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Smallholder farmers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices towards biological control of papaya mealybug in Kenya

Farmer perceptions are highly important in influencing on-farm pest management…

Assessment of the socio-economic impacts associated with the arrival of apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata) in Mwea irrigation scheme, Kenya

In Kenya, rice (Oryza sativa L.) is mainly produced under irrigation…

Insights into farmer group effectiveness for promoting the adoption of safe food production standards

Earth observation to improve critical datasets for pest risk modelling

Rising temperatures have led to pests, diseases and weeds establishing in areas of the world that were previously uninhabitable. Furthermore, growth in global trade and new trade pathways increase the risk of accidental movement of pests. Earth Observation (EO) and climatic data can help by improving predictions about where potential agricultural pests and diseases may be a threat. Information produced by models can help decision makers understand and prepare for future risks. Working with a consortium of researchers, this project will use EO data to improve the data layers used in models that predict where pests can establish, including irrigation, areas under protected agriculture and climatic canopy conditions, demonstrating the improvements made to species distribution estimations for key pests and biological control agents.

Biocontrol of papaya mealybug in East Africa

Papaya mealybug invaded East Africa between 2015 to 2020. The pest causes 57%- 91% yield and ÂŁ2,224/ha household economic losses annually and severely impacts the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. As a means of control, nearly 51% of farmers manage the pest using pesticides which harm insect biodiversity in addition to other non-target effects. Biological control is an ecologically friendlier approach that has controlled papaya mealybug elsewhere around the globe. This project aims to introduce Acerophagus papayae for classical biological control of papaya mealybug. Through this initiative, the project intends to improve the capacity of farmers and extension services to adopt climate-smart conservation biocontrol practices that interface with biodiversity conservation efforts and ultimately enhance food security.

Plantwise Sustainability: Two Years on Follow-up assessments in six countries