kiss J, Kudsk P, Lamichhane JR, Messéan A, Moonen AC, Ratnadass A, Ricci P, Sarah JL, Sattin M. 2015. Eight principles of integrated pest management. Agronomy for Sustainable Development , online first. doi 10.1007/s13593-015-0327-9. It is available here

ANNEX III of Framework Directive 2009/128/EC

General principles of Integrated Pest Management. For ease of reference, the authors have added shorthand titles to each principle

Principle 1 – Prevention and suppression The prevention and/or suppression of harmful organisms should be achieved or supported among other options especially by:

  • Crop rotation
  • Use of adequate cultivation techniques (e.g. stale seedbed technique, sowing dates and densities, under-sowing, conservation tillage, pruning and direct sowing)
  • Use, where appropriate, of resistant/tolerant cultivars and standard/certified seed and planting material
  • Use of balanced fertilisation, liming and irrigation/drainage practices
  • Preventing the spreading of harmful organisms by hygiene measures (e.g. by regular cleansing of machinery and equipment)
  • Protection and enhancement of important beneficial organisms, e.g. by adequate plant protection measures or the utilisation of ecological infrastructures inside and outside production sites
Principle 2 – Monitoring Harmful organisms must be monitored by adequate methods and tools, where available. Such adequate tools should include observations in the field as well as scientifically sound warning, forecasting and early diagnosis systems, where feasible, as well as the use of advice from professionally qualified advisers.
Principle 3 – Decision-making Based on the results of the monitoring the professional user has to decide whether and when to apply plant protection measures. Robust and scientifically sound threshold values are essential components for decision-making. For harmful organisms, threshold levels defined for the region, specific areas, crops and particular climatic conditions must be taken into account before treatments, where feasible.
Principle 4 – Non-chemical methods Sustainable biological, physical and other non-chemical methods must be preferred to chemical methods if they provide satisfactory pest control.
Principle 5 – Pesticide selection The pesticides applied shall be as specific as possible for the target and shall have the least side effects on human health, non-target organisms and the environment.
Principle 6 – Reduced pesticide use The professional user should keep the use of pesticides and other forms of intervention to levels that are necessary, e.g. by reduced doses, reduced application frequency or partial applications, considering that the level of risk in vegetation is acceptable and they do not increase the risk for development of resistance in populations of harmful organisms.
Principle 7 – Anti-resistance strategies Where the risk of resistance against a plant protection measure is known and where the level of harmful organisms requires repeated application of pesticides to the crops, available anti-resistance strategies should be applied to maintain the effectiveness of the products. This may include the use of multiple pesticides with different modes of action.
Principle 8 – Evaluation Based on the records on the use of pesticides and on the monitoring of harmful organisms the professional user should check the success of the applied plant protection measures.


2016 IPPC Photo Contest: “The Shocking Impacts of Pests”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 239 other followers