A dangerous invasive alien weed known as field dodder could be a serious menace to agriculture and biodiversity across Sub-Saharan Africa, and reduce crop yields, scientists say.
Delegates at the International Workshop on Biological Control and Management of Eupatorieae and other Invasive Weeds
By Chan Hong Twu, scientist at CABI Southeast Asia in Selangor, Malaysia
CABI Southeast Asia was proud to host the 9th International Workshop on Biological Control and Management of Eupatorieae and other Invasive Weeds where the very latest research on invasive weeds and their biological control agents were shared amongst delegates from 13 countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji, India, Pakistan and other South East Asia countries.
The workshop in Putrajaya, Malaysia, a first for Southeast Asia, offered a valuable opportunity for researchers, professionals and students to gain awareness of the efforts on a regional scale, as well as country-driven biocontrol activities to address not only Eupatorieae weed but all invasive weeds in the regional countries.
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CABI has led an international team of Non-Native Species (NNS) specialists who have compiled a list of recommendations to improve the way in which the impact of a range of invasive pests – such as the tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta – are assessed, potentially helping towards ensuring greater global food security.
A group of scientists have confirmed the first report of an egg parasitoid Telenomus remus in Africa which could prove an important biological weapon in the fight against the devastating fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) that threatens the food security of more than 200 million people.
A Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) allows National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPOs) to assess risks posed by pests or pathways of quarantine concern, and identify options to manage those risks. Recognising that there was a need for support in the completion of PRAs, CABI, under its Action on Invasives programme, has designed and is developing an online PRA tool.
Tuta absoluta is a major invasive pest that causes devastating crop damage worldwide. Insecticides are heavily relied upon to help curb their numbers, but because of problems with increased insecticide resistance and the environmental impacts of insecticides, scientists are trying to find new ways of fighting this pest.
Farmers and authorities throughout Asia need to be vigilant against fall armyworm invasions, after confirmation that the fast-moving pest has spread from India to China and now to South-East Asia, agricultural experts say.