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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

News for 2013

All our latest news.

For media enquiries, contact Rachel Winks.

New paper and infographic: Himalayan balsam and its impact on UK invertebrates

  Research by CABI scientists has shown local spider, true bug and beetle abundance are negatively affected by the presence of the invsive non-native weed, Himalayan balsam. A paper by CABI scientists details the results and discusses the implications for habitat restoration.   ...

2013 Review Conference news

70 delegates from 37 countries – more than ever before – met in Oxford at CABI's 18th Review Conference on 27-28 June to agree research priorities aimed at protecting the global food supply. The theme of the event was ‘growing to the global challenge: creating a sustainable future’, and followed on from CABI’s Regional Consultations. It outlined how we plan to address the shared priority areas of our Member Countries by delivering practical, on the ground programmes – growing our work together....

Newsletter: CABI in Africa 2013/14

The last twelve months have been very exciting for CABI across Africa. The CABI Africa latest newsletter illustrates how our Kenya and Ghana centres, and experts worldwide are providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve the continent's problems in agriculture and the environment.   2013 highlights include: • Plantwise success – 5 more countries involved • Improved CAB Abstracts Database & CABI Compendia access for African universities • Optimizing Fertiliz...

CABI takes home NEF Award for Innovation for Plantwise food security programme

5 December 2013 - CABI today received an Innovation Award at the 10th annual National Engineering Foundation (NEF) Innovisions Conference, in recognition for its landmark global food security programme, Plantwise. Hosted by NEF and presenters from the BBC, the Innovation Awards were established to recognise and celebrate ‘game-changers’ proven to be the very best of innovation in public policy. They have been judged by a panel of industry experts, influencers and leaders, as well as past award ...

CABI shortlisted by NEF Innovation Award for Plantwise food security programme

29 November 2013 - On Thursday 5 December, CABI representatives will join the annual National Engineering Foundation (NEF) Innovisions Conference to see whether its landmark global food security programme, Plantwise, will take home a 2013 Innovation Award. These awards were established to recognise and celebrate ‘game-changers’ proven to be the very best of innovation in public policy. They have been judged by a panel of industry experts, influencers and leaders as well as past award recipients...

CABI gains UKAS accreditation to lead in microbial services

27 November 2013 - CABI has been awarded UKAS accreditation for molecular identification of filamentous fungi and yeasts. By extending UKAS accreditation to include filamentous fungi and yeasts, CABI confirms its position as the UK’s leading authority for microbial identification and testing. CABI, which already holds ISO 17025 accreditation for the molecular identification of bacteria, is unique in the UK, as it is the only service to be UKAS accredited for the entire identification process, i...

Symposium highlights benefits of microbes

27 November 2013 - Brunei’s microbial diversity is largely untapped, but has the potential to support the economic diversification of the country. That was the key message emanating from a high level symposium held on 27 November in Brunei Darussalam. Here, CABI scientists outlined the important role that a new Biological Resource Centre would play in managing Brunei’s genetic microbial resources. Biological Resource Centres are key to preserving and conserving the world's microorganisms. These...

CABI responds to high-level segment of UN Climate Change Conference

22 November 2013 - Dennis Rangi, CABI's Executive Director, International Development, today delivered a statement to the high-level segment of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland. Talking about the implications of climate change on agriculture and food security, Mr Rangi's full statement is detailed below. CABI (www.cabi.org) is an inter-governmental, not-for-profit organization established under an international treaty registered with the United Nations. Our mission...

CocoaSafe project helps smallholder farmers access cocoa markets

21 November 2013 - CABI is leading a new project aimed at improving the quality of cocoa in South-East Asia and raising awareness of food safety issues in the cocoa supply chain. The CocoaSafe project kicks off on 27 November 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and aims to build food and plant health safety (sanitary and phytosanitary) capacity - essential for improving smallholders’ access to global markets. Cocoa is an important source of income for thousands of smallholder farmers in Indonesia, ...

CABI offers new BioServices training course in mycoinsecticide techniques

5 November 2013 - CABI has just released details of two training courses to be run in May 2014 at CABI’s Egham facility near London in plant pathology techniques and mycoinsecticide techniques. The latter is a brand new course, aimed at those working in agricultural and insect pest control sciences. Plant Pathology Techniques (6-9 May 2014) This course covers the basic principles of plant health disease diagnosis and the isolation and identification techniques of causal organisms. It is aimed ...

CABI joins Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN)

31 October 2013 – CABI has joined the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), which seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable unrestricted worldwide. As an organisation working at the intersection of agriculture, international development, scientific publishing and knowledge management, CABI is delighted to be a founding member GODAN. Focusing on building high-level policy and public and private institu...

CABI plays key role in International Congress on Biological Invasions

26 October 2013 – This week, hundreds of invasive species experts from across the world gathered in Qingdao, China, for the 2nd International Congress on Biological Invasions (ICBI2013). As a co-organiser and sponsor of ICBI2013, CABI played a key role in the event through its membership of the international organising and scientific committees, and with on-the-ground support from the CABI-China Joint-Lab. Meeting to address the challenges of the migration and spread of alien invasive species (...

Tanzanian minister for agriculture, Christopher Chiza, visits CABI to discuss agricultural partnerships

25 October 2013 – Tanzanian minister for agriculture, The Hon. Christopher Chiza, visited CABI headquarters today to discuss partnerships in agriculture and sustainable development. Keen to meet institutions with expertise in crop management, fertilisers and plant pests and diseases, Mr Chiza said, “I see there is a lot we can do together with CABI, like improving the precision of our plant health data collection – CABI has already been involved in plant health clinics through Plantwise in Tanza...

CABI takes part in 3rd Africa Rice Congress

24 October 2013 – CABI took part in the 3rd Africa Rice Congress in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé on 21-24 October 2013, an event focused on improving agricultural knowledge and farmer livelihoods in Africa. The congress brought together participants from over 60 countries, including 36 African countries. The theme of this year’s congress was ‘Rice Science for Food Security through Smallholder and Agri-business Development in Africa’. As a scientific publisher, CABI launched a new book at the even...

CABI supports leading agricultural event, CropWorld Global

22 October 2013 – CABI is supporting the world’s leading agricultural event, CropWorld Global 2013. The conference will take place in Amsterdam on 29-30 October. CABI’s Executive Director Publishing, Andrea Powell, and Director Strategic Partnerships, Janny Vos, will be speaking at the event. Focusing on ‘Better Farmers, Better Trade’, Andrea Powell will discuss opportunities and challenges for linking smallholder farmers more effectively with commercial supply chains at the national, regional ...

CABI signs MoU with Embrapa

18 October 2013 - CABI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) to stimulate the development of new lines of cooperation. The first phase of technical cooperation will focus on Plantwise and the transfer of plant health technology across Mato Grosso, Brazil’s largest state. The partnership and agreement of technical cooperation were formalised at a signing ceremony in Brasilia, which took place today. Representing CABI was CEO...

CABI launches InfoTree, a practical internet resource for applied forest science information

17 October 2013 – CABI has launched InfoTree, a practical internet resource providing information for people working in the more applied areas of forest science. This new product focuses on the most common trees, pests and diseases studied by forest scientists, encompassing information from over 350,000 abstracts of scientific papers, through to reviews written by specialists in the field. In-depth profiles are available for each species covering a total of 250 trees and 50 pests and diseases, a...

On World Food Day, "We need to produce more smartly and waste less"

16 October 2013 – Today is World Food Day, a day of global action against hunger. To meet future food demand as worldwide population increases, we need an additional 2.7 million hectares of farmland per year. Or do we? “Not necessarily”, says CABI CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls. “While this is part of the solution, we also need to produce more smartly and waste less.” Smallholder farmers grow around 70% of the world’s food, but lose a huge proportion of this figure to waste. We can help reduce this wa...

India rice workshop a success

14 October 2013 – A specialised CABI rice agri-advice pilot has been successfully implemented, so much so that following a multi-stakeholder donor workshop held in October, our centre in India is now working to increase its scale to the national level across India. Rice growers can experience yield losses as high as 60%. As domestic demand for rice is now growing faster than production, practical measures that can raise rice productivity are attracting interest in India. To minimise losses fro...

Landmark climate change report brings new concerns for food security

26 September 2013 – Tomorrow, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its fifth global warming report predicting indicators of climate change for the coming years. The expectation is that the temperature is set to increase even more dramatically than the last report predicted in 2007, causing a domino effect on weather conditions, oceanic trends and the multitude of ecosystems that are dependent on them. “We believe the assessment of new publications will help us fill ...

CABI-RUFORUM collaboration gives 32 universities access to CAB Abstracts database

21 September 2013 – CABI and The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) today announced a strategic collaboration giving 32 African universities access to CAB Abstracts - the leading information service for applied life sciences literature. RUFORUM is a consortium of 32 universities in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, which was established in 2004, and has been working with CABI since 2012. The collaboration was announced at a three-day RUFORUM meeting i...

CABI gives thumbs up to EU action against invasive species

10 September 2013 – CABI welcomes action that the EU has recently taken (9 September 2013) to protect member states against the adverse impacts of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). The draft Regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of IAS will help to coordinate management and preventative measures across the whole of the EU, leading to what will effectively be a joint battle against IAS – a problem that costs the EU at least 12 billion Euros each year. CABI’s init...

CABI provides free books through AGORA programme

10 September 2013 – CABI has decided to provide developing countries with free access to 77 recently published agriculture, plant and veterinary science books, as part of the AGORA programme. Set up by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) together with major publishers, and now in the run up to its 10th anniversary in October 2013, AGORA provides people in developing countries with access to an outstanding digital library collection in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental s...

CABI appoints Dr Babar Bajwa as Regional Director, Central and West Asia

9 September 2013 - CABI is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Babar Bajwa as Regional Director, Central and West Asia. Dr Bajwa, an award winning agricultural researcher, joined CABI today and is based in our office in Pakistan. He brings with him a wealth of expertise in agribusiness, essential for a region where small-scale farming is widespread, employing a large percentage of the population and contributing heavily towards GDP. CABI’s Centre in Central and West Asia works to help far...

CABI CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls, elected to Tropical Agriculture Programme committee

9 September 2013 – CABI’s CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls, has been elected to the final steering committee of the Tropical Agriculture Programme (TAP). Already a member of TAP's interim steering committee, Dr Nicholls will hold this new role for the next three years. TAP was launched at the first G20 meeting of agriculture chief scientists in 2012 with the aim of improving the coherence and impact of agricultural innovation in the world’s least developed countries. TAP brokers partnerships between exi...

CABI Plantwise collaboration with IPPC

5 September 2013 – As part our recent efforts to improve collaboration on joint activities, CABI Plantwise is delighted to announce an agreement with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) to initiate secondments between the two organisations, and thereby increase transparency and effectiveness. Katherine Cameron, Knowledge Bank Development Manager for Plantwise, has joined the IPPC secretariat at the FAO headquarters in Rome, in order to assist in the guidance and approval of a jo...

Historical CABI records used in crop pest climate change study

2 September 2013 – Researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Oxford have revealed in a new study that global warming is resulting in the spread of crop pests towards the North and South Poles at a rate of nearly 3 km a year. The study made significant use of historical records held by CABI - the CABI Distribution Maps of Plant Pests, and of Plant Diseases - which document crop pests and diseases around the world from 1822 to the present day. Published in Nature, the research shows a strong ...

CABI wins project to train vulnerable and unskilled people in Pakistan

30 August 2013 – The Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) is funding CABI to stimulate local markets in Punjab, Pakistan, by developing and training poor, vulnerable and unskilled people from four districts of South Punjab, namely Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Muzaffargarh and Lodhran. The aim is to enhance their skills and allow them to gain better jobs, self-employment and generate income opportunities. Eventually the trainees will contribute towards food security and the lives of the rural poor ...

Box tree moth population explodes in the Jura

21 August 2013 - CABI's Dr Marc Kenis was interviewed by the Swiss television station, Canal Alpha, about the evolving threat of the box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) in the Jura region - an area north of the western Alps. The moths are capable of rapidly defoliating native box plants and may upset the natural balance of the local ecosystem. Talking about the box tree moths, Dr Kenis commented, "They have been found in Switzerland since 2007, and in Jura since 2010, but this year the popula...

CABI creates Middle East Library Advisory Board (MELAB)

12 August 2013 – CABI has created the Middle East Library Advisory Board (MELAB) to better facilitate communication, consultation and liaison between CABI and its library customers in the Middle East. MELAB will act as a forum to gather feedback from CABI's key Middle Eastern customers on a range of issues, including current and future publishing products. Discussions will focus on the content of CABI's portfolio of products, including its world renowned databases, books, internet resources and...

CABI joins 13-country African fertiliser project

8 August 2013 – Over the summer, CABI announced its involvement in an exciting, 13-country project called Optimising Fertiliser Recommendations for Africa (OFRA). CABI is acting as contract holder and the African Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) is responsible for the project’s communications. This month, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which will carry out the research aspects of the programme, travelled to Africa to initiate the work. The project's participating countries include Burkina Fas...

CABI launches new website

1 August 2013 – CABI is pleased to announce the launch of its new website. By putting improved functionality and navigation at the heart of its web design, CABI has made it even easier for visitors to locate information about the organisation’s many projects, services and publishing products. Concentrating on existing and new visitors, as well as external and internal audiences, CABI has updated its website to ensure it provides the most user-friendly service possible. Extensive user testing en...