Blog written by Léna Durocher-Granger and Solveig Danielsen One Health Day is held on the 3rd of November to highlight “the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines — working locally, nationally, and globally — to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment” (One Health Initiative, 2016). Although One Health Initiative is focusing mainly on […]
Archive for the ‘Technology transfer’ Category
By Fiona Emdin. Reblogged from the CGIAR CCFAS blog. Different doctors treat different types of diseases. When the villagers of Rohal Suong in Cambodia feel sick, they can consult a doctor. Now when their crops are sick, they can also go to another doctor, a plant health advisor, who can provide information on the best […]
Reblogged from Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences news During 3-day training workshop, participants learnt how to validate Plantwise diagnoses and recommendations and how to analyze data from Vietnam stored on the Plantwise Knowledge bank. This activity is useful and necessary for the staff working in plant protection because they can examine and evaluate skills and […]
Originally posted on The FARA Social Reporters Blog: Damien Nsabiyumve explaining the role of “plant doctors” in the “Plantwise” programme The 7th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW7) organized by the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) is took place in Kigali-Rwanda from June 13-16. During this event many companies and organisations attended, and brought…
By Dyna Eam. Reblogged from the CGIAR CCAFS blog. Farmer representatives and project team members of Rohal Suong Climate-Smart Village in Cambodia learn about rice pest management in light of climate change. Many people attribute floods, droughts and cyclones to climate change and these natural disasters impact greatly on agricultural productivity. But recent scientific evidences […]
Fabulous fungus finds a following
USAID’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management organizes a three-day Trichoderma workshop at AVRDC Eastern and Southern Africa
Trichoderma, the “fighting fungus,” helps humans in many, many ways. It is used to give jeans a stone-washed look, increases biodigestibility of barley before it is given to chickens and, most importantly, is good at eating bad fungi, which makes it a great biological control tool for farmers worldwide. Whether fusarium wilt on tomatoes, clubroot on broccoli, or pink rot in onion, Trichoderma kills them all.
In Asia, a large cottage industry produces the fungus and makes its products available to smallholders. Trichoderma holds great potential for East Africa, but few entrepreneurs are producing or distributing the fungus, and scientists are not fully aware of Trichoderma’s capabilities. Therefore, on 20-23 July 2015, a three-day course was organized at AVRDC Eastern and Southern Africa to introduce scientists to this fantastic fungus. Professors Sevugapperumal Nakkeeran and Karthikeyan Gandhi, experts in the field, flew in from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India to teach the course.
The course was opened by Muni Muniappan from Virginia Tech University, the Director of the IPM Innovation Lab, and AVRDC Regional Director Thomas Dubois. The IPM Innovation Lab, a new $18 million program, is working hard to raise the standard of living for people in Eastern Africa and South Asia by designing and spreading environmentally sound agricultural practices to address emerging pest and disease problems that plague farmers in developing countries. “Trichoderma has been a godsend in treating fungal diseases in Asia, and local businesses can make good money growing the fungus,” Muni said. “Together with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), RealIPM and Alpha Seeds, AVRDC has been researching the use of Trichoderma as an inoculant for tomato seedlings with great results, so we know what this fungus is capable of doing.”
The course was attended by 22 high-level scientists in the fields of plant pathology, entomology and IPM from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Participants visited the field to collect maize and vegetable roots, and isolate their own fungi from these samples. Practical sessions comprised media preparation, screening Trichoderma for its efficacy against soil-borne pathogens, identification of Trichoderma species, ways to count spore densities, and mass production using cheap substrates. Participants also collected and studied other beneficial soil microbes, such as Rhizobacteria and Pseudomonas. During lectures, the instructors talked about shelf life, formulations and delivery mechanisms, registration and regulatory issues for Trichoderma and other biopesticides, and current low cost mass production technologies.
Getting the numerous fungal isolates, proper culture media, and laboratory teaching materials organized for the in-depth practical sessions required a lot of preparation and planning. George Mahuku, Juma Yabeya and Harun Muriti from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, were instrumental in ensuring participants had all the necessary tools at hand to properly study the fungus. Zara Shortt, Financial Coordinator of the IPM Innovation Lab, as well as Jason Smith, AVRDC Entomologist, also helped greatly in preparing the course and ensured all participants returned happily.
One week after the USAID Innovation Lab training on Trichoderma, another workshop about the fungus was hosted for private sector representatives and scientists at AVRDC in Arusha. Twenty growers representing Tanzania’s vegetable, tree fruit and flower industries learned a new set of practices for IPM from RealIPM co-founder Louise Labuschagne, who explained how to tackle a host of hard-to-beat pests and diseases including whiteflies, fruit flies, thrips, and common foliar and soil-borne diseases. RealIPM offers a range of beneficial fungi, bacteria and mites that, when integrated into IPM strategies, can break cycles of pest resistance to conventional pesticides while reducing farmer reliance upon more toxic alternatives. Biopesticides offer the additional benefit of allowing beneficial insects to thrive in farm fields where they would otherwise be suppressed by conventional pesticide sprays. RealIPM is headquartered in Kenya and has been at the forefront of biological control on the African continent. With such strong interest from the public and private sectors, biological controls are set to boom in the region.
Posted in Food Security, IPM, Technology transfer, tagged Feed the Future IPM Innovation Lab, hunger, IPM and food security, IPM CRSP, Peace Corps, rural poverty, Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux on January 26, 2015 | Leave a Comment »