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.
The project focuses on the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of four key economically important crops: dragon fruit, mango, longan and lichi for export to markets in the USA. It addresses the important production-limiting pests and diseases and their management. Specifically, practises based on ecologically sound IPM strategies and the use of a systems approach. We also collaborate with key international partners to train and build local capacity in IPM.
Climate change encourages new and existing pests and diseases to spread and makes management more difficult. This programme addresses this and aims to build resilience of the communities to pests and diseases and their management. It is operating in selected villages in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The interventions feature innovative participatory and climate-adaptive agricultural practices to enrich and restore agro-ecosystem health, manage crop pests and diseases, and improve livelihoods.
As a staple food crop in South East Asia, rice 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.