Innovative CABI BioProtection Portal launches first in Kenya to help growers reduce reliance on chemical pesticides and produce safer and healthier food
CABI has launched in Kenya a dedicated online resource aimed at raising the awareness and uptake of more environmentally friendly biocontrol and biopesticide products by growers and their advisors.
The CABI BioProtection Portal, is available initially as an online website, viewable on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers, to help growers and pest management advisors identify, source and correctly apply biocontrol and biopesticide products for their specific crop-pest problems. An offline version will follow within the next weeks to enable growers in areas without reliable internet access to also be able to benefit from the tool.
The innovative free-to-use tool, is being made available by CABI in collaboration with its network of partner biocontrol manufacturers (Koppert Biological Systems, Syngenta and e-nema) and donors (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, African Development Bank and the UK Department for International Development) who provide invaluable support in the form of technical inputs, strategic guidance and funding. The portal will be particularly beneficial for growers looking to replace chemical pesticides with biological products in order to meet market or export standards, satisfy consumer demands for healthier and safer food and reduce pressures on the environment.
The launch comes as CABI and its partners mark the inaugural International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) 2020 which aims to raise awareness of the importance and impacts of plant health in addressing world hunger, poverty, threats to the environment and economic development. As part of this CABI is itself collaborating with Wageningen University and Koppert Biological Systems to hold the first Plant Health, Agriculture & Bioscience Conference (PHAB 2020) which will be held on 9-11 September, 2020 in The Hague, the Netherlands.
Users of the CABI BioProtection Portal enter their country and crop-pest problem query to start a search which generates information on biocontrol and biopesticide products that are authorised by national regulators for that specific search. Information is sourced directly from national governments’ list of registered pesticides and from partner biocontrol manufacturers.
The CABI BioProtection Portal will be rolled out to a further 10-15 countries in 2020, including Spain, Brazil, Uganda and Bangladesh, and in multiple languages, with further countries to follow in 2021. It is the aim that this tool becomes a global go-to resource for information on biocontrol and biopesticide products.
Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, Executive Director, Global Operations at CABI said, “Globally, an estimated 40 percent of crops are lost to pests – such as the devastating maize pest fall armyworm and the tomato leaf miner – as well as a range of plant diseases.
“The widespread use of chemical pesticides to fight crop pests alone is not sustainable either economically or environmentally in the long run especially when you factor impacts exacerbated by climate change.
“CABI is helping growers to adapt to this major challenge through projects that apply, among other things, our expertise in digital development and crop health as well as products like the BioProtection Portal which promote sustainable approaches to pest management.”
Dr Kuhlmann said the portal is not just of benefit to growers but also to national authorities responsible for the regulation/registration of plant protection products, private-sector decision-makers – such as cooperatives and organisations operating voluntary certification schemes – and biocontrol manufacturers looking to promote wider uptake of their products.
“The CABI BioProtection Portal brings together in one place the various safer and more environmentally friendly biocontrol and biopesticide products that growers can add to their ‘arsenal’ against crop pests as part of an integrated pest management plan,” he added.
Find out more information about the CABI BioProtection Portal from bioprotectionportal.com
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CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.
Through knowledge sharing and science, CABI helps address issues of global concern such as improving global food security and safeguarding the environment. We do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less of what they produce, combating threats to agriculture and the environment from pests and diseases, protecting biodiversity from invasive species, and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge. Our 49 member countries guide and influence our core areas of work, which include development and research projects, scientific publishing and microbial services.