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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Food security and nutrition

Food security and nutrition

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 805 million of the people in the world are still experiencing chronic undernourishment or hunger. Meanwhile, a significant amount of food currently grown worldwide is lost to pests despite advances in agricultural technology. Reducing this loss by just 1% could feed millions. To do this farmers need good advice from people they trust. By bringing agricultural knowledge to smallholders, we are changing the food security story. 

We focus on supporting smallholder farmers and improving their crop yields, tackling pests and diseases and finding alternatives to pesticides.

By promoting integrated solutions, we improve access to better seeds and planting materials; encourage efficient and effective use of mineral fertilizer and organic inputs, combined with good agricultural practices.

We introduce new crop production technologies, provide training and build local and national capacity. We also improve access to knowledge and information to support crop management to raise crop productivity. For instance, we support the improvement of soil and seed health leading to healthy plants and a good yield, affecting food security, income and livelihoods.

Crop protection compendium

This is a time-saving, encyclopedic, mixed-media tool that draws together scientific information on all aspects of crop protection. It features extensive global coverage of pests, diseases, weeds and their natural enemies, the crops that are their hosts, and the countries in which they occur.

Protecting leeks and onions from pests

The invasive leek moth poses a significant and immediate threat to producers of leeks, onions, garlic and chives in North America. The larvae mine the green tissues, reducing the marketability of crops. The pest’s distribution is expanding, with no signs of suppression by indigenous natural enemies. We are supporting an integrated pest management... >>

Africa soil health

Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. It is now widely recognized that increased fertilizer use, integrated with other soil fertility management practises is the way forward. The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) brings together experts in soil health, and we bring... >>

Transferring crop protection technology from China to Rwanda

Food crops represent one third of Rwanda’s GDP, but the supply remains fragile due to soil pests such as white grubs, cut worm and bean fly which damage vegetable and root crops. Options for control are limited. A team from China, Africa, the UK and Switzerland is working with the Rwandan Agricultural Board (RAB) to provide farmers with access to... >>

CaféMóvel: Mobile extension service for coffee growers in India

Most of India’s coffee farms are in remote hilly areas. This means that conventional extension systems cannot provide the information growers need to make correct and timely decisions. This project is trialling the effectiveness of CaféMóvel – a mobile-enabled extension service that uses CABI’s Direct2Farm database to give advisory support, the... >>

Developing an early warning system for crop pest and disease outbreaks

Supporting farmers in their fight against pests is a global food security emergency, and the key is knowledge. Local data on the distribution of crops, pests and diseases are captured at Plantwise plant clinics which are run around the world, and stored in the Plantwise Knowledge Bank. This project is investigating the feasibility of using this... >>

Arming DPR Korea's farmers with tools to tackle soil pests

Food crops such as rice, maize and cabbage are grown over two-thirds of Korea’s total arable land. Damage inflicted by soil-borne insects threatens yields, with losses of up to 30%. The proliferation of these pests is the result of a lack of safe, feasible control methods. This project aims to improve pest management through making an effective,... >>

Partnership with DPR Korea's Ministry of Agriculture

Agricultural production in DPR Korea is low, resulting in food shortages and the need for international aid. Ensuring food security is a priority for the government. We have helped the newly-established Department of Plant Protection to sustainably improve agricultural production by optimizing its ability to develop and implement plant protection... >>