Climate change is impacting on the agricultural sector in DPR Korea, with extreme weather events becoming more common. This has led to increased damage to the main staple crops, rice and maize. Maize in particular is vulnerable to damage in the field and subsequent colonization by toxin producing fungi. These toxins are an immediate and long-term hazard to health, particularly for vulnerable groups such as children. CABI is working with the Ministry of Agriculture, and key local stakeholders, to increase the resilience of the maize value chain to the impacts of climate change, and in particular reducing contamination by these harmful fungal toxins.
Swiss landscapes would usually be rich in biodiversity. But due to highly concentrated agricultural practices, the number of regional insects and plants found is declining. The Federal Swiss government is taking action and has introduced a scheme to promote ecological compensation areas that will encourage naturally occurring species. As part of this, CABI is working on restoring regional biodiversity in the Swiss Jura through seed transfer methods.
The Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s (KRI) favourable climate and soil fertility offer ideal conditions for potato production, while cultivation and post-harvest activities provide important sources of employment and income in rural areas. Land and labour are also in abundance so there is the potential to significantly increase production. However, due to a lack of investment in the value chain and the limited training received by trainers and extension workers, these factors are underutilised.
The yellow-legged Asian hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax, was first detected in central Europe in 2004 and has since established in many countries on the continent. This hornet is a predator of honey bees and other insects, threatening honey production, pollination services and biodiversity. With Switzerland facing the imminent invasion by the hornet, CABI was commissioned by the Swiss government to help with the preparation for the threat and the control of the first arrivals. This project aims to establish a monitoring system for the early detection of the Asian hornet, determine control strategies and use climate modelling to predict where in Switzerland the insect might settle.