Tag Archives: FAO

Report of the Working Group on Climate Change of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea

http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/90db57ee-4bd8-4507-9bb8-2a411ed41a88/?utm_content=buffer51693&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Report of the Working Group on Climate Change of the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea

Year of publication: 2016
Publisher: FAO
Pages: #100 p.
ISBN: 978-92-5-109279-8
Job Number: I5743;
Corporate author: Trade and Markets Division
Countries: India; Sri Lanka; Kenya; China;
Agrovoc: brewing; tea; tea industry; India; Sri Lanka; China; Kenya;
Abstract:
Tea is the most used beverage second to water in the world. Presently, the climate change triggered by global warming is posing a major threat to the resilience of agricultural systems including tea cultivation. Increasing temperatures, changes to rainfall amount and distribution, coupled with major shifts in other meteorological parameters in comparison with long term observations have further complicated the production process. This compilation of adaptation strategies for tea cultivation developed and practiced by major tea growing countries of the world, is the first step taken by the working group on climate change of the FAO-IGG on tea to minimize climate change impacts on tea plantations. It is a joint effort by the scientists of Tea Research Institute of India, Sri Lanka, Kenya and China supported by the FAO-IGG on tea in Rome. This documentation is mainly targeted at tea planting community, policy makers and other users such as researchers, national and international research institutes and multilateral organizations dealing with sustainable tea cultivation, development and livelihood security of dependents.

FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease:Dissmination of FAO News Article

The News Article entitled,”FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease” will be very helpful for the banana farmers and plant pathologists and extensionists of agricultural agencies for information and awareness creation.Hence is has been published in this website for further dissemination and awareness creation. .The News Article may be accessed at the following link:  http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/223409/icode/

 

FAO urges countries to step up action against destructive banana disease

Following its spread to Africa and the Middle East, Fusarium wilt TR4 increases the risks to livelihoods and banana markets

Photo: ©FAO/Fazil Dusunceli

Diseased banana plants.

14 April 2014, Rome – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is warning countries to step up monitoring, reporting and prevention of one of the world’s most destructive banana diseases, Fusarium wilt, which recently spread from Asia to Africa and the Middle East, and which has the potential to affect countries in Latin America.

The TR4 race of the disease, which is also known as Panama disease, is posing a serious threat to production and export of the popular fruit, with serious repercussions for the banana value chain and livelihoods, FAO said in an information brief.

Banana is the eighth most important food crop in the world and the fourth most important food crop among the world’s least-developed countries, according to FAOSTAT, the UN agency’s  data-gathering and analysis service.

“Any disease or constraint that affects bananas is striking at an important source of food, livelihoods, employment and government revenues in many tropical countries,” said Gianluca Gondolini, Secretary of the World Banana Forum. The Forum, whose Secretariat is based at FAO headquarters, promotes sustainable banana production and trade.

“The spread of Fusarium wilt banana disease could have a significant impact on growers, traders and families who depend on the banana industry,” Fazil Dusunceli, a plant pathologist at FAO, said. “Countries need to act now if we are to avoid the worst-case scenario, which is massive destruction of much of the world’s banana crop,” said Dusunceli.

Recommended action

At the country level, FAO specifically advises:

  • Awareness raising at all levels and adoption of appropriate risk assessment, surveillance and early warning systems;
  • Implementation of phytosanitary measures to prevent the spread of the disease through agricultural practices, irrigation and drainage systems, transportation, vehicles, containers, tools or visitors;
  • Preventive measures, including quarantines, the use of disease-free planting materials, prevention of movement of infected soil and planting materials into and out of farms, and disinfection of vehicles;
  • Capacity building in National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPO) in planning, extension and research, including the use of rapid and accurate diagnostic tools;
  • Training of technical officers, producers and farm workers in disease identification, prevention and management under field conditions, and appropriate instructions to visitors.

While other races of the disease have existed for many years, TR4 has caused significant losses in banana plantations in Southeast Asia over the last two decades, and has recently been reported in Mozambique and Jordan.

TR4 infects the Cavendish banana varieties, which dominate global trade, as well as other susceptible varieties used for local consumption and markets. Despite damage to the banana plant and to production, the fruit itself remains edible.

Soil-borne disease

Fusarium wilt is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc). The disease is soil-borne and the fungus can remain viable for decades.  Once the disease is present in a field, it cannot be fully controlled by currently available practices and fungicides. The best way to fight the disease is to prevent its spread, which includes avoiding movement of diseased plant materials and infected soil particles.

“We need to raise awareness of this threat, coordinate efforts among countries and institutions for effective implementation of appropriate quarantine measures, and also work with banana producers, traders, plantation employees and smallholder farmers to help to minimize the spread of the disease,” Dusunceli said. He also highlighted the importance of research in better understanding the disease and developing alternative varieties that are disease resistant.

FAO’s information note stresses the importance of using disease-free seedlings and avoiding movement of infected soil and planting materials into, and out of, farms, through transportation, visitors or other means.

“A concerted effort is required from stakeholders including the industry, research institutions, governments and international organizations to prevent spread of the disease,” the note reads.

Raising awareness

FAO and its partners, including the World Banana Forum (WBF), the scientific community and the banana industry are among those making efforts to increase awareness of the inherent threat of TR4.

The issue will be on the agenda of a series of upcoming meetings in Kenya, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago, with the aim of addressing a range of issues related to TR4, including developing action plans for its prevention, monitoring and containment.

The banana crop is vulnerable to a number of diseases in various parts of the world, including the Black Sigatoka disease, Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), Bunchy Top Disease (BBTD) and Fusarium Wilt, but Fusarium’s soil-borne nature makes it especially challenging.

 

Overcoming smallholder challenges with biotechnology(Taken from FAO website for further dissemination)

The article is taken from FAO website for further dissemination.This article may be accessed at the following link:

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/202820/icode/

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Overcoming smallholder challenges with biotechnology

From breeding to bugs, a new FAO publication looks at biotechnologies at work in small-scale crop, livestock and fish production

 

Harvesting Jian carp from a pond.

29 October 2013, Rome – A new FAO publication calls for greater national and international efforts to bring agricultural biotechnologies to smallholder producers in developing countries.

The publication, Biotechnologies at Work for Smallholders: Case Studies from Developing Countries in Crops, Livestock and Fish, asserts biotechnologies can help smallholders to improve their livelihoods and food security.

Biotechnologies at Work for Smallholders covers 19 case studies in crops, livestock and fisheries, written by scientists and researchers worldwide. It describes the practical realities and experiences of taking biotechnology research and applying it in smallholder production of bananas, cassava, rice, livestock, shrimp and more, in different parts of the developing world.

The case studies encompassed a wide range of biotechnologies. They included older or “traditional” ones like artificial insemination and fermentation, and cutting-edge techniques involving DNA-based methodologies – but not genetic modification.

The publication was prepared by a multi-disciplinary team at FAO as part of an agricultural biotechnologies project partially funded by the Government of Canada.

“With the right institutional and financial arrangements, governments, research institutions and organizations can help to bring biotechnologies to smallholders, improving their capacity to cope with challenges like climate change, plant and animal diseases, and the overuse of natural resources,” said Andrea Sonnino, Chief of FAO’s Research and Extension Unit.

Case studies

Four case studies were from India, two from China and one each from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Cuba, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Thailand.

Researchers used their knowledge of DNA markers to develop a flood-tolerant rice variety in India with a potential yield of 1-3 tons per hectare more than previously used varieties, under flood conditions. After being released in 2009, the new variety, Swarna-Sub1, spread rapidly and was used by three million farmers in 2012.

“In summary, submergence-tolerant varieties provided opportunities for improving and stabilizing yields in flash flood-affected areas, significantly contributing to national food security,” stated Uma Singh and colleagues from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) who prepared the case study.

In China, the Jian carp was developed using within-family genetic selection and gynogenesis (a reproductive technology resulting in all-female offspring that have only received genes from their mother). The Jian carp is now grown on about 160,000 fish farms and makes up over 50 percent of common carp production in China.|

In northern Cameroon, the use of DNA-based diagnostic tools in the field allowed veterinary authorities to quickly diagnose outbreaks of Peste des Petits Ruminants, a highly contagious viral disease affecting goats and sheep. Rapid and accurate disease diagnosis meant that the authorities could stamp out these outbreaks and stop the spread of the fatal disease to other flocks.

“Without this rapid response, thousands of sheep and goats would likely have succumbed to the disease during these outbreaks, leading to millions of CFA francs in losses,” affirmed Abel Wade and Abdoulkadiri Souley from the National Veterinary Laboratory (LANAVET) in Cameroon.

The editors say biotechnologies can improve crop-, livestock- and fish-related livelihoods by boosting yields and enhancing market access. Introducing new and traditional biotechnologies on family farms can also keep production costs down and improve sustainable management of natural resources.

Lessons learned

The publication offers lessons from the case studies which can be used to inform and assist policymakers in making decisions on programs involving biotechnologies. High up on the list was the need for national political commitment to improving smallholder productivity and livelihoods; financial support from non-governmental sources to supplement national efforts; and, long-term national investment in both people and infrastructure linked to science and technology.

The publication also found international and national partnerships were vital for achieving results, as was the sharing of genetic resources, techniques and know-how across national and continental borders.

Biotechnologies at work for smallholders
 also underlines the importance of involving smallholders in the process at all stages, taking into consideration their knowledge, skills and own initiatives.

Save food campaign Asia-Pacific kicked off (Taken from FAO website)

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/195565/icode/

 

Save food campaign Asia-Pacific kicked off

Initiative aims to reduce post-harvest and consumer food waste

 

Photo: ©AFP Franck Guiziou

Food losses are high and the problem of food waste is growing in Asia and the Pacific region.

Bangkok, Thailand, 27 Aug 2013 – Denouncing the huge amount of food that goes to waste, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Hiroyuki Konuma, announced a new initiative aimed at stopping post-harvest food losses and market-to-consumer food waste.

“The Save Food Asia-Pacific Campaign seeks to raise awareness about the high levels of food losses – particularly post-harvest losses – and the growing problem of food waste in the region,” Konuma said.

“FAO estimates that if the food wasted or lost globally could be reduced by just one quarter, this would be sufficient to feed the 870 million people suffering from chronic hunger in the world,” said Konuma.

The announcement came as Konuma opened the two-day High-Level Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Food Losses and Food Waste in Asia and the Pacific Region in collaboration with the Asian Institute of Technology and other partners.

More than 130 participants from 20 countries attended the Consultation, including four Agriculture Ministers. The Consultation will study ways to reduce food loss and waste and is expected to issue a communiqué outlining actions that can save food from farm to table.

According to Konuma, “The world produces more or less sufficient food to meet the demand of its current population of 7 billion. However, 12.5 percent of the global population, or 868 million people, equivalent to one in eight people, go hungry every day. In 2012, the Asia-Pacific region was home to 536 million hungry people, or 62 percent of the world’s undernourished.”

The Asia-Pacific region benefitted from rapid economic growth in the first decade of the 21st century. But, successful economic growth did not alleviate hunger and poverty, because the benefits of economic growth were unevenly distributed, resulting in a widening income gap in many countries in the region.

According to statistics from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, an estimated 653 million people across the region, lived below the national poverty line in 2010.

Inefficient food systems

Yukol Limlamthong, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, speaking at the Consultation’s opening session, said: “Within the context of Asia and the Pacific Region, more effort is needed to raise global awareness of the critical issue of food losses and particularly post-harvest losses as well as food waste, which is a is increasing nowadays.”

Limlamthoung added: “The Government of Thailand is deeply committed to working with FAO and with other partners and stakeholders in the region to promote the security of the region and also of the world.”

Indian geneticist M. S. Swaminathan, who played a leading role in India’s Green Revolution, said in his keynote address on reducing post-harvest losses for food security: “Food waste is also a waste of natural resources like land and water. To a great extent, food losses and waste are symbolic of the inefficiencies of food systems” and this explains “why food losses and waste are becoming so central to discussions on both food security and sustainable development.”

Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, Interim President and Professor at the Asian Institute of Technology, said in his remarks: “The issue of food loss and waste is important to our agenda at AIT.” It is cross-cutting and multi-disciplinary and is being scientifically targeted by several fields of study at AIT including the recently opened Asian Center of Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (ACISAI).

The Save Food Campaign Asia-Pacific will be an on-going advocacy initiative that will appeal to consumers to have more respect for food and to stop wasting this precious commodity.
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