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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Food security and nutrition

Food security and nutrition

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 805 million of the people in the world are still experiencing chronic undernourishment or hunger. Meanwhile, a significant amount of food currently grown worldwide is lost to pests despite advances in agricultural technology. Reducing this loss by just 1% could feed millions. To do this farmers need good advice from people they trust. By bringing agricultural knowledge to smallholders, we are changing the food security story. 

We focus on supporting smallholder farmers and improving their crop yields, tackling pests and diseases and finding alternatives to pesticides.

By promoting integrated solutions, we improve access to better seeds and planting materials; encourage efficient and effective use of mineral fertilizer and organic inputs, combined with good agricultural practices.

We introduce new crop production technologies, provide training and build local and national capacity. We also improve access to knowledge and information to support crop management to raise crop productivity. For instance, we support the improvement of soil and seed health leading to healthy plants and a good yield, affecting food security, income and livelihoods.

Crop protection compendium

This is a time-saving, encyclopedic, mixed-media tool that draws together scientific information on all aspects of crop protection. It features extensive global coverage of pests, diseases, weeds and their natural enemies, the crops that are their hosts, and the countries in which they occur.

Africa soil health

Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. It is now widely recognized that increased fertilizer use, integrated with other soil fertility management practises is the way forward. The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) brings together experts in soil health, and we bring... >>

Insects as a source of protein

Global demand for animal-sourced foods is accelerating. Fishmeal and crops such as soya are key ingredients in animal feeds but are not ecologically or economically sustainable. Insect protein presents a viable alternative. The PROTEINSECT project is exploring fly larva (maggots), which are nutritious and can be mass produced at low cost, as... >>

mNutrition: Addressing hidden hunger through mobile messaging

One in three people in the developing world suffer from ‘hidden hunger’, or micronutrient deficiency, due to a lack of information on proper nutrition. This is a major cause of illness, poor growth, reduced productivity and impaired cognitive development. To help combat the problem, CABI and its partners in the DFID mNutrition initiative are... >>

Using insects to improve smallholders’ livestock production and food security in West Africa

Poultry farming is practised by almost all smallholder farmers in West Africa but feed and protein sources are becoming increasingly expensive here, affecting meat and egg production and reducing family income. Fish farmers suffer a similar problem. We are promoting the use of insects, which are a natural food source for poultry and fish, and... >>

Simulation - taking plant health training to the next level

People in developing countries depend on what they can grow and sell so require a lot of plant health knowledge. The CABI-led Plantwise programme delivers plant health advice to farmers. Trained plant doctors diagnose the problems and advise on ways to manage them. Simulations are a new way to deliver training and information to plant doctors in a... >>

Scaling up interactive ICT to increase agricultural innovation in Tanzania

Despite Tanzania’s immense agricultural potential, farm productivity is hindered by inadequate knowledge and customary practices on farm management. The project Upscaling Technologies in Agriculture through Knowledge Extension (UPTAKE) targets small-scale farmers through geographical mobile and radio campaigns on improved agricultural technologies... >>

Establishing a centre for crop health and protection in the UK

Breakthroughs in science and technology are helping overcome global food production challenges and changing the worlds’ agriculture. A new Centre for Applied Crop Science is ensuring the UK has the necessary capital needed to deliver a cutting edge platform to support agriculture in the UK and beyond. CABI is the lead partner in three main work... >>