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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

News for 2017

All our latest news.

For media enquiries, contact Rachel Winks.

Read the CABI Blog here.

CABI CIO, Andrea Powell, to leave CABI after 26 years

16 November 2017 – After 26 years of working at CABI, Chief Information Officer, Andrea Powell, will leave the organisation at the end of 2017 to develop a portfolio of interests. These will include consulting, serving as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Pharmaceutical Press, and working alongside her husband, Mark, in their craft cider-making business, Red Dog. Andrea joined CABI in 1991 and has since moved through roles in product development, publishing management and, most recen...

CABI’s Dr Kuhlmann highlights importance of digital technology at G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists meeting

15 November 2017 – Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, CABI’s Executive Director of Global Operations – speaking at the 6th meeting of the G20 Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) in Potsdam, Germany – has highlighted the importance of digital technology in helping to ensure worldwide food security. Dr Kuhlmann yesterday spoke about the need to bridge the gap between agricultural research and extension, through digital development, in order to help farmers grow nutritious, healthy and profitable crops unblight...

CABI calls for collaboration to boost use of biocontrol by smallholder farmers

25 October 2017 - CABI’s Executive Director for Global Operations, Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, has called for more collaboration between the public and private sectors to encourage the use of biological controls by smallholder farmers to tackle damaging pests. Biological control (sometimes known as biocontrol) is the use of living organisms, such as insects and pathogens, to manage and reduce the population of unwanted pests. Crop pests are a major problem for farmers and rural communities in developin...

New report reveals cost of Fall Armyworm to farmers in Africa, provides recommendations for control

28 September 2017 – CABI has published an ‘evidence note’ report on the invasive Fall Armyworm pest, showing how the caterpillar could cause maize losses costing 12 African countries up to US$6.1 billion per annum, unless control methods are urgently put in place. Fall Armyworm: Impacts and Implications for Africa was commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to review current evidence of the potential impact of Fall Armyworm in Africa. The document quantifies the...

Veterinary experts meet to advance animal health and productivity for African farmers

21 September 2017 - Animal health experts from Africa and the Middle East met in Abuja, Nigeria on 12-14 September to agree common research priorities for Africa and explore sharing of resources and facilities to maximise the impact of research in advancing the health and productivity of livestock. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the largest livestock populations in the world and has the highest density of impoverished livestock farmers. It is estimated that more than 50 per cent of the p...

CABI attends UNWTO General Assembly to celebrate International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

20 September 2017 - As an intergovernmental organisation and a 'Friend’ of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017), CABI was present at the 22nd Session of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly, held on 11-16 September in Chengdu, China, and joined UNWTO, its members and partners to celebrate IY2017 at a special event on 14 September. The theme of this five-day long General Assembly was “Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals – Journey to ...

Flagship conference tackles biocontrol of arthropod pests

15 September 2017 - More than 130 biological control researchers and practitioners from 25 countries came together on 11-15 September at the world’s flagship conference on the control of arthropods (a type of invertebrate) using parasitoids (an organism that lives on or in a host organism) and predators. Organised by CABI and the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), the International Symposium on the Biological Control of Arthropods (ISBCA) took place in Langkawi, M...

Africa faces permanent $2bn+ maize deficit if Fall Armyworm poorly managed

7 September 2017 - CABI has today confirmed that Fall Armyworm (FAW) has been reported in 28 African countries, following the pest’s arrival in Africa in 2016, presenting a now permanent agricultural challenge for the continent. FAW feeds on more than 80 crops, but prefers maize and can cut yields by up to 60 per cent. In research funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), CABI now estimates the pest will cost just ten of the continent’s major maize producing economies ...

Protected areas defend wildlife from invasive species

1 August 2017 - Nature reserves, national parks and marine protected areas have been proven to effectively shield native wildlife from the impacts of invasive species, in a new study published yesterday in the journal Global Change Biology. Led by the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (IPE) alongside co-authors from institutions including CABI, the international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), and the University of Cambridge, the research shows that despite their effectiven...

CAB Thesaurus 2017 edition – largest in the world

1 August 2017 – The widely acclaimed CAB Thesaurus has received a major update for the 2017 edition, making it easier to access the world’s largest source of terminology covering the applied life sciences. The search tool now provides a controlled vocabulary resource approaching 2.7 million descriptive terms. CAB Thesaurus content has increased significantly since the 2016 edition. The updated version, with 2,651,201 terms, includes 166,395 distinct concepts (preferred terms) and 132,109 synony...

CABI - SciDev.Net merger creates stronger organisation for sustainable development

18 July 2017 - CABI and SciDev.Net have agreed to merge, creating a stronger and more diverse combined organisation to help boost their shared mission to improve lives around the world. CABI is an intergovernmental, not-for-profit organisation that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. It was established by a United Nations treaty-level agreement. CABI's 48 member countries guide and inf...

Third International Congress on Biological Invasions open for registrations

17 July 2017 - Registration for the third International Congress on Biological Invasions (ICBI), which takes place on 19-23 November 2017 in Hangzhou, China, is now open. Following CABI’s involvement in the two previous highly successful ICBIs in 2009 and 2013, which attracted more than 800 participants from over 40 countries, the organisation is both co-sponsoring and co-chairing ICBI 2017. ICBI 2017 will provide a forum for the presentation of scientific developments in the management of inva...

Plans for European laboratory take step forward

12 July 2017 - Plans for a new joint European laboratory have taken a step forward following a recent visit of a senior delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Institute of Plant Protection to CABI in Switzerland. The visit followed an agreement last year between CABI and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to develop a new joint laboratory in Switzerland as an extension of the existing MoA – CABI joint Laboratory for Bio-safety to enabl...

CABI shares food loss insights at MACS-G20 preparatory workshop

29 June 2017 - CABI shared insights on reducing food losses and waste (FLW) at a workshop held in Berlin last week to prepare for the upcoming Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 States (MACS-G20) which will take place in Germany later this year. MACS-G20 brings together chief scientists and top research officials from 20 of the world’s major economies, as well as other international organisations, to address key questions in the fields of agriculture and nutrition. At the two mo...

Removal of invasive shrub could be an easy way to help reduce malaria transmission

5 July 2017 - Removing the flowers of an invasive shrub from mosquito-prone areas might be a simple way to help reduce malaria transmission, according to a new study published in the open access Malaria Journal. Removing the flowers from villages in Mali decreased the local mosquito vector population by nearly 60%. The study, carried out in the Bandiagra District in Mali, is the first of its kind to trial a direct environmental manipulation as a way to control mosquito vector populations in are...

Symposium explores importance of the human-animal bond to society

27 June 2017 - Companion animals have always been an integral part of society, but the contributions that they make to human wellbeing, in terms of physical, mental, social and economic benefits are only just starting to be fully appreciated. The importance of this human-companion animal bond was explored, on 21 June, at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) at the 6th CABI RVC Symposium on Animal Welfare and Behaviour. The Symposium highlighted the intrinsic link between human and animal welfare...

CABI contributes to Asian Development Bank workshop

22 June 2017 - CABI contributed to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Knowledge Intensive Agriculture Workshop, held at the ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines on 15-16 June 2017.  The workshop was one of a number of special events held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ADB, an international development finance institution dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific. Together with over 60 delegates from ADB’s member country governments development agencies, academic instituti...

Reflecting on a year of progress: CABI in Review 2016

16 June 2016 – We are proud to bring you CABI in Review 2016. Every year, we publish an annual review to showcase our projects and the impact they have on the farmers, extension workers, scientists, policy makers and professional practitioners we work with on a daily basis. By continuing to focus our efforts around key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last year proved to be hugely successful, “in terms of the difference we have made to the lives of millions of smallholder farmers around the...

Fertilizer approach could empower 50m African families

15 June 2017 - Four years of dedicated work by scientists in 13 African countries has resulted in the creation of innovative tools to help farmers maximise their profits from investments in fertilizers. The Fertilizer Optimization Tools (FOTs) were created as part of the Optimizing Fertilizer Recommendations for Africa (OFRA) project, funded by AGRA, and coordinated by CABI and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. George Oduor, deputy director of research at CABI, explains: “There are over 50 mi...

Invasive plants to devastate annual wildebeest migration

14 June 2017 - According to new research, scientists have found that a number of invasive alien plant species initially introduced as ornamental plants at tourism facilities are now spreading rapidly throughout the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, posing a major threat to wildlife, including the annual wildebeest and zebra migration as well as a range of other plant and animal species. Scientists from the Centre for Invasion Biology at the University of Stellenbosch and the Kenya Wildlife Service, wri...

CABI joins 60th anniversary celebrations for Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

5 June 2017 - A special ceremony, held in Beijing on 26 May marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), one of the largest national agricultural research institutions in the world. CABI was invited to join the celebrations among some 25 international organisations and national agricultural institutions from outside China. The ceremony was followed on 27 May by a summit on Agricultural Science and Technology Development. At the ceremony Mr ...

CABI scientist receives the International Friends Award from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

31 May 2017 - Dr. Ulrich Kuhlmann, Executive Director Global Operations, CABI, highlighted the importance of the CABI-China partnership after being honoured with the International Friends Award from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) in Beijing on 25 May 2017. The ceremony was held during an International Summit on Agricultural Science and Technology Development, convened by CAAS, to recognize the 60th Anniversary of the founding of CAAS. The conference brought together over 30...

CABIs Nature vs Invader exhibit wins gold at Chelsea

23 May 2017 – CABI has won a gold medal for its first ever solo exhibit at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show – an educational display entitled Nature vs Invader that looks at natural solutions to invasive plant problems, and displays some of the UK’s most invasive alien weeds including Japanese knotweed. The exhibit was the vision of young CABI scientist, Suzy Wood, currently reading for a PhD in ecology sponsored by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). She w...

Alien plants invade Chelsea Flower Show

22 May 2017 - This week, on 22-27 May, CABI will display some of the UK’s most invasive alien weeds at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show as part of its Nature vs Invader exhibit, looking at natural solutions to invasive plant problems. As part of the educational ‘Discovery Zone’, CABI’s display will include invasive alien weeds - plants that have been moved from their native habitat to a new one, with no natural enemies like diseases and insects to keep them in check, en...

OFRA project trains more extension workers in Fertilizer Optimization

5 May 2017 - More extension workers can now use the Fertilizer Optimization approach to advise farmers on more efficient and profitable use of fertilizer in Sub-Saharan Africa as a result of the awareness raising and capacity building initiatives of the CABI-led Optimizing Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA) project. The most recent training of 35 extension workers in Kenya took place at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) centre in Njoro. The extension w...

CABI and Rothamsted Research launch UK Plant Microbiome initiative

2 May 2017 - CABI and Rothamsted Research launched the first UK Plant Microbiome Initiative at a workshop sponsored by the Society for Applied Microbiology last week (26 April 2017).  The initiative was initially proposed by CABI’s Dr Matthew Ryan at the hugely successful Rothamsted Open Innovation forum in January 2017. It has now gained stakeholder support to formally establish a research and innovation platform linking industry, donors and academia to improve global food security and human h...

Plantwise wins the 2017 St Andrews Prize for the Environment

28 April 2017 – Plantwise, a global programme led by the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) which provides smallholder farmers across the world with the knowledge they need to lose less of what they grow to pests and diseases, has won this year’s St Andrews Prize for the Environment, worth $100,000 USD. The Prize is a joint environmental initiative by the University of St Andrews and ConocoPhillips which recognises significant contributions to environmental conservation....

New partnership for sustainable agriculture established with Uzbekistan

28 April 2017 - CABI and the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (MAWR) of the Republic of Uzbekistan have established a formal partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 19 April 2017 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The partnership aims to facilitate improved cooperation for the economic development of Uzbekistan in areas of sustainable agriculture. This will involve development of policy guidelines, joint research and technology exchange, information sharing, and capa...

CABI co-organises major scientific maize pests conference in China

21 April 2017 - CABI co-organised a major scientific conference on maize insect pests with the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) at their National Agricultural Library in Beijing last week (10-12 April 2017). The 26th IWGO (International Working Group on Ostrinia and other maize pests) conference provided a valuable international platform for the exchange of research, experiences, and ideas on the integrated management of maize pests through th...

CABI partners with TradeMark East Africa to improve trade in East Africa

13 April 2017 - CABI’s Africa Regional centre based in Nairobi, Kenya has established a formal partnership with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 13 February 2017. The partnership aims to more efficiently deliver the two institutions’ common goal of increased trade in agricultural commodities in the Eastern African region for better prosperity. Trade remains a key driver of sustainable livelihoods in agro-based economies of Kenya, Uganda, Burundi...

CABI delegation meets with President of African Development Bank

11 April 2017 – Dr. Trevor Nicholls, CEO, led a CABI delegation to Côte d’Ivoire on 10 April 2017 to discuss with the African Development Bank (AfDB) the current status and future role of CABI programmes for promoting agricultural development in Africa. Dr. Nicholls attended the meeting at the National Center for Agricultural Research in Abidjan accompanied by a CABI delegation comprising Elizabeth Nambiro, Plantwise Regional Coordinator, Africa, Dennis Rangi, Director General, Development, and...

Five invasive pests cost African economy $1 billion every year

3 April 2017 - New research by CABI reveals that just five invasive alien species are causing US$0.9 - 1.1 billion in economic losses to smallholder farmers across six eastern African countries each year, equating to 1.8% - 2.2% of total agricultural GDP for the region. These losses are expected to grow to $1.0 – 1.2 billion per year over the next 5-10 years, highlighting the urgent need for coordinated responses at regional, national and international levels. New research published in the open...

CABI launches new Horticulture Compendium

28 March 2017 – Academic publisher and international not-for-profit organisation, CABI, has today launched its Horticulture Compendium – a new, unique encyclopaedic resource of authoritative horticultural datasheets providing global coverage of temperate, tropical and subtropical food crops. It joins CABI’s critically-acclaimed compendia series, making a real difference to the working lives of people across the globe by bringing together a vast selection of information into one place. At presen...

Plantwise wins the 2017 Bond Development Award for Innovation

21 March 2017 – Bond, a UK association promoting, supporting and representing the work of international development organisations, announced the CABI-led Plantwise programme as the winner of its Innovation Award. The award showcases organisations, coalitions or initiatives that are taking inventive approaches as they chart a course through a complex and changing external environment in international development. Despite advances made in development cooperation, gaps remain. Factors such as demo...

Building a stronger African food security and trade network

22 March 2017 - The fourth Africa Plant Biosecurity Network workshop, held in Lusaka, Zambia from 27 February to 3 March, concluded with firm commitments from members, partners and regional agencies to ensure the Network has an enduring future. “Plant biosecurity is key to improving food security and regional trade throughout Africa,” said Thierry Mutombo Kalonji, Director of Industry and Agriculture with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) trade group. “COMESA is commit...

New MAS in ICM students welcomed to Switzerland

21 March 2017 - New students starting their Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Integrated Crop Management (ICM) were welcomed to Switzerland at an opening ceremony in Delémont, earlier this month (3 March 2017). Coordinated by CABI and the University of Neuchâtel, the course is designed for professionals in the field of agriculture and environment management who hold a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree alongside practical experience in a range of fields such as agricultural extension, research an...

Strengthening agricultural research and development between Kenya and China through partnerships

14 March 2017- CABI, Institute of Plant Protection- Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (IPP-CAAS), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), and Egerton University (EGU) have entered into a partnership to strengthen agricultural research and development between Kenya and China. This partnership falls under the Belt and Road initiative proposed by the Chinese Government to facilitate trade and economic development ac...

CABI CEO visits India to see agricultural projects in action

8 March 2017 - On 13-16 February, CABI CEO, Dr. Trevor Nicholls, visited India to see CABI projects in action. His trip brought opportunities to find solutions to smallholders’ major challenges at a Farmer Producer Organisation, and to participate in a live e-plant clinic run by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu state. At the Farmer Producer Organisation, Dr Nicholls met with smallholders to see, first hand, the challenges they face such as accessing food market...

Setting the research agenda for global food security

8 March 2017 - During a dynamic two-day meeting on 8-9 February, members of the newly appointed GFAR Steering Committee met at the FAO headquarters in Rome, to agree actions to help meet the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). CABI CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls, participated on behalf of AIRCA – the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture. Steering Committee members agreed key areas to address in the GFAR Medium-Term Plan, including empowering sustain...

CABI organizes five-day Integrated Pest Management course in Beijing

3 March 2017 - CABI organized a five-day course on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) in Beijing on 13 to 17 February 2017. The course was delivered by CABI IPM expert Stefan Toepfer, a visiting professor at the Institute of Plant Protection in CAAS where the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture-CABI joint laboratory is also located. The course was developed to train participants on the use of IPM techniques. These techniques...

CAB Direct highly recommended by CHOICE magazine

2 March 2017 – The CAB Direct platform, a single point of access to all of CABI’s databases, has been rated as “highly recommended” for undergraduates, researchers, faculty members, technical programme students, professionals and practitioners in the March 2017 issue of CHOICE magazine. “The newly updated CAB Direct platform provides access to a pair of the world's most extensive research databases for the applied life sciences and public health: CAB Abstracts and Global Health. Currently CAB D...

9th Steering Committee of China-CABI Joint Laboratory held in Beijing

28 February 2017 - The 9th Steering Committee (SC) meeting of the Joint Laboratory for Biosafety between the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and CABI was held successfully in Beijing, China on 23 February 2017. All 8 committee members and other delegates from both China and CABI were very pleased with the good progress the Joint Laboratory achieved in 2016, and approved its plans for 2017, including the budget and the Medium-term Strategy 2016-2020. In addressing both Chinese and global needs f...

CABI-led project shares insights at high level fertilizer workshop in Malawi

24 February 2017 - A CABI-led project, Optimising Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA), shared insights on its work in Malawi at a high level workshop in Lilongwe earlier this month (7-8 February 2017). The workshop was focused on the development of appropriate fertilizer blends for Malawi and covered a range of topics including the role of fertilizers in agricultural transformation, the importance of crop/area specific fertilizers and fertilizer industry trends. It brought together stak...

New Nutrition Knowledge Bank gives Africans and Asians direct access to expert nutritional advice on their mobile phones

17 February 2017 – A new open-access Nutrition Knowledge Bank has been created as part of a GSMA mNutrition initiative to help tackle malnutrition in Africa and Asia. This collection of content on good nutritional practices includes factsheets and mobile messages for anyone to download and use. Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the mNutrition project aims to deliver nutrition information to 3 million people in 12 developing countries. Adequate nutrition is critic...

Alien species on the rise worldwide

15 February 2017 - New research shows rates of alien species’ introduction are higher than ever. The increase in numbers of alien species does not show any sign of saturation at a global level, an international team of 45 researchers led by scientists from Senckenberg, Germany, and University of Vienna, Austria, has discovered. CABI’s Dr Marc Kenis, based in Switzerland, participated in the study as an expert in insect invasions in Europe, and the CABI Invasive Species Compendium was used as one...

CABI holds 397th Executive Council meeting

8 February 2017 – On 2 February 2017, CABI held its 397th Executive Council meeting, attended by delegates representing 34 CABI Member Countries, Board Members and CABI staff. Dr Lutz Peter Berg (Switzerland), Chairman of the Executive Council, led the meeting, which took place at the International Coffee Organisation in London. December 2016 brought to a close the period covered by the CABI Medium Term Strategy 2014-16. CABI has continued to make good progress strategically, operationally and ...

Scientists discover new crop-destroying Armyworm is now “spreading rapidly” in Africa

6 February 2017 - New research announced today by scientists at CABI confirms that a recently introduced crop-destroying armyworm caterpillar is now spreading rapidly across Mainland Africa and could spread to tropical Asia and the Mediterranean in the next few years, becoming a major threat to agricultural trade worldwide. Fall armyworm is native to North and South America and can devastate maize production, the staple food crop that is essential for food security in large areas of Africa. It ...

Delivering a pest risk information service to sub-Saharan Africa

30 January 2017 – The CABI-led Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE) project has been awarded £6.38 million in funding over five years by the UK Space Agency to reduce crop losses caused by pests in six sub-Saharan African countries, and improve farmer livelihoods. The PRISE consortium includes Assimila Ltd, King’s College London and STFC Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, who will link their Earth Observation expertise with the Plantwise work undertaken by CABI. Partners also include the ...

The future of small farms in a rapidly changing world

27 January 2017 - On 24-25 January 2017, CABI and the Syngenta foundation for sustainable agriculture hosted a conference at the Syngenta conference centre in Basel, Switzerland. The conference, entitled “The Future of Small Farms”, covered a broad range of topics aimed at assessing the state of agricultural policy in developing economies and emerging markets, and its influence on smallholder farmers around the world. As an exponential increase in global population is expected by 2050, rise in ...

European insect pest control workshop held in Delemont

25 January 2017 - Specialists gathered from across Europe in Delémont, Switzerland last week (17 January 2017) to find out about insect pest control strategies at a Breeding Invertebrates for Next Generation BioControl (BINGO) workshop organised by CABI. BINGO is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network that develops research training to improve the production and performance of natural enemies in biocontrol. More than 70 participants attended the event including partners from BINGO...

CABI’s Dr Dyno Keatinge recognised with prestigious MBE award

18 January 2016 - Dr Dyno Keatinge, Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board for Horticulture at CABI, will receive an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in recognition for his “service to tropical agriculture and the reduction of both poverty and malnutrition in the developing world,” the British Foreign Office announced on 31 December 2016. The MBE will be awarded by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace later this year. Dr Keatinge, who now resides near Garriston in North Yorkshi...

News from 2016.