Since 2014, the tomato leafminer has become the most serious threat to the sustainable productivity of tomato in Kenya, causing up to 80% yield loss. Almost 98% of farmers’ crop suffer from this pest and when using pesticides as a control method, only 27% of farmers report success. Building on CABI’s expertise in biological control and integrated pest management, in this project, CABI is collaborating with Koppert, a global supplier of biological control products, to demonstrate to farmers, the benefits of biological control within an integrated approach.
The vision of the CASA programme is increased global investment in agribusinesses which trade with smallholders in equitable commercial relationships, increasing smallholders’ incomes and climate resilience.
There is limited knowledge on the agronomic potential of biodiversity-based ecosystem services such as natural pest control and pollination in smallholder systems. To sustainably intensify production, there is an urgent need to develop safe, sustainable and affordable methods to reduce pest burdens whilst increasing yields.
In Kenya, scale insect pests are damaging native trees and crops and, consequently, causing yield losses of up-to 91%. Smallholders’ awareness of the threats posed by these insects is low because they are small and cryptic, whilst local entomologists cannot easily identify them.
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.
Pests and diseases often limit how much smallholder famers can produce. They affect crops both pre and post-harvest by reducing their value or making them unsafe for human consumption. Farmers try to reduce losses through a range of techniques, some of which have human or environmental health impacts. This project aims to understand and report on current crop protection practices and identify the most effective, safe and innovative options to integrate into GIZs programmes in 14 countries.