Integrating advanced Earth Observation and environmental information for sustainable pest and disease management
Forecasting and monitoring insect pests and disease outbreaks is vital for protecting China’s economically important agricultural sector. By combining information gathered from Earth Observation and environmental data, CABI and partners will design innovative data products and communications tools to help decision makers sustainably manage wheat yellow rust and migratory locusts. A biopesticide development model will also be developed to help end-users decide when to use a biopesticide over a chemical pesticide.
Worldwide, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two-thirds of the earth’s growing population. Achieving a zero hunger world by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholder farmers – but their crops face a significant threat. Yearly, an estimated 40% of crops grown worldwide are lost to pests. If we could reduce crop losses by just 1%, we could potentially feed millions more people. The lack of access to timely, appropriate and actionable extension advice makes it a fundamental challenge for farmers to get the right information at the right time to reduce crop losses.
After rice, maize is the most important crop in the Mekong Delta. Insects including the Asian corn borer are a major threat to production. Fear of crop losses, together with a lack of alternative measures, can result in overuse of pesticides – posing health risks to farmers, consumers and the agro-ecosystem. This project will establish local production of an affordable biological control agent, the parasitic wasp trichogramma, which kills the eggs of maize pests.
Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), a fruit fly from East Asia, is now a serious economic pest of soft fruits and berries across Europe, the Americas and North Africa. In this project we are focusing on finding natural enemies (parasitoids) of the pest to introduce into Europe. This involves surveys for parasitoids where it originated and experiments in quarantine in Switzerland to investigate their taxonomy, performance and specificity.
Halting and reversing land degradation is one of the biggest challenges to meeting the targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals. This project aims to assess the effects of grassland degradation on soil functions on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and determine whether manipulation of plant functional diversity can accelerate the restoration of functioning of degraded soils.