Tag Archives: Kenya

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.

 

icddr,b contributes to largest global study on diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries

28 May 2013 – icddr,b has contributed to a new international study that provides the clearest picture yet of the impact and most common causes of diarrhoeal diseases, which kill 800,000 children annually. The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) is the largest study ever conducted on diarrhoeal diseases in developing countries, enrolling more than 20,000 children from seven sites across Asia and Africa. The findings of the study were recently published in The Lancet and provide guidelines on prevention, treatment and research on childhood diarrhoeal diseases.

The GEMS study in Bangladesh was conducted in Mirzapur, a sub-district just north of Dhaka, by icddr,b’s Centre for Nutrition & Food Security.  “Better information is critical to changing the way we fight diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr. A.S.G. Faruque, Principal Investigator at the Bangladesh trial site. “GEMS shows us clearly how we can target our approach and where we need to invest our resources to make a difference.”

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GEMS was a case control study conducted at seven diverse, high-burden sites in Asia and Africa: the Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The study enrolled 22,569 children under five years of age –  a sample size that is large enough to provide comprehensive data on the causes, incidence and impact of the range of diarrhoeal diseases affecting children around the world. GEMS established a network of well-equipped laboratories in the study countries that can be used to accelerate future research on diarrhoea and other child health priorities.

Rotavirus:  a leading cause of infant diarrhoeal diseases

Coordinated by the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Vaccine Development, GEMS confirmed rotavirus – for which a vaccine already exists – as the leading cause of diarrhoeal diseases among infants and identified other top causes for which additional research is urgently needed. GEMS found that approximately one in five children under the age of two suffer from MSD each year, which increased children’s risk of death by eight-and-a-half times and lead to stunted growth over a two-month follow-up period.

Shigella, a type of bacteria, caused the largest number of infections in toddlers and older children. Unlike at sites in Africa, Aeromonas – another type of bacteria – was the third leading cause of MSD, confirming its regional importance as a pathogen. Linear growth delays were significant among children in all age groups in the two months following their MSD episode, and a single episode of MSD increased children’s risk of death more than twelvefold over the same period.

Despite many causes, GEMS found that targeting just four pathogens could prevent the majority of MSD cases.  Expanding access to vaccines for rotavirus could save hundreds of thousands of lives. Likewise, GEMS data suggests that accelerating research on vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for the three other leading pathogens – Shigella, Cryptosporidium and ST-ETEC (a type of E. coli) – could have a similar impact.

“The GEMS findings help set priorities for investments that could greatly reduce the burden of childhood diarrhoeal diseases,” said Dr. Thomas Brewer, deputy director of the Enteric & Diarrheal Diseases team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Longer-term monitoring and expansion of interventions can save lives

The GEMS findings also suggest that longer-term monitoring and care of children with diarrhoeal diseases could reduce mortality and developmental delays. Children with MSD grew significantly less in height in the two months following the diarrhoeal episode when compared with control children without diarrhoea, and were eight-and-a-half times more likely to die over the course of the two-month follow-up period. Notably, 61 percent of deaths occurred more than a week after the initial diarrhoeal episode, with 56 percent of deaths happening after families had returned home from a healthcare facility.

Expanding access to existing interventions that protect against or treat all diarrhoeal diseases –  including oral rehydration solutions, zinc supplements and clean water and sanitation- can save lives and improve the health of children immediately.

The GEMS findings add to the scientific evidence cited in the first-ever Integrated Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD) recently announced by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The GAPPD strategy calls for effectively controlling pneumonia and diarrhoea, which together are the two leading causes of death among young children globally.

For more details please contact Senior Manager Communications Nasmeen Ahmed

 

(The article has been published for further dissemination of ICDDR,B achievements taken from the link: http://www.icddrb.org/media-centre/news/4125-icddrb-contributes-to-largest-global-study-on-diarrhoeal-diseases-in-developing-countries of the website of this international organization located in Bangladesh)

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2013 International Year of Quinoa (IYQ2013) :A Future sown a thousands of years ago(Dissemiation of UNFAO Program)

Launch of the International Year of Quinoa

Quinoa can play an important role in eradicating hunger, malnutrition and poverty, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at the official launch of the International Year of Quinoa at UN Headquarters. [more]

A future sown thousands of years ago

The value of quinoa lies not only in the grains of its colorful particles, but also in the knowledge accumulated by the Andean peoples, which has made it possible to preserve its many varieties, improve their performance and develop a gastronomy around quinoa.

However, the grain was carefully guarded by these peoples and today it is an invaluable legacy for humanity, due to its unique characteristics: quinoa is the only food that has all the essential amino acids, trace elements and vitamins while being gluten free.

It can grow under the harshest conditions, withstanding temperatures from -8 ° to 38 ° C, anywhere from sea level up to 4000 meters, and is tolerant of drought and poor soils.

From staple to gourmet kitchen

Like the potato, quinoa was one of the main foods of the Andean peoples before the Incas. Traditionally, quinoa grain are roasted and then made to flour, with which different types of breads are baked.

It can also be cooked, added to soups, used as a cereal, made into pasta and even fermented to beer or chicha, the traditional drink of the Andes. When cooked it takes on a nut-like flavor.

Today quinoa also has a key role in the gourmet kitchen, but its use has also been extended to the pharmaceutical and industrial areas.

From America to the world

Almost all the current quinoa production is in the hands of small farmers and associations.

Quinoa can be found natively in all countries of the Andean region, from Colombia to the north of Argentina and the south of Chile. The main producing countries are Bolivia, Peru and the United States. The cultivation of quinoa has transcended continental boundaries: it is being cultivated in France, England, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and Italy. In the United States it is being grown in Colorado and Nevada, and in Canada in the fields of Ontario. In Kenya it has shown high yields and in the Himalayas and the plains of northern India, the crop can also develop successfully.

A contribution to global food security

Faced with the challenge of increasing the production of quality food to feed the world’s population in the context of climate change, quinoa offers an alternative for those countries suffering from food insecurity.

The United Nations General Assembly has therefore declared 2013 as the “International Year of Quinoa”, in recognition of ancestral practices of the Andean people, who have managed to preserve quinoa in its natural state as food for present and future generations, through ancestral practices of living in harmony with nature.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and specifically its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, will serve as the Secretariat of the International Year of Quinoa, assisting the International Committee to coordinate the celebrations. Bolivia has the presidency of the Committee, while Ecuador, Peru and Chile share the vice presidency, with the rapporteurship in the hands of Argentina and France.

What is quinoa?

WHAT IS QUINOA?

Everything about quinoa, how it is grown, what it is used for and what are its varieties

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NEWS

Get the latest news about the IYQ and access to news published in major media sources in the region.

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Publications

PUBLICATIONS

If you want to know more about quinoa, enter this section where you can find related publications with this crop and the IYQ.

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MULTIMEDIA

Get the 2013 International Year of Quinoa campaign materials and help spread the word!

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(This article has been taken from the link :http://www.fao.org/quinoa-2013/en/ of  FAO website for further dissemination)