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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment
  • Africa soil health

    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 communications expertise and experience of working with farmers.

  • An international plant sentinel network for botanic gardens and arboreta

    An international plant sentinel network for botanic gardens and arboreta

    Because of trade and climate change, the rate of new plant pests being introduced and establishing has increased. However, the scientific expertise is reducing. Coordination of the phytosanitary policies and regulations that underpin technical recommendations is needed. CABI is looking to overcome this issue by enhancing the activities that provide early warnings of new and emerging plant pests and diseases. Scientists can then look to prevent or mitigate the problem.

  • An old problem revisited: biological control of toadflaxes

    An old problem revisited: biological control of toadflaxes

    Native to Europe, toadflaxes were introduced to the USA and Canada over 100 years ago as ornamental plants. They now occur over much of temperate North America and are declared noxious in eight US states. CABI is part of an effort to identify specific natural enemies that can be introduced into North America as biological control agents to reduce the vigour, density and spread of this invasive plant.

  • Assessing a biocontrol agent for Jatropha gossypiifolia

    Assessing a biocontrol agent for Jatropha gossypiifolia

    Jatropha gossypiifolia (bellyache bush) is a major invasive plant in Australia. Previous biocontrol efforts have concentrated on insects but the Australian Government are now keen on trying fungal pathogens. As experts, CABI is carrying out safety and efficacy experiments on a rust fungus in Trinidad. Results will help the Australian authorities decide whether to import the rust fungus as a biocontrol agent for J. gossypiifolia.

  • Australia-Africa plant biosecurity partnership

    Australia-Africa plant biosecurity partnership

    Agricultural trade is a powerful engine for economic growth, poverty alleviation and food security but diseases are impacting it. Countries are therefore looking for ways of making agricultural trade secure. This initiative aims to facilitate trade by addressing plant pest and disease problems that hinder agricultural exports and threaten food security. The programme focusses on strengthening plant biosecurity skills in in Africa based on the experiences of Australian experts.

  • Azolla control

    Azolla control

    One of the UK’s most invasive plants, the fairy fern or floating water fern causes problems for anglers and water managers. It forms thick mats on the water’s surface which can double in size in a few days, blocking out light and killing aquatic flora and fish. Fragmentation of the fronds makes control by mechanical means virtually impossible. This project involves researching and testing the use of a 2mm-long North American weevil Stenopelmus rufinasus as an agent to control the weed naturally.

  • Biological control of brown marmorated stink bug

    Biological control of brown marmorated stink bug

    The brown marmorated stink bug is native to parts of East Asia and is invasive in the US, Canada and Switzerland. Here, it is a serious pest of many fruit trees, shrubs and other plants. Chemical control is often used but, with testing, parasitic wasps from China could be used in North America instead. So we want to determine what natural enemies attack bugs in China and where they will survive so that the risks of using them in North America can be assessed.

  • Biological control of diamondback moth in Canada

    Biological control of diamondback moth in Canada

    The diamondback moth is a global pest. Canadian farmers often have use chemicals to protect their crops. This is costly and the pest is becoming immune, meaning additional control options are needed. In Europe, Asia and Africa, Diadromus collaris, is a major parasitoid of the moth. It has been introduced to several countries or regions and has established as a successful biocontrol. CABI is therefore carrying out life table studies in Europe to determine if its introduction is a viable strategy.

  • Biological control of flowering rush

    Biological control of flowering rush

    Attractive pink flowers make the Eurasian plant flowering rush a popular aquatic ornamental. But since it was introduced to North America it has become an aggressive invader of freshwater systems in the midwestern/ western USA and western Canada. One reason for this is the absence of the natural enemies that keep it in check in its area of origin. CABI is searching for natural enemies that could be introduced to reduce its vigour and spread in North America.

  • Biological control of garlic mustard

    Biological control of garlic mustard

    Crushed garlic mustard leaves and seeds smell like cultivated garlic and have been used as flavouring in cooking for centuries. Garlic mustard is a brassica from Eurasia that was accidentally taken to North America and became invasive in many of its forests. Together with partners, CABI is exploring the possibility of using specially selected and tested insects from the native range in order to safely control the plant’s spread and impact in the introduced range.

  • Biological control of hawkweeds

    Biological control of hawkweeds

    European hawkweeds are invasive in North American pastures, where they escape mowing and even profit from mechanical disturbance. Chemical control with broad-spectrum herbicides is not selective and is relatively expensive, and hawkweeds may recolonize pastures from untreated areas. Insects that feed on hawkweeds in Europe have been studied as potential biological control agents for North America since 2000. The first agent, the gall wasp Aulacidea subterminalis, was released in 2011.

  • Biological control of Himalayan balsam

    Biological control of Himalayan balsam

    Himalayan balsam has rapidly become one of the UK’s most invasive weed species. A lack of natural enemies allows it to successfully compete with native plants for space, light, nutrients and pollinators, reducing biodiversity and contributing to erosion. Traditional control methods are inadequate. This project involves identifying an insect or plant pathogen that exclusively attacks Himalayan balsam, which can be released into the UK to control the plant while leaving indigenous species intact.

  • Biological control of oxeye daisy

    Biological control of oxeye daisy

    Oxeye daisy and Shasta daisy look similar and are closely related. Yet the former has become an unwelcome invasive weed in North America, while the latter remains a garden favourite. CABI is investigating whether specialist natural enemies from oxeye daisy’s area of origin in Eurasia could be introduced in North America as biological control agents. The popularity of Shasta daisy makes this a challenge because any introduced agent must have an impact on oxeye daisy but not Shasta daisy.

  • Biological control of perennial pepperweed in the United States

    Biological control of perennial pepperweed in the United States

    Weeds like perennial pepperweed that have creeping root systems and prolific seed production are among the most difficult to control. This Eurasian mustard plant was accidentally introduced into North America with crop seed. One reason why it has become an invasive weed could be the absence of natural enemies that attack it in its area of origin. CABI is seeking to identify specialist natural enemies from Eurasia that can be introduced into North America as biological control agents.

  • Boosting coffee productivity in Kenya and Malawi

    Boosting coffee productivity in Kenya and Malawi

    Although coffee is a high-value commodity and a major contributor to the economies of Kenya and Malawi, many smallholder producers remain poor because of low productivity. CABI scientists will help improve this situation by working with research institutions and assisting them to adopt modern tissue culture-based technologies to rapidly produce lots of seedlings.

  • Breaking barriers, facilitating trade

    Breaking barriers, facilitating trade

    Intra-regional trade is key in promoting economic development and improving food security within East and southern Africa. However, due to higher costs, many countries here are trading more with distant countries. We want to change this and increase the trade in agrifood products within the region. The CABI team will be working with COMESA to review and simplify current measures and barriers to trade.

  • Building capacity for directly planted rice

    Building capacity for directly planted rice

    As a very important crop in India, the growing of rice and tackling pests and diseases is given lots of attention. Rice that’s planted directly into the field cuts effort and water consumption but increases the likelihood of pest damage. Our aim therefore is to develop a sustainable and scalable system of plant health management, especially for directly planted seedlings, to encourage an irrigation-economy for rice production.

  • CABIcore - re-engineering the CABI Knowledge Business

    CABIcore - re-engineering the CABI Knowledge Business

    For over 100 years CABI has created and disseminated vast amounts of information relating to agricultural research and problem-solving. But much of this content can’t be interrogated or integrated with recent content to generate new knowledge and insights. This programme aims to transform CABI’s knowledge management platforms, providing flexibility to manipulate and deliver relevant, authoritative information to researchers, practitioners and farmers in the most suitable format.

  • Controlling earwigs in the Falklands

    Controlling earwigs in the Falklands

    The European earwig has become a considerable domestic and public nuisance in the Falkland Islands, causing significant problems for local horticulture by decimating many garden vegetable crops. This population explosion is due to the absence of natural enemies that would normally keep them under control. To try and find a solution to this problem, CABI is investigating the possibility of using two parasitic fly species to control the earwigs in a biological way.

  • Controlling floating pennywort in a safe and sustainable way

    Controlling floating pennywort in a safe and sustainable way

    Floating pennywort is an invasive aquatic plant that can over-run water bodies in the UK, and is threatening habitats, native plants, fish and insects. Also a problem across much of Europe, this plant has rapid growth and can regenerate from small fragments. Management is mainly limited to mechanical clearance which is expensive and often ineffective. Through comprehensive host range testing, this project aims to identify the safest and most effective biocontrol agent to keep the plant in check.

  • Controlling hoary cress in the United States

    Controlling hoary cress in the United States

    Trade in seed brought crops to new regions, but many weeds were spread by this route too. Whitetops, also known as hoary cresses, arrived in the USA as contaminants of seed from Eurasia in the late 19th century. They are now aggressive invaders of crops, rangeland and riverbanks. One reason for this is the absence of the natural enemies that keep them in check in their area of origin. CABI staff in Switzerland are looking into the prospects for biological control of these invasive plants.

  • Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

    Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

    Japanese knotweed is one of the most damaging invasive weeds in the UK, Europe and North America. Growing up to a metre a month, it can push through tarmac and concrete. The cost of control in the UK, if attempted, is estimated at over £1.5 billion. Current control methods rely mainly on chemicals and are unsustainable. The aim of this project is to stop the spread of the plant by studying it in its native range to identify the natural enemies that keep it under control.

  • Controlling pest pear in Laikipia

    Controlling pest pear in Laikipia

    Pastoralists in northern Kenya are heavily dependent on livestock. Their lives are being devastated by the non-native cactus Opuntia stricta. This weed has invaded the last good grazing land and when livestock and wildlife eat its fruits the spines can cause infection and death. Chemical and mechanical control methods are expensive and impractical, so we are helping to introduce a new sustainable method: a sap-sucking insect that feeds solely on the cactus.

  • Controlling swallow-worts the sustainable way

    Controlling swallow-worts the sustainable way

    Swallow-worts (Vincetoxicum nigrum and V. rossicum) are Eurasian plants that have become invasive in North America. The overall goal of the project is to identify specific natural enemies that can be introduced to North America as biological control agents for swallow-worts.

  • Controlling the cabbage seedpod weevil in Canada

    Controlling the cabbage seedpod weevil in Canada

    The cabbage seedpod weevil is a widely distributed pest of cruciferous crops in Europe and North America, causing substantial economic losses in canola crops in Canada. Current control measures still rely on applying broad-spectrum insecticides. We are collecting European distribution data for a parasitic wasp that is the weevil’s most effective natural enemy in Europe, to find out whether it may prove successful in Canada.

  • Controlling the noxious Russian knapweed in North America

    Controlling the noxious Russian knapweed in North America

    Although native to Asia, Russian knapweed was accidentally introduced to North America over 100 years ago and is now causing untold problems across many states. Some decades ago, a nematode species was used in an effort to control the plant but it proved ineffective. Funded by a US and Canadian consortium CABI has been tasked with researching and introducing new classical biological control agents, some of which are already showing good promise.

  • Controlling wild ginger

    Controlling wild ginger

    Plants from the Hedychium genus are widely loved and cultivated as ornamentals but a few are threatening delicate ecosystems in Hawaii, New Zealand, the Macaronesian Archipelago (Azores, Madeira and the Canaries), Brazil, Australia and La Réunion. We are researching natural ways to manage the plants where they have become invasive, which involves returning to their original home range in the North eastern Himalayan foothills to try to find damaging and specific insects and/ or pathogens which may prove suitable for release in the invaded range.

  • Creating, collating and sharing climate, environment, infrastructure and livelihoods information

    Creating, collating and sharing climate, environment, infrastructure and livelihoods information

    A great deal of valuable information on the climate, environment, infrastructure and livelihoods exists, but in many different places. This programme aims to bring together quality assured resources and make them readily available via the ‘Evidence on Demand’ website. Those working in international development will be able to access what they need to make evidence-based decisions at the touch of a button. The knowledge platform includes a training directory and a document library.

  • Developing biopesticides to remove the need for cold storage

    Developing biopesticides to remove the need for cold storage

    Farmers face issues with insect pests that damage their crops. In Africa, cold storage facilities necessary for some biopesticides aren't always available. As experts in this and crop management, we are working with Asymptote Ltd, a UK technology company, to develop an appropriate product for rural conditions in Africa, meaning African farmers will no longer have to rely on harmful chemical pesticides to protect their crops.

  • Effects of invasive species on critically endangered IUCN list species

    Effects of invasive species on critically endangered IUCN list species

    Invasive species are probably contributing to the decline or loss of many threatened species on the IUCN’s RedList but no-one is sure what their role is, how damaging they are and how they are doing it. To allow for a greater understanding of this problem, we want to find, assess and understand evidence on the role of invasive species in the decline of critically endangered species on this list and the mechanisms involved.

  • Ensuring Pakistan’s agricultural trade is healthy

    Ensuring Pakistan’s agricultural trade is healthy

    Agricultural exports represent Pakistan’s largest source of foreign exchange earnings. The government has recognized the need to strengthen plant and animal health safeguarding systems, to meet the stringent Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements of international trading partners. We are working with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Texas A&M University (TAMU) to develop and run training courses for officials and scientists on developing an agriculture import/ export system.

  • Establishing a centre for crop health and protection in the UK

    Establishing a centre for crop health and protection in the UK

    Breakthroughs in science and technology are helping overcome global food production challenges and changing the worlds’ agriculture. A new Centre for Applied Crop Science is ensuring the UK has the necessary capital needed to deliver a cutting edge platform to support agriculture in the UK and beyond. CABI is the lead partner in three main work strands namely: Novel control discovery and implementation, Collection of biotic crop pests, and Horizon scanning and international development.

  • Evaluating and managing the pathways of pest introductions through trade

    Evaluating and managing the pathways of pest introductions through trade

    The number of invasive organisms in European forests is increasing, with the trade in live plants recognized as a major pathway in the movement of pests and diseases. The number of shipments is so high that phytosanitary (plant health) inspections can only intercept a fraction of the harmful species. This project focuses on reducing threats from exotic pests through promoting enhanced pathway management, which includes developing and proposing new risk mitigation measures for woody plants.

  • Expanding our Direct2Farm project

    Expanding our Direct2Farm project

    Agriculture is extremely important in developing countries, employing around 40% of the workforce. In India, it contributes almost 20% of its GDP. Fears abound that the population will grow quicker than farmers can grow food. Helping them to grow more crops and lose less to pests and diseases means giving them access to practical information to solve everyday farming problems. Direct2Farm – a service that turns factsheets into short SMS and voice messages that are delivered straight to farmers.

  • Exploring options to control Canada thistle

    Exploring options to control Canada thistle

    Despite the name, Canada thistle’s natural home is Eurasia. It has spread throughout the temperate world to become one of the worst weeds in rangeland and crops. One reason for this is the absence of the natural enemies that attack it in its area of origin. In North America six insect natural enemies have been introduced as biological control agents to try to control the weed but they have had little impact. CABI has been investigating whether disease-causing fungi might be the answer.

  • Finding a biocontrol agent for Crassula

    Finding a biocontrol agent for Crassula

    Crassula helmsii is an invasive water weed that dominates still or slow flowing water bodies. It’s spreading throughout the UK and has the potential to out-compete native flora and reduce oxygen levels by forming dense mats. Chemicals are not an option so CABI were commissioned by the UK government to investigate the possibility of controlling it using biological control. This includes lots of testing by our scientists to ensure that any potential agent is safe for release.

  • Gender and the Legume Alliance

    Gender and the Legume Alliance

    Legume crops play a key role in household nutritional security and incomes but production is in decline. To rectify this, the Legume Alliance is trying to get information about growing common beans into as many smallholder farming households in Ghana and Tanzania as possible. This work will also look at information targeting different gender groups. Allowing them to achieve sustainable intensification that will increase incomes and help attain nutritional security in the region.

  • Giving dyer’s woad the blues

    Giving dyer’s woad the blues

    Dyer’s woad is an ancient source of blue dye and was grown as a textile dye crop in Europe and Asia for centuries. It was introduced to North America by early colonists, but escaped cultivation. Today, it is recognized as a serious weed in the western USA. One reason for its impact is the absence of the natural enemies that keep it in check in its area of origin. CABI is searching for specialist natural enemies in Europe that could potentially be introduced for its biological control.

  • Global warning: A global network of nurseries as early warning system against alien tree pests

    Global warning: A global network of nurseries as early warning system against alien tree pests

    The international trade in live plants is a major pathway for the introduction of invasive tree pests and pathogens, resulting in environmental and economic damage. Without knowing how harmful they could be, or that they even existed, they have not been regulated. A novel way of identifying potentially harmful organisms is to monitor trees in regions that export plants. The Action will establish a global network of scientists and regulators.

  • GODAN: Making agriculture and nutrition data open and searchable

    GODAN: Making agriculture and nutrition data open and searchable

    Open data – data that is freely available and machine-readable for everyone to use – is a vital resource for improving global food security and human health. The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) programme has been set up to take pioneering agriculture and nutrition research information and make it openly accessible – together with up-to-date information on soils, weather, land ownership, market prices and similar – to the people who need it most.

  • Growing tobacco more sustainably in Turkey

    Growing tobacco more sustainably in Turkey

    Tobacco production is of high social and economic importance in Turkey. Farmers of oriental tobacco, an aromatic sun-cured variety, are contracted by leaf supplier companies that provide production supplies and advice. They lack knowledge of sustainable pest management techniques, however, so the use of chemical pesticides is high. We are working with tobacco and leaf supply companies to introduce Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies that involve the application of non-chemical controls.

  • Guaranteeing credit to coffee farmers in Ethiopia and Rwanda

    Guaranteeing credit to coffee farmers in Ethiopia and Rwanda

    Coffee is one of the largest traded commodities in the world, providing livelihoods for 25 million farming families, and is crucial to many countries’ GDP. In places such as Ethiopia and Rwanda, coffee plays a critical role in the economy and revitalising coffee production and quality is vital; allowing farmers to attract premiums and improve their household income. This project continues on our previous work here improving processing practices by smallholders.

  • Hope for biological control of houndstongue in the USA?

    Hope for biological control of houndstongue in the USA?

    An invasive weed with close relatives among native species is a challenge for biological control. Houndstongue was introduced accidentally to North America from Eurasia in the mid-19th century. It has since invaded most Canadian provinces and adjacent US states. There are many native plants in the USA in the same family as houndstongue. CABI staff in Switzerland are investigating specialized natural enemies in the area of origin of the weed that could be introduced as biological control agents.

  • Improved management strategies for cocoa in Papua New Guinea

    Improved management strategies for cocoa in Papua New Guinea

    Cocoa is a highly important export in Papua New Guinea, 80% of which comes from smallholders dependent on it for their livelihoods. But, production is threatened by the cocoa pod borer. Tricky to control, it is now one of the most serious threats to the global cocoa industry. We are developing effective ways to detect and predict infestations such as evaluating improved clones and then promoting better crop management, intensification and diversification, and region-specific extension.

  • Improving SPS training and knowledge sharing in cocoa (CocoaSafe)

    Improving SPS training and knowledge sharing in cocoa (CocoaSafe)

    Cocoa is an important source of income across Southeast Asia. To maintain access to markets, and sustain farmers’ livelihoods and national GDP, all food safety and international SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary) standards must be met. This project is building SPS capacity in the region, to ensure production and trade meets legislation on pesticide residues and other harmful substances. Best practices will be promoted throughout the value chain - from production to export - to improve quality.

  • Improving the rational use of pesticides for locusts in China

    Improving the rational use of pesticides for locusts in China

    Agriculture is very important to China and chemical pesticides are often used to control their associated pests. Biopesticides, which have a low impact on surrounding plants and the environment can be used instead and China wants to switch over to them. Using CABI’s expertise, this project uses Earth Observation (EO) and other data to build a prototype system that provides information on locust control in China.

  • Increasing rice production around the Mekong

    Increasing rice production around the Mekong

    Rice is the most important crop in southwestern China, Laos and Myanmar. Despite recent improvements, productivity is still low with millions of tons lost to pests, diseases and weeds. Intensive pesticide use has led to insecticide resistance, outbreaks of secondary pests and damage to farmers’ health. This project is introducing a biologically based pest management approach to safely and sustainably increase rice production, improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the region.

  • Insects as a source of protein

    Insects as a source of protein

    Global demand for animal-sourced foods is accelerating. Fishmeal and crops such as soya are key ingredients in animal feeds but are not ecologically or economically sustainable. Insect protein presents a viable alternative. The PROTEINSECTproject is exploring fly larva (maggots), which are nutritious and can be mass produced at low cost, as animal feed. It will develop and optimize maggot production systems, determine safety and quality criteria and evaluate the performance of protein extracts.

  • Institutionalizing the quality of commercial products

    Institutionalizing the quality of commercial products

    The soil in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa is hampering the production of good quality and plentiful crops. Many new bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides and other agro-inputs have been developed and commercialized but often haven’t been properly assessed. CABI, working with partners, is supporting increased knowledge and information available to smallholder farmers and decision makers on commercial bio fertilizers and bio pesticides in order to support uptake and use and support regulatory mechanisms.

  • Invasive species data

    Invasive species data

    Invasive species are causing species extinction. We are trying to address this problem by providing sound scientific information that will be used by endangered species managers to improve their efforts to recover listed and candidate species affected by invasive species. The information will also be used by invasive species managers to control invasive species that are causing species extinction in the USA.

  • LEGATO: rice ecosystem services

    LEGATO: rice ecosystem services

    As a staple food crop in South East Asia, it is a key driver of the countries’ economies and essential to the diets and livelihoods of the billions of people who live here. We are involved in a five-year project that aims to measure the interdependence of ecosystem functions and services generated by long-term, intensive, irrigated rice fields here.

  • Locating a biological control for tutsan in New Zealand

    Locating a biological control for tutsan in New Zealand

    Tutsan, native to Europe, was introduced to New Zealand but is now a major invasive species. In 2011, CABI’s Swiss centre was approached by Landcare Research to investigate prospects for the biological control of tutsan. Surveys in the native range revealed a suite of insects and pathogens. CABI’s laboratories in the UK are currently conducting research on strains of the rust fungus, Melampsora hypericorum, from Europe to assess their potential to control tutsan populations in New Zealand.

  • Managing invasive rubbervine in Brazil

    Managing invasive rubbervine in Brazil

    Invasion by the alien plant rubbervine (devil’s claw) is endangering native flora and fauna in northeastern Brazil. In the Caatinga the endemic Carnauba palm, with its highly valued wax, has come under threat. CABI, in collaboration with Brazilian counterparts, is seeking to evaluate the rust Maravalia cryptostegia as a potential biocontrol agent for devil’s claw. The same rust has been used in Australia to successfully control another invasive alien rubbervine species.

  • Managing invasive species in selected forest ecosystems of South East Asia

    Managing invasive species in selected forest ecosystems of South East Asia

    Invasive species are threatening forest habitats in South East Asia. They also indirectly affect the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on forests for food, commodities and energy. CABI and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with partners, have developed a project aimed at conserving globally important forests in the region. The initial aim is to enhance the capacity of Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam to manage their invasive alien species.

  • Managing Maize lethal necrosis disease in eastern and central Africa

    Managing Maize lethal necrosis disease in eastern and central Africa

    Maize accounts for 40 - 50% of calories and proteins consumed in eastern and central Africa so is an important crop. Maize lethal necrosis disease poses a serious challenge to its production though and is threatening food security in the region. Our ultimate aim is to enhance food security, improve livelihoods and reduce poverty here by minimizing or eliminating the risks and effects of Maize lethal necrosis disease.

  • Measuring the livelihood impacts of invasive alien species in East Africa

    Measuring the livelihood impacts of invasive alien species in East Africa

    Although a lot is known about the biodiversity impacts of introduced species in East and southern Africa, very little is known about the livelihood impacts that they have on communities that depend on the goods and services provided by ecosystems. The aim of this project is to determine the negative socio-economic impacts of selected invasive alien plants on poor rural communities, especially farmers, in East and southern Africa.

  • MIRRI: improving access to microbial resources, services and data

    MIRRI: improving access to microbial resources, services and data

    Microorganisms are vital natural resources for biotechnology; they help advance human health, improve food security and provide innovative solutions to research and development. The European microbial landscape is fragmented and resources or data are hard to find. The Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI) is resolving this; integrating the main microbial domain Biological Resource Centres and their supporting services and data into a novel pan-European research infrastructure.

  • mNutrition: Addressing hidden hunger through mobile messaging

    mNutrition: Addressing hidden hunger through mobile messaging

    One in three people in the developing world suffer from ‘hidden hunger’, or micronutrient deficiency, due to a lack of information on proper nutrition. This is a major cause of illness, poor growth, reduced productivity and impaired cognitive development. To help combat the problem, CABI and its partners in the DFID mNutrition initiative are developing content for a mobile phone-based messaging service aimed at increasing knowledge of nutrition and health within communities in 14 countries.

  • Optimizing Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA)

    Optimizing Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA)

    Soil fertility across much of sub-Saharan Africa is poor, which is a major constraint to improving farm productivity and farmer livelihoods. To combat this there is now wide recognition of the need to integrate increased fertilizer use with other aspects of soil fertility management. This project aims to contribute to improved efficiency and profitability of fertilizer use within the context of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) practices.

  • Partnership with DPR Korea's Ministry of Agriculture

    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 strategies. We have enhanced their operational capacity, improved access to knowledge and facilitated interactions with international counterparts.

  • Partnerships for improving fruit production in DPR Korea

    Partnerships for improving fruit production in DPR Korea

    Despite advances in agriculture in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea), a shortage of fresh produce undermines the population’s nutritional status. Fruit is grown on large state farms and cooperative farms, but pests and diseases reduce yields and quality. CABI is working with key stakeholders in the fruit sector to develop best practice guidelines for fruit integrated pest management.

  • Phytosanitary system development for the vegetable sector in Ghana

    Phytosanitary system development for the vegetable sector in Ghana

    Ghana’s vegetable sector has the potential to create 20,000 skilled jobs, and increase exports to the EU. But exports are hampered by quarantine pests. This project aims to improve the current system and develop a new organic supply chain by establishing an effective phytosanitary system, facilitating strategic alliances between importers and producers/ exporters, and investing in technical expertise to help producers and exporters meet quality standards.

  • Producing better cotton in Pakistan

    Producing better cotton in Pakistan

    Cotton is Pakistan’s largest industrial sector. In total though, the industry is losing around 10–15% of its value (around US$350m a year) through poor practices. Using Better Cotton Initiative production principles, we are encouraging farmers to implement good agricultural practices (GAP), and providing participatory training to them and farm workers.

  • Promoting good seed in East Africa

    Promoting good seed in East Africa

    African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) are key to food security and income generation in Africa and are increasing in demand. Not only will CABI’s project team be promoting their consumption and generating more demand, we will also be building awareness of the vegetable and the seeds, improving access to them and developing new varieties.

  • Promoting sustainable tea production in India

    Promoting sustainable tea production in India

    India is the second largest producer and exporter of tea in the world and it can be a powerful engine for development. However, tea crops here suffer from a range of pests and diseases. Pesticides are the main management solution but this results in increased production costs and potential risks to human health. So, we are undertaking a major scientific research study to evaluate the environmental and economic feasibility of applying alternative methods to manage the pests and diseases here.

  • Protecting leeks and onions from pests

    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 (IPM) programme run by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to combat the leek moth using specialized natural enemies from its area of origin.

  • Protecting North America’s wetlands from common reed

    Protecting North America’s wetlands from common reed

    Common reed is one of the most widespread plant species in the world. It is invasive in North America where it forms large monocultures in wetlands and along riverbanks and lakesides, which reduce native biodiversity. One reason for its dominance is an absence of natural enemies to check its vigour and spread. CABI is studying several stem-mining moths not currently present in North America to see whether they would be safe and effective biological control agents if introduced.

  • Rescuing and restoring the native flora of Robinson Crusoe Island

    Rescuing and restoring the native flora of Robinson Crusoe Island

    Robinson Crusoe Island, part of the Juan Fernández Archipelago in Chile, is under threat from invasive species. So action needs to be taken. As part of a larger management programme for the whole Archipelago, a team from CABI will help conserve and re-establish native species on the island. In the long term this project will provide the biological resources and protocols for replanting larger areas of land.

  • Researching introduced forest species in Trinidad

    Researching introduced forest species in Trinidad

    Many introduced species can have an adverse effect on native biodiversity, especially on a delicate island habitat such as Trinidad and Tobago. Three forest species are being particularly troubling, namely, Tectona grandis (teak), Acacia mangium (brown salwood) and Leucaena leucocephala (white leadtree). So, with funding from the FAO, CABI is researching the species to find out how they behave and where they have invaded with a view to controlling them sustainably.

  • Revisiting biological control of field bindweed

    Revisiting biological control of field bindweed

    Field bindweed is a Eurasian vine whose dense creeping and twining growth smothers other vegetation and its long-lived seeds and deep roots make it hard to control. It is a noxious weed of agricultural fields in temperate regions and has become invasive in North America. CABI is studying sustainable control methods using host-specific natural enemies, which could be introduced into North America as biological control agents.

  • RUFORUM: Building agricultural universities’ capacity throughout Africa

    RUFORUM: Building agricultural universities’ capacity throughout Africa

    Universities play an important and largely unfulfilled role in the well-being of small-scale farmers and the economic development of countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) supports universities to address this important role. Established in 2004, RUFORUM is a consortium of 46 African universities operating within 22 countries spanning the African continent.

  • Scaling up interactive ICT to increase agricultural innovation in Tanzania

    Scaling up interactive ICT to increase agricultural innovation in Tanzania

    Despite Tanzania’s immense agricultural potential, farm productivity is hindered by inadequate knowledge and customary practices on farm management. The project Upscaling Technologies in Agriculture through Knowledge Extension (UPTAKE) targets small-scale farmers through geographical mobile and radio campaigns on improved agricultural technologies and approaches.

  • Simulation - taking plant health training to the next level

    Simulation - taking plant health training to the next level

    People in developing countries depend on what they can grow and sell so require a lot of plant health knowledge. The CABI-led Plantwise programme delivers plant health advice to farmers. Trained plant doctors diagnose the problems and advise on ways to manage them. Simulations are a new way to deliver training and information to plant doctors in a convenient and fun way, while capturing valuable data. This data capture and analysis will allow CABI and its partners to improve the programme.

  • Stemming the spread of Russian olive

    Stemming the spread of Russian olive

    Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) is a significant invasive weed in North America. It is especially a problem in western parts of USA where it affects many types of natural habitats; altering the ecosystem and its functions. As experts in classical biological weed control, CABI scientists have been asked to look for a potential agent to slow the weed’s spread and to curb its impact.

  • Tackling common tansy in North America

    Tackling common tansy in North America

    Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is a Eurasian plant species that has become invasive in North America. Due to CABI’s expertise in classical biological control we have been tasked with identifying specialist natural enemies from Eurasia that can be introduced into North America as biological control agents for common tansy.

  • Tackling Pakistan’s pests

    Tackling Pakistan’s pests

    Tackling agricultural pests in Pakistan in a safe and sustainable way will save crop losses and benefit Pakistan’s exports. We are strengthening the capacity of Pakistan’s systems to implement biocontrol programmes for two pests that cause huge problems. We will also lessen the impact of post-harvest pests and improve the capacity of plant health regulators to certify exports of agricultural commodities.

  • Toolkits for invasive plants in East Africa

    Toolkits for invasive plants in East Africa

    Many plants introduced to East Africa have escaped cultivation and are wreaking havoc. These invasive species are reducing biodiversity and negatively impacting livelihoods. Little is known about the number of invasive plant species present here, or their impact. This project aims to use communication technologies to improve the ability of national authorities to access and manage data which allow them to identify and control invasive species that threaten biodiversity in East Africa.

  • Toolkits for invasive plants in Laikipia, Kenya

    Toolkits for invasive plants in Laikipia, Kenya

    Many exotic plant species introduced to Laikipia County, Kenya, have escaped cultivation and threaten biodiversity. Little is currently known however, about the presence of invasive species or their impact. Without this type of information, it is unlikely that various stakeholders will take action to effectively manage this threat. This project aims to fill some gaps and increase knowledge of invasive species in Laikipia for pastoralists and those actively involved in biodiversity conservation.

  • Training facilitators and farmers in Pakistan

    Training facilitators and farmers in Pakistan

    Farming in the Skardu valley is very important to the local economy. So, with funding from the Aga Khan Foundation, the CABI team are training facilitators and running Farmer Field Schools. Ultimately, we want to improve the food security and livelihoods of the area through increased productivity and profitability.

  • Unknotting Canada's knotweed problem

    Unknotting Canada's knotweed problem

    Originally from Japan, Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing plant species that is causing a great deal of damage in Europe and North America. This herbaceous plant forms dense, impenetrable thickets and its impacts are varied. Our scientists have already carried out a considerable amount of research in Europe and found both an insect and rust fungus that controls the plant here, so will adapt our research and ensure any native or important species in Canada are not affected.

  • Using insects to improve smallholders’ livestock production and food security in West Africa

    Using insects to improve smallholders’ livestock production and food security in West Africa

    Poultry farming is practised by almost all smallholder farmers in West Africa but feed and protein sources are becoming increasingly expensive here, affecting meat and egg production and reducing family income. Fish farmers suffer a similar problem. We are promoting the use of insects, which are a natural food source for poultry and fish, and endorsed by the FAO as a tool to alleviate poverty.

  • Woody weeds in East Africa

    Woody weeds in East Africa

    Many exotic trees and shrubs have been introduced into Africa and become destructive invasive species. They're reducing native biodiversity and limiting the livelihoods of those that live in rural communities. CABI is trying to mitigate these impacts in East Africa by generating and sharing knowledge on their effects and finding ways that they can be controlled.