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managing crops in Bamyan and Parwan, Afghanistan Afghanistan

Page number

Protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services

Microbial collections: use and management

Integrated Pest Management in relation to high value crops

Technology transfer and expert exchange between members


Adaptation to climate change


Pests, diseases and invasiveness of biofuel crops

Member Country Priority Area

Institutional capacity strengthening and knowledge management

Featured in the Dossier

Trade development and good agricultural practices for market access



Plantwise in Asia

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam


beyond compliance: managing quarantine pests in Southeast Asia

Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam


enhancing quarantine services and facilities in Brunei Brunei Darussalam


investigating the impacts of Jatropha curcas production

Burkina Faso, India, Mali and Mexico


managing invasive species in Southeast Asian forests

Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam


joint laboratory for biosafety in China



helping China’s farmers adapt to climate change



improving the livelihoods of smallholder maize farmers

China, Laos and Myanmar


increasing rice production around the Mekong

China, Laos and Myanmar


partnering to help DPR Korea improve food security

DPR Korea





stopping the coffee berry borer in its tracks

Indonesia and Papua New Guinea


preventing Ganoderma from ruining oil palm



helping Pakistan’s farmers after the floods



developing and establishing ICT solutions for South Asia’s farmers



helping Pakistan’s wheat farmers lose less



producing better cotton in Pakistan



ensuring Pakistan’s agricultural trade is healthy



the Invasive Species Compendium



biofuels information exchange



developing a global agricultural research archive





location Afghanistan dates November 2009 – September 2012 CABI project team Muhammad Zahir Shah

managing crops in Bamyan and Parwan, Afghanistan

Over 80 per cent of the mostly rural population in Bamyan and Parwan depends on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihood. As the region lies in Afghanistan’s highlands, farmers mostly grow fruit such as apricots, apples, peaches, cherries and pears in small orchards, and other crops such as potatoes.

so what’s the problem? Much of the land here is barren and inaccessible, characterized by acute water shortages, small landholdings, extensive food insecurity and poor soil quality. However, specific areas of the region have benefited from many shortterm relief and some infrastructure development efforts. Lack of technical know-how and worsening management skills in rural areas has seen a decline in the performance of agricultural systems. The region’s traditional farming system requires innovation and training reverse this trend and improve the commerical viability of produce management and marketing.

what is this project doing? Enhancing agricultural productivity is vital to the development of this region. Although fertilizer is used by many, integrated crop management (ICM) is a new concept to most, and knowledge of productivity and ecologically sound agriculture needs to be improved.


To help develop farming communities here, the Aga Khan Foundation – Afghanistan, in close collaboration with CABI’s centre in Pakistan, has initiated an extension programme on vegetables, cereals and perennial crop ICM, which CABI has been given a mandate to design, facilitate and implement in the region. CABI is also providing technical support. We aim to: • design and implement learning experiments for farmers • develop technical promotional materials on ICM for smallholder farmers and those who manage the natural resources in the region • assist the Aga Khan Foundation’s staff to deliver services • co-ordinate with the Aga Khan Foundation’s national quality assurance specialist to establish monitoring and quality assurance mechanisms for the appropriate implementation of ICM activities • ensure the participation of all relevant people in the implementation processes We are designing participatory learning experiments for farmers and co-ordinating their implementation in the field. We are also helping to establish, develop and supervise a biological control laboratory to rear beneficial insects.

results so far Courses held for future trainers and farmers in ICM methods for crops have helped to develop technology through participation. The course for future trainers, which involved producing off-season vegetables in polytunnels, included 20 participants from the Aga Khan Foundation, 39 lead farmers, four staff from a cooperative, 12 staff from the Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (DAIL) and 11 from Bamyan University. These subsequently ran and facilitated 250 practising and regular farmer field schools (FFS), along with participatory technology development (PTDs), and worked with the farmers to develop this new technology. A total of approximately 6000 farmers (1000 of whom were women) were trained on field crops, vegetable production and perennial horticulture. We ran a refresher course on producing fruit and vegetables using ICM methods for the trainers during the project’s third year in all districts, including Bamyan, Shibar, Kahmard, Punjab and Waras (in Bamyan Province) and Surkhi Parsa and Shiekh Ali (in Parwan Province). We also successfully trained and equipped people as subject specialists and reared two major natural enemies including a parasitic wasp ( Trichogramma sp.) and lacewing (Chrysppa spp.) in our biological control laboratory – the first of its kind in the region. This work should improve the region’s agriculture and consequently people’s livelihoods. partner Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan sponsor Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan

Muhammad Zahir Shah, Project Manager

contact CABI, Opposite 1-A, Data Gunj Baksh Road, Satellite Town P.O. Box 8, Rawalpindi, Pakistan T: +92 (0)51 9290132 F: +92 (0)51 9290131 E: 2



dates Ongoing CABI project team Afghanistan: Muhammad Faheem, Rana Shafique Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka: Kavya Dashora, Rashi Raizada, Ravi Kheterpal Cambodia and Vietnam: A. Sivapragasam China: Zhang Feng, Wan Min, Liu Zhi Pakistan: Rana Shafique

Plantwise in Asia

In Asia, a huge number of people rely on what they can grow to survive. Led by CABI, Plantwise, an initiative to improve food security and the lives of the rural poor by reducing crop losses, helps countries establish community-based plant clinics to deliver practical advice to farmers when they have a problem with their crops.

so what’s the problem? Pests and diseases frequently reduce crop, often exceeding 50%. Timely and relevant advice can significantly improve food security, but extension services cannot meet all the information needs of smallholder farmers.

what is this project doing? Plantwise helps to connect farmers and the research community by translating researchers’ knowledge into practical, accessible advice and feeding information from the farmers back into a central knowledge bank. Knowledge in the plant health field, including local pest distribution data, is collected and made available from a central resource.


We are currently working in nine countries in Asia to: • • • • • • • • •

train plant doctors and establish plant health clinics in rural locations to provide free advice to farmers train future plant doctor trainers develop data management systems for collating and analyzing information from plant clinics link diagnostic laboratories to plant clinics develop farmer-friendly fact sheets for pest problems collate country specific information for the Plantwise knowledge bank ( provide country specific plant health news support extension campaigns based on plant clinic information strengthen links between stakeholders in the national plant health system

results so far Afghanistan Fourteen plant clinics are running in Bamyan and Parwan. Training on running the clinics is underway. Photo sheets on diseases and pests are being developed. Bangladesh A broad range of extension providers are developing innovative approaches. 31 clinics are running so far. 21 factsheets have been developed and 62 plant doctors have been trained in 2012. Cambodia Two plant clinics are operating under the General Directorate of Agriculture. China Nine clinics are being run by local extension stations in and around Beijing and Xing’an and in southwestern China. Training materials have been translated into Chinese and 29 plant doctors trained in field diagnosis, operating clinics and making pest management recommendations. Clinic data capture and management are under construction. Training sessions to help local representatives to develop fact sheets and monitoring and evaluating clinics are planned. India 12 clinics are being run by the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. Plant doctor training is underway and 30 factsheets are being produced and 71 plant doctors trained. Nepal 15 clinics have been conducted and 28 factsheets obtained in 2012. Plant doctor training is completed with 71 plant doctors trained in 2012. Pakistan CABI initiated 26 regular clinics in Punjab in 2012. We have trained 52 plant doctors and undertaken data management training. Over 4,000 queries have been received and 25 fact sheets produced. Sri Lanka 10 fact sheets developed in Sinhala are being translated into Tamil for use in nine northern Sri Lankan clinics, where agricultural extension is being strengthened to enhance the livelihoods of the war affected community. This adds to the network of roughly 74 plant clinics established in the rest of Sri Lanka. Vietnam Six clinics have been initiated and are being run by the Southern Horticultural Research Institute (SOFRI). partners Various ministries of agriculture, NGOs, extension services and research institutes sponsors Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) Department of International Development (DFID) Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) AusAid

contact CABI, Nosworthy Way, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8DE, UK T: +44 (0)1491 832111 F: +44 (0)1491 829198 E: 4



locations Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vietnam dates July 2011 – June 2012 CABI project team A Sivapragasam Lum Keng Yeang Sue Mei Jean

beyond compliance: managing quarantine pests in Southeast Asia

Trade is hugely important to Southeast Asia, where exports of fresh produce are worth over US$6bn each year.

so what’s the problem? Much of this trade is subject to the importing countries’ pest risk management requirements. These requirements may be damaging to product quality, hampered by limited availability or capacity, or detrimental to the environment. Where measures fail, trade can be disrupted entirely. Pests may also be introduced to Southeast Asia via imports. This is a particular risk where a pest may enter one country and then spread to neighbouring countries unimpeded. Experience shows that by the time an introduced pest has been detected, it may have already have become too widespread to eradicate.

what is this project doing? With funding from the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), we are taking a look at the regional case study on oil palm planting materials and providing our project management expertise. This systems approach uses modelling and decision support tools, such as Control Point-Bayesian Network, to help quantify integrated management methods combined with two or more risk management measures. This offers more flexible, quantified pest risk management and with the addition or removal of measures as needed – sometimes without stopping trade – allows for a more proportionate response to risks. Using this approach, plans are generally developed jointly between exporting and importing countries, which creates a more symmetrical


relationship in trade negotiations. While the participating countries comply with the importers’ requirements, the area is ready to move to a more proactive role in designing pest risk management plans. Although the systems approach has already been implemented in Southeast Asian trade, there are significant conceptual, technical and institutional barriers to taking full advantage of it. Besides building competence in technical issues, building confidence is key to moving “beyond compliance”. So plans imposed by trade partners are negotiated, evaluated and considered. Use of modelling to clarify a proposed trade system means that the importing country does not require extensive data and can assess the efficacy and impact of each measure, thereby building confidence. Using case studies on priority trade opportunities, the project will guide the exporting countries involved through the process of using a systems approach to pest management. Guidance on governance for stakeholder involvement, plans and others are provided by our partner, Imperial College London.

results so far The project has produced a review that describes pest risk management for imports and exports in the region, including the design and evaluation of these measures. We have also designed a conceptual framework for decision-making within the systems approach. Demonstrations of this approach through case studies, and establishing Southeast Asia’s competencies, has been undertaken. We are also developing a coordinated framework, which can be shared regionally and presented to the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The long-term outcomes of applying the systems approach include more robust pest risk management in the region, leading to increased protection from the threat of introduced pests, more confidence in trade negotiations, and new opportunities for trade. More stakeholders will be involved in the pest risk management planning process, resulting in increased engagement in compliance with phytosanitary measures.

partners Queensland University of Technology Imperial College London National Plant Protection Organizations of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand sponsor Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)

A. Sivapragasam, Project Manager

contact CABI, PO Box 210, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia T: +60 (0)3 8943 2921 F: +60 (0)3 8942 6490 E: 6



location Brunei Darussalam dates September 2011 – August 2013 CABI project team Lum Keng Yeang Soetikno Sastroutomo Graeme Evans Dale Hamilton

enhancing quarantine services in Brunei

The Government of Brunei Darussalam intends to upgrade its plant and animal quarantine services in line with its plan to increase agricultural productivity for better food security. At the same time, it is planning to upgrade national biosecurity levels to comply with global trading frameworks such as the World Trade Organization, International Plant Protection Convention, and associated conventions.

so what’s the problem? While plant and animal quarantine services do exist in Brunei, current practices are not fully compliant with international frameworks. With an increased emphasis on agriculture and food production, and plans to export selected niche produce, the country needs to build adequate capacity in its quarantine and biosecurity services so it can handle risks relating to imports and comply with the sanitary and phytosanitary requirements of other importing countries.


what is this project doing? As the appointed consultant, CABI is helping to upgrade the country’s plant and animal quarantine services. The team is conducting a thorough assessment of services and their compliance with international expectations, providing recommendations, building capacity in identified areas, and preparing guidance to assist plant and animal health personnel in the performance of their daily tasks. Specific activities include: • a  ssessing current plant and animal quarantine inspection systems and their infrastructure; making recommendations; preparing short- and long-term work plans for improving the services and assessing the current capacity of staff • c  onducting training in plant pest analysis, surveillance and monitoring, inspection, early detection and interception and emergency response • c  onducting training on animal disease risk analysis, animal disease surveillance and monitoring, border and meat inspections • u  ndertaking a study visit abroad for plant and animal health personnel to see more advanced quarantine systems in operation • developing a national phytosanitary database

results so far The assessment exercise has been completed and the findings presented to the relevant ministry. Plant and animal health officers from Brunei’s government have made a study visit to Australia and a second visit to Malaysia and Singapore is being planned. A training course analysing the risks of plant pests has been successfully completed and will be followed by a similar course on the risks of animal diseases. sponsor Department of Agriculture & Agrifood, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam

Lum Keng Yeang, Project Manager

contact CABI, PO Box 210, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia T: +60 (0)3 8943 2921 F: +60 (0)3 8942 6490 E: 8



locations India, Mexico, Mali, Burkina Faso dates June 2009 – February 2013 CABI project team Marc Kenis Tim Haye Carol Ellison Steve Edgington Sean Murphy

investigating the impacts of Jatropha curcas production

As fossil fuel prices increase and concerns about climate change grow, bioenergy crops have gained international prominence.

so what’s the problem? Increasing demand for bioenergy crops could lead to conflict, particularly in the tropics where the need to produce food is paramount. Growing such crops could also lead to increased deforestation, where large scale forest land conversions are initiated. Some think smallholder farmers could incorporate the production of bioenergy crops into their current land use systems, growing such crops alongside food crops without jeopardizing their own food security. This would increase the smallholders’ cash flow and enable them to intensify food production.

Jatropha curcas is a Euphorbiaceae (from the spurge family), native to Central America and cultivated throughout the tropics. Its seeds are rich in oil (27–40 per cent) which, using low-tech extraction techniques, is suitable for biodiesel. The plant is being promoted in several regions worldwide and especially in the two primary project countries, Mexico and India. Following insurgent activity in the planned field work area in India, in 2010 project activities were moved to Mali, and then, after the coup d’état in Mali in March 2012, to Burkina Faso. In Mexico, where the plant is native, it is traditionally planted as a hedge. Large scale planting was initiated in 2006, particularly in Chiapas and Veracruz. In India, large-scale land conversions to Jatropha have been initiated in several states. In Burkina Faso and Mali farmers have been encouraged to plant Jatropha as part of an intercropping system or as hedges, with support from local extension workers. So far, however, little is known about basic agronomy and ecological impacts across different agro-eco-regions.


what is this project doing? The primary project involved six partner teams from Mexico, India, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, with specific additional input from partners in Mali and, in the final year, Burkina Faso. The aim was to assess the profitability, economic, social and environmental impacts of the production of the bioenergy crop Jatropha. The data obtained should enable us to identify the most suitable eco-regions for maximizing yields, taking into account different pests and diseases, production methods (smallholder versus large-scale planting), and economic, social and environmental production risks. A further objective was to identify shortfalls in land tenure systems or law, and develop legislation to ensure the social sustainability and equity of future bioenergy projects. Studies on Jatropha were carried out in Mexico (Chiapas and Veracruz), northern India (Uttar Pradesh), Mali (Sikasso and Koulikoro) and Burkina Faso (Sissili). Where possible, three eco-regions along rainfall gradients were chosen in each country for the study. Activities were divided into three work packages: • categorization of existing bioenergy systems • assessment of environmental impacts • socioeconomic impact assessment and dissemination

results so far The project is continuing, and data is still being analyzed. The main findings to date include: • Jatropha production in parts of all regions is being seriously curtailed by insect and pathogen attack • low price of Jatropha seed and labour competition are the main concerns among producers with established crops • there is no evidence that Jatropha is an invasive species in the study areas in Africa

partners Centro Tecnológico Forestal de Catalunya, Solsona, Spain Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales y Agropecuarias, Veracruz, Mexico Katholieke Universiteit Leuven UTTHAN, Allahabad, India Mali Biocarburant and Faso Biocarburant Mali-Folkecenter sponsors Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC) Marc Kenis, Project Manager

contact CABI, Rue des Grillons 1, CH-2800 Delémont, Switzerland T: +41 (0)32 421 4870 F: +41 (0)32 421 4871 E: 10



locations Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines dates December 2011 – November 2015 CABI project team A Sivapragasam, Arne Witt Morris Akiri, Alphonse Werah Lum Weng Kiong, Chan Fook Wing, Chan Hong Twu

managing invasive species in Southeast Asian forests

Invasive alien species (IAS) are, after habitat destruction, the second biggest threat to biodiversity worldwide.

so what’s the problem? Invasive alien species are significantly affecting local and global biodiversity in Southeast Asia, invading and threatening forest habitats and the species that live in them. They are also indirectly affecting the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on forests for food, commodities and energy security. Countries in the region recognize the need to implement Article 8 (h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to mitigate the threats posed by IAS.

what is this project doing? Responding to the need for additional action against invasive species, CABI and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with a host of partners, have developed a project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The overall goal is to conserve globally important forests, species and genetic diversity in the region, with the initial aim of enhancing the capacity of four countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam – to manage their invasive alien species. Focusing particularly on forest ecosystems, the project will strengthen existing national frameworks to prevent and manage IAS. We will achieve this by establishing national policy and institutional frameworks, developing mechanisms for risk analysis, early detection and rapid response mechanisms, and cost-recovery systems to finance IAS activities.


We plan to increase regional co-operation and create awareness of the threats posed by IAS. Building capacity within the region will be an important component of this, and will contribute to the sustainability of all interventions during this project. Overall, the project will: • • • • • •

establish national policy and institutional frameworks build regional co-operation in Southeast Asia build national capacity and strengthen institutional support undertake national pilot work to prevent, control and manage priority forest IAS carry out national information and awareness programmes monitor and evaluate pests

There are five pilot projects across the four partner countries, addressing the management of invasive plants in protected and production forests.

results so far A successful inception meeting was held with the stakeholders and the project has been launched in Indonesia. The other countries will follow as soon as the necessary administrative protocols have been completed. Work plans and activities, including those for the five project sites, have been finalized between CABI and the project countries. Work within the countries to implement the various components is already underway. Participants, supported by funds provided through UNEP from the Satogaeri Foundation of Japan, have undergone a week-long training course on forest restoration provided by the Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU) at Chiangmai University. partners United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Cambodia General Department of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection (GDANCP) Ministry of Environment Indonesia Conservation and Rehabilitation Research and Development Centre Forest Research and Development Agency (FORDA) Ministry of Forestry Philippines Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Office (FASPO) Department of Environment and Natural Resources Vietnam Biodiversity Conservation Agency (BCA) Environment Administration, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) sponsors

A Sivapragasam, Project Manager

Global Environment Facility (GEF) – main donor ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) SEAMEO-BIOTROP, Indonesia Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Australia Wildlife Conservation Society – Indonesia Program WWF – Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS) Kerala Forest Research Institute Biosecurity Queensland (DEEDI), Australia CSIRO, Australia Satogaeri Fund, Japan

contact CABI, PO Box 210, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia T: +60 (0)3 8943 2921 F: +60 (0)3 8942 6490 E: 12

location Beijing, China dates September 2008 – ongoing CABI project team Zhang Feng Li Hongmei Luo Shuping Wan Huanhuan Zhang Jinping

Joint Laboratory for Biosafety in China

In 2008, CABI and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture established the Joint Laboratory for Biosafety at the Institute of Plant Protection at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (IPP-CAAS) in Beijing – a milestone in China–CABI collaboration.

what is the Joint Laboratory doing? The Joint Laboratory provides a platform for research collaboration for both CABI and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. It is also a training centre, a place where scientific exchanges can take place, and a consultancy service. As an open platform for collaboration and joint research for CABI’s member countries, international organizations and regional bodies, the Joint Laboratory helps organize national, regional and international training, scientific exchange and cooperation on biosafety. Its ultimate aim is to become a base for both parties. The Joint Laboratory generates novel technologies in biosafety, including prevention and control of invasive alien species, introduction and development of biopesticide resources and integrated pest management (IPM) technologies. These activities are supported by funding from international and regional donors. It also provides consultancy services on policy, as required by the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as making appropriate recommendations on cooperation in biosafety between China and other countries.


IPP-CAAS, on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, is responsible for hosting and day-to-day administration of the Joint Laboratory, while governance and management are undertaken jointly with CABI. The Steering Committee (four from China and three from CABI), is responsible for review and approval of research activities, working plans and finance of the Joint Laboratory. Two co-directors from China and CABI are responsible for overall management of the Joint Laboratory and report to the Steering Committee. Two liaison secretaries, one from China and one from CABI, are responsible for the relationship between China and CABI and for implementation of the working plan. Senior scientists and technicians from both parties work at the Joint Laboratory, and are deployed according to the needs of specific projects. Current research staff include one project scientist, postdoctoral researcher, research assistant, visiting scientist and technician and between five and seven undergraduate students.

results so far The team is working together on invasive species, IPM technologies and developing biopesticides. We have been able to initiate and implement projects, organize workshops and conferences that have developed relationships with other experts and organizations. We are currently studying biological control of mirid bug (Apolygus lucorum), box tree caterpillar (Diaphania perspectalis), brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) and Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). Organisms exhibiting potential as biocontrol agents have been screened and cultured for further study at the Joint Laboratory. Two of our latest projects are helping smallholder farmers in the Greater Mekong subregion strengthen their food security by improving both rice and maize crops. IPP-CAAS is leading these projects, CABI is the major partner and the Joint Laboratory is providing project support. Biocontrol agent production facilities are also being established throughout the region, using adapted technology from China. Seven undergraduate students have recently been trained in weed biological control, IPM and biological invasion. In recognition of the Joint-Laboratories outstanding achievements, the co-director from CABI, Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann has been granted the Chinese government’s Friendship Award in 2012; the highest honour awarded to foreign experts that have made outstanding contributions to China’s economic, scientific and social progress. This indicates strong partnership between CABI, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, CAAS and IPP.

partners Institution of Plant Protection Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences sponsor Chinese Ministry of Agriculture

Zhang Feng, Project Manager

contact CABI, Internal Post Box 56, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 12 Zhongguancun Nandajie, Beijing 100081, China T: +86 (0)10 82105692 F: +86 (0)10 62197032 E: 14



location China dates 2010 – 2012 CABI project team Qiaoqiao Zhang Min Wan Fook Wing Chan Loke Wai Hong Feng Zhang

helping China’s farmers adapt to climate change

Climate change is likely to have a huge impact on agriculture in China and as a result, on poverty. Recent studies have predicted that by 2050 climate change could reduce China’s agricultural output by up to 37%. China’s farmers therefore need appropriate options to adapt and increase climate change resilience. what is this project doing? This project helps to foster closer cooperation and interaction between Chinese and UK researchers supporting the China–UK Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network (SAIN:, established to provide a coherent framework for development and implementation of sustainable agriculture. Through a structured programme of knowledge exchange and joint research between Chinese and UK researchers, the project aims to communicate both the impacts of climate change on agriculture and the benefits of sustainable farming systems to representatives from farming communities, researchers and policymakers.


Conducting literature reviews and surveys in farming communities, will establish the level of awareness and current research that has already taken place on sustainable farming systems in China. From this, the project will build the capacity of Chinese researchers through training programmes to help farmers understand and adapt to climate change by raising awareness of the strategies available. To disseminate our progress we will produce a website in both Chinese and English, press releases, posters, project summaries and report our findings. Our role is to communicate project activity and findings and bring stakeholders together to discuss and share issues and ideas. By helping researchers and farmers adapt, the project will promote sustainable agriculture, and strengthen researcher and farmer capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change.

results so far So far, we’ve built and populated the website ( which allows scientists to upload their project information, provides a discussion forum, caters for feedback and shares the latest news. All the key content information has been translated into Chinese and a database has been developed to capture and categorize project information. Also, a mobile version of the website has been launched to promote coverage on different technology platforms. The project will continue to encourage scientists to upload information and use the forums, while materials for farmers are being produced to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change and the options available to them.

partners Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development on Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (IEDA, CAAS) University of Leeds Met Office Hadley Centre CABI Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IAP, CAAS) Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research University of Hertfordshire Inner Mongolia Academy of Agricultural & Animal Husbandry Sciences Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences

sponsor Qlaoqlao Zhang, CABI Project Manager


contact CABI, Nosworthy Way, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8DE, UK T: +44 (0)1491 829352 E: 16



locations China, Lao PDR, Myanmar dates April 2012 – March 2015 CABI project team Manfred Grossrieder Frida Rodhe Dirk Babendreier Wan Min Zhi Liu Urs Wittenwiler

improving the livelihoods of smallholder maize farmers

After rice, maize is the most important crop in Myanmar, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and Yunnan, China. Produced by around 19 million farmers in the region, these crops are used for both animal feed and human consumption.

so what’s the problem? Average maize production is almost half that of other Asian countries, such as Bangladesh. Insects including the Asian corn borer and other lepidopteran pests are a major factor, causing annual yield losses of up to 15%. Farmers have little knowledge of sustainable pest management and biological control methods to protect their crops; the majority of maize growers in Southeast Asia use plant protection products, that are broadspectrum insecticides, but lack of appropriate machinery prevents their safe and efficient use. These synthetic insecticides are readily available in China and Myanmar, where fear of crop losses results in overuse. As well as destabilizing the agro-ecosystem, this approach poses significant health risks to both smallholder farmers and consumers. In contrast, farmers in the project implementation area of Lao PDR have virtually no access to commercial plant protection products and are therefore at high risk of suffering from pest outbreaks. Throughout the region, smallholder farmers lack resources and support to benefit from agricultural research, and are often unable to control serious crop pests that threaten food security.


what is this project doing? The project aims to improve smallholder farmers’ livelihoods and market access by providing them with relevant plant protection technology, while supporting relevant on-the-ground advisory organizations and helping to develop new business opportunities. The tiny parasitic wasps (Trichogramma spp.) can reduce maize pest populations, such as the Asian corn borer, without harming beneficial insects. Building on Chinese technology (Tianyi Biological Control Company Ltd), rearing facilities will be established in 21 villages to produce sufficiently large wasp populations to enable adequate control. Local capacity building – including training personnel, extension officers and smallholders both to produce and apply the wasps and in integrated pest management (IPM) practices – will ensure the project’s long-term sustainability. Ownership of the production facilities will be passed on to grassroots organizations, making local production sustainable while improving smallholder farmers’ access to Trichogramma. The increase in agricultural productivity will create new markets and business opportunities.

results so far In each country, information has been established about target groups, pest occurrence and awareness, the importance and range of maize production, partners and opportunities. National partners have been trained to conduct participatory rural appraisals with the farming communities involved in the project. This baseline information gained from these assessments has allowed us to develop a yearly action plan. Developing this plan has encouraged networking between stakeholders, strengthening partnerships through communication and information sharing. The partners were able to observe commercial Trichogramma facilities and the impact of biologically based plant protection during a study tour to DPR Korea. This gave them a greater understanding of biological control and of the project’s potential benefits and challenges. Ultimately, the project will create local experts, and the process will identify the best locally adapted production design, implementation villages and pilot facilities. partners The Institute of Plant Protection – Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (IPP-CAAS project applicant) Plant Protection and Quarantine Station, Yunnan, China Plant Protection Centre, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry PDR Laos Plant Protection Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar

sponsor DG DEVCO – EuropeAid Manfred Grossrieder, Project Manager

contact CABI, Rue des Grillons 1, CH-2800, Delémont, Switzerland T: +41 (0)32 421 4870 F: +41 (0)32 421 4871 E: 18



locations Laos, Myanmar and Southwest China dates January 2011 – January 2016 CABI project team Dirk Babendreier Sivapragasam Annamalai Feng Zhang Urs Wittenwiler (CABI Associate)

increasing rice production around the Mekong

Rice is the most important crop in the Greater Mekong Sub-region of Southwestern China, Laos, and Myanmar; not only is it the most important source of food but it also provides work and income for 80% of the population.

so what’s the problem? Despite significant improvement of rice production in the region over the past 15 years, rice productivity is still low, in part due to the impact of pests, diseases and weeds. Intensive use of broad spectrum pesticides has led to problems like insecticide resistance and outbreaks of secondary pests (such as plant hoppers). Knowledge of more advanced rice production technologies and Integrated Crop Management (ICM) to overcome these problems and boost productivity is limited.

what is this project doing? This project, which is being managed by the CABI and Chinese Ministry of Agriculture Joint Laboratory (hosted by the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences), aims to sustainably increase rice production through research; capacity building; and the implementation of biologically-based pest management suited to current and predicted future climatic conditions.


The project is particularly looking at improving rice yields by providing smallholder farmers with access to effective, locally available alternatives to pesticides – biological control agents. The project will therefore undertake: • biological control research to find agent for controlling rice pests • climate change study to ensure agents appropriate for future climatic conditions • design and roll out of low-technology, energy-saving production system for rural areas • development and dissemination of wider Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy to all stakeholders • strategy to promote take-up by farmers A research network of scientists and rice experts is being established to seek the best way to fight the main lepidopteran (moths and butterflies) rice pests using their natural enemies. The team will conduct experiments to find a suitable biological control agent and explore ways of embedding this agent into a wider ICM strategy. Facilities for the mass production of a biological control agent will be designed and adapted to the conditions in the three countries. Special focus will be given to ensuring the profitability of the mass rearing facilities to ensure ongoing production after the project ends. Production personnel, extension services, and farmers will be trained on how to best produce and release the biological control agent so that they can fight the pest before it causes serious damage to the rice.

results By the end of the project we aim to have: • 12 locally-adapted biological control agent production facilities established with the potential to supply up to 24,000 smallholder farmers • 12 production facility managers and 36 support personnel trained • 12-15 trainers trained in Trichogramma production techniques for training of facility personnel • 24-30 trainers trained in IPM and Trichogramma application for training of farmers • 960 farmers trained in, and implementing, IPM partners Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) Dehong Plant Protection and Quarantine Station, Yunnan Province, China Plant Protection Centre, Department of Agriculture of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, PDR Laos Plant Protection Division, Myanmar Agriculture Service, Ministry of Agricultue and Irrigation, Myanmar Xing’an Plant Protection Station, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China sponsor DG DEVCO – EuropeAid Dirk Babendreier, Project Manager

contact CABI, Rue des Grillons 1, CH-2800 Delemont, Switzerland T: +41 (0)32 421 4885 E: 20



location Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dates July 2010 – June 2013 CABI project team Keith Holmes Dirk Babendreier

partnering to help DPR Korea improve food security

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea) faces annual shortages in national food production. Improving food security by protecting its crops against pests and diseases is vital.

so what’s the problem? Much of DPR Korea’s research community lacks the resources necessary to be able to conduct effective scientific studies, which are needed to enable food security to be improved.

what is this project doing? Funded by Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, this partnership project aims to strengthen the knowledge and in-house applied research capacity of DPR Korea’s Academy of Agricultural Sciences (AAS), which works to provide solutions to the country’s agricultural problems. Improved efficiency at the research and development level is likely to result in sustainable increases in agricultural productivity, which in turn will enhance food security and improve nutrition for the population as a whole, especially the vulnerable. Through participatory learning, project partners will gain experience in problem identification, experimental design, data analysis, and the presentation of results. They will learn the importance of communicating research-related experiences and knowledge with their peers, and through the systematic sharing of ideas and experiences will help to build an effective communication network between researchers, research institutes and


farms. This will provide the framework for a system able to facilitate timely responses to agricultural production problems. To support capacity building in the partner institutes, the project will also provide material resources for experimentation and communication where they are urgently needed.

results so far Scientific staff of the AAS are now able to support the development and implementation of their research by accessing the internet and online resources, including those of CABI – a big achievement. We have enhanced this infrastructure so that AAS staff can communicate more easily with both each other and other stakeholders. Internet access of off-site institutes has also been improved, so national and international scientific knowledge is more readily available to them. It is hoped that this will improve crop production methods and enhance food security. To enhance the ability of AAS staff to design, carry out, and analyze their research, a workshop was held introducing them to experimental design and statistical analysis, and the application of these to their own research. Supported by CABI, Kim Il Sung University – Pyongyang Agricultural University (AAS-PAU) has developed this into a new course. With funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), AAS-PAU has produced a course manual and made 150 copies available to students. A select number of AAS staff have also received training in communicating scientific information. They used these new skills to create posters and presentations for an international conference, and then attended the 24th International Working Group of Ostrinia and other Maize Pests (IWGO) in October 2011 in Germany, where they presented two posters and gave two presentations. An international symposium focusing on current pest monitoring and forecasting and assessing future needs has been held at AAS. This first Joint AAS-CABI Scientific Symposium provided an excellent opportunity – involving lively and detailed discussions – for local partner scientists to discuss pest monitoring and forecasting with international experts. It also proved a useful and timely forum in which ideas for future implementation could be developed. In addition to providing direct support to knowledge transfer and providing information, the ability of AAS to provide training has also been enhanced. With support from this project, the AAS Training Facility accommodation block has been renovated and 12 rooms completely refitted, making it easier for AAS to host scientists and agricultural staff from outside Pyongyang and thus improving its capacity to train and disseminate knowledge nationally. partner Academy of Agricultural Sciences, DPR Korea sponsor DG DEVCO – EuropeAid

Keith Holmes, Project Manager

contact CABI, Rue des Grillons 1, CH-2800, Delémont, Switzerland T: +41 (0)32 421 4870 F: +41 (0)32 421 4871 E: 22



location India dates 2009 – ongoing CABI project team Sharbendu Banerjee Priyanka Anand Himanshu Verma Rekha Yadav


Agriculture is particularly important in India, contributing over 20 per cent of its GDP. The country ranks second worldwide in terms of farming output.

so what’s the problem? There are fears that the population will increase more quickly than the country’s ability to grow food, so we need to support farmers to grow more crops and lose less to pests and diseases. This means getting practical information direct to smallholder farmers.

what is this project doing? CABI is developing Direct2Farm, a mobile-enabled agriculture infomediary service aimed at making high quality information readily accessible to farmers, thus empowering them to solve their everyday farming problems. CABI’s expertise in indexing and managing vast amounts of complex data, combined with its experience in agricultural best practice, soil health, plant pests and diseases will provide the basis for developing a powerful core of farming information. The Direct2Farm service will synthesize this data into short SMS and voice messages, which can be delivered via mobile phones. The information transmitted on agricultural issues will help smallholder farmers to improve profitability and consequently their livelihoods.


The model being developed enables factsheets to be turned into small packages of information in the local language and delivered directly to farmers via SMS and voice messaging. Farmers will be also able to consult a virtual helpline – the cloud contact centre. CABI is also creating the core information product, a database of factsheets known as the agro-extension information repository, which includes administrative functionality such as allowing input and updating, accepting weather and agricultural market data, and outputting in a range of formats, which will be delivered to end-users by external organizations. CABI will work in partnership with mobile service providers as well as extension services, NGOs and agribusiness support.

results so far Partnerships have been created with mobile value-added service providers. The first of these is with IKSL, a joint venture between the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO) – the largest farmers’ co-operative in India – and Airtel, the country’s largest mobile network operator, along with Star Global Resources Limited, a rural telephony company. CABI is providing content quality assurance. Other partnerships have been formed with Handygo Technologies and the India Coffee Association, where Direct2Farm’s agroinfomediary service is used to reach rural communities. Agricultural information, especially extension information, is widely dispersed across various institutions. CABI has created a beta version of the web repository that will hold and provide access to core agricultural, animal production and market data. The Direct2Farm knowledge repository makes all this information available through a single window for simple dissemination. It allows NGOs, development projects, extension workers, and agribusiness to create customized content, which can then be disseminated through the agro-advisory or cloud contact centre service, to their target audience.

partners Handygo technologies IKSL sponsor CABI Development Fund (CDF)

Sharbendu Banerjee, Project Manager

contact CABI, 2nd Floor, CG Block, NASC Complex, DP, Shastri Marg, Opp. Todapur Village, PUSA, New Delhi – 110 012, India T: +91 (0)11 25841906 F: +91 (0)11 25842907 E: 24



locations Indonesia, Papua New Guinea dates June 2008 – June 2013 CABI project team Soetikno S Sastroutomo Martin Kimani Keng-Yeang Lum Sean T Murphy George Oduor Bryony Taylor

stopping the coffee berry borer in its tracks

Coffee is one of the most valuable primary products in world trade, earning crucial foreign exchange for developing countries. Its cultivation, processing, trade, transportation and marketing provide employment for millions of people worldwide. However, there are numerous threats to production; especially pests and diseases which, if left unchecked, can decimate crops.

so what’s the problem? The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei ) is the world’s most widespread and damaging insect pest of coffee. It develops inside the maturing coffee berry, making it difficult for farmers to control, leading to beans dropping off prematurely or reduced bean weight, resulting in harvestable berry quality. Although coffee berry borers incidence is variable, the pest can cause severe hardship with economic losses arising from its activity estimated to exceed US$500m.


what is this project doing? This Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded project is utilizing CABI’s vast experience in coffee berry borer management to address the problem in Indonesia and prevent it occurring in Papua New Guinea. We are doing this by encouraging better management and putting in place prevention and incursion procedures where the pest does not yet occur. Although the incidence of coffee berry borers varies, the pest can cause severe economic hardship in heavily affected areas. Coffee berry borer management in Indonesia emphasizes situation-specific surveillance and awareness, appropriate integrated pest management research (such as cultural methods including crop sanitation and pest trapping), and the application of biocontrol agents. We will also use a participatory approach to train farmers in the latest technology. Indonesian farmers’ practical knowledge of coffee berry borer and its management has already significantly improved, following on-farm participatory trials and training. In Papua New Guinea, we are emphasizing quarantine procedures where we are building capacity, encouraging early detection and emergency responses.

results so far Locally-based master facilitators have been trained in integrated pest management (IPM) for coffee, with particular attention to the coffee berry borer and its sustainable control. Similarly, farmer field schools have been run to good effect. We have found that a combination of treatments, including pruning, sanitation, application of Beauveria bassiana (a fungus) and attractant (ethanol-methanol) trapping, gives the highest profit margin. Two integrated pest management trials have been run in Indonesia to good effect and the results presented along with further information about the pest at the International Association of Coffee Sciences (ASIC) meeting. Detected in Papua New Guinea in 2009 (on the border with Indonesia) and successfully contained and eradicated, the team worked to understand the coffee berry borer’s possible route into the country. Three pathways were identified; human movement; export and import of coffee; and internal movement of coffee. Based on these, surveillance strategies and pest sampling methods have been developed for implementation. The team is also producing materials to help build public awareness of the pest on the border between Papua New Guinea and Papua in Indonesia. partners Indonesian Coffee & Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI) PNG Coffee Industry Corporation Ltd. (CIC) PNG National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Agency (NAQIA) Provincial Estate Crops Agency for South Sulawesi & Papua, Indonesia Directorate of Estate Crops Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Indonesia sponsor Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

Soetikno S Sastroutomo, Project Manager

contact CABI, PO Box 210, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia T: +60 (0)3 8943 2921 F: +60 (0)3 8942 6490 E: 26



location Malaysia dates January 2011 – June 2013 CABI project team Lum Keng Yeang Lee Boun Siew (CABI Associate) Low Ying Chiang Chan Hong Twu

managing Ganoderma to help the oil palm industry

Oil palm is of particular economic importance in Southeast Asia; Indonesia and Malaysia are two of the world’s largest producers.

so what’s the problem? The plant disease, Ganoderma spp., is impeding production of oil palm and many tropical perennial crops such as coconut, betel palm, rubber and tea, as it causes root and stem rot. Ganoderma basal stem rot (BSR) of oil palm is of particular economic importance, since it shortens the productive life of plantations, as the impact of the disease increases with successive plant cycle of this monoculture. Initially, this disease was mainly confined to plantations in coastal areas. Now it has reached epidemic proportions here and is also is a severe impact further inland.

what is this project doing? Considerable work has been undertaken to amend soil to limit Ganoderma damage. In laboratory tests, strains of the Trichoderma fungus have been shown to prevent Ganoderma from affecting oil palm. An effective delivery system is therefore required to ensure that selected Trichoderma strains can be maintained in the environment and are able to contact and interact with the Ganoderma fungus. Although research has concentrated on amending the soil to limit the spread of this fungus, aerial dispersion via spores may also be a significant cause of disease. Consequently, the project will trial both compost-based soil amendments and liquid or gel-based amendments that can be applied to the actual palm, at the base of the frond.


The phenomenon of suppressive soils – where the fungus cannot develop – has been reported and shown to manage a number of soil-borne diseases. A thorough investigation into the microbial diversity of these soils may provide useful leads to manage Ganoderma disease sustainably. The project takes a fresh approach to examining ways to reduce the amount of Ganoderma in the oil palm ecosystem, both through direct intervention where Ganoderma is already resident in the soil and by boosting the soil’s capacity to suppress the development of Ganoderma disease.

results so far The microbial profiles of the soil, as well as its physic-chemical properties, have been studied for plantations exhibiting both high and low incidences of Ganoderma disease. The team is looking for evidence of soil suppression, and the possible correlation between low incidence and population levels of specific microbial taxonomic groups. A number of these organisms have been isolated and show promising antagonistic properties in laboratory tests. Some of these have now been incorporated in a controlled environment and field trials are being carried out to test appropriate delivery systems for use in managing this debilitating disease.

partner FELDA Agricultural Services Sdn Bhd sponsor Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) Malaysia

Lum Keng Yeang, Project Manager

contact CABI, PO Box 210, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia T: +60 (0)3 8943 2921 F: +60 (0)3 8942 6490 E: 28



location Pakistan dates November 2010 – December 2011 CABI project team Kauser Iqbal Khan Abdul Rehman Naeem Aslam

helping Pakistan’s farmers after the floods

The floods experienced in Pakistan following the monsoon rains in summer 2010 were the worst since 1929, affecting over two million people and covering 20 per cent of the land. In Khyber, Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, more than 200 mm of rain fell over a 24-hour period, and a record-breaking 274 mm in Peshawar.

so what’s the problem? More than 1,600 people were killed and over 3,000 injured. Entire villages were swept away and millions of acres of agricultural land went under water, ruining crops. The floods also destroyed vital infrastructure, including wells and water channels, houses and animal sheds, personal seed stocks, fertilizers and agricultural equipment. The fact that it was nearly harvest time for many vital crops made the situation worse. Many of the 170 million people who live in the region are smallholder farmers, which means that their livelihoods are extremely susceptible to the weather. In the immediate aftermath it was very difficult to work effectively and efficiently. Aid agencies sprang into action and organizations like CABI worked to rebuild infrastructures that were damaged in the floods.


what did this project do? CABI began a project, funded by Welthungerhilfe (a German relief charity), initiating an agricultural recovery programme in one of the worst affected regions – Muzaffargarh district in the Punjab. Designed to address the needs of the flood-affected farming communities, the programme ensured they had enough food for the following year and were capable of supporting themselves. The programme consisted of a free agriculture and irrigation support package, meaning that each floodstricken farmer in the region could sow one acre of wheat. It also provided short-term employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour (nearly 20,000 man days in total), as well as training for farmers in good agricultural practices (GAP). The aim was to help reduce the vulnerability of flood-affected people, and improve group organization and the management capacity of farmers. After the initial success of this project, CABI received additional funding to carry out further rehabilitation work of the agricultural infrastructure to promote food security among the flood damaged populations in the Muzaffargarh district of the Punjab.

results Seed and fertilizers have been distributed to 7,000 seriously flood affected farmers ie. those with fewer than five acres, and have been trained in good agricultural practices. A further 2,500 farmers have also been trained in integrated pest management (IPM) of wheat. Diesel has been distributed to over 5,000 beneficiaries. We have reconstructed and rehabilitated 729 damaged tube wells, 12,450 m of lined flood damaged watercourses (111 in total) and 32,679 m of earthen portions of 36 water courses to carry water for farming. We have also rehabilitated 10 fish farms, distributed 11,870 fingerlings (young fish) and fish food, and taught farmers how to manage them effectively. 2,100 women (one from each household) have been trained in kitchen gardening, and we have distributed the seeds of five vegetable crops to them so they can feed their families with a diverse diet and secure their income through selling their surplus yield. Overall, the project has helped many farmers to turn towards sustainable agriculture, enabling them to feed their families with less external support. sponsor Welthungerhilfe

Kauser Iqbal Khan, Project Manager

contact CABI, Opposite 1-A, Data Gunj Baksh Road, Satellite Town P.O. Box 8, Rawalpindi, Pakistan T: +92 (0)51 9290132 F: +92 (0)51 9290131 E: 30



location Pakistan dates October 2010 – March 2013 CABI project team Mahrukh Siraj

developing and establishing ICT solutions for South Asia’s farmers

Agriculture is hugely important in South Asia, generating money for the economy and income for smallholder farming families.

so what’s the problem? Many smallholder farmers in the region are not generating the income that they could and significant produce is lost throughout their supply chain. Although nearly half of its population is employed in agriculture, Pakistan is still a net importer of food. The same is true of Bangladesh, where most farmers grind out a living, unable to move to a more commercialized way of farming to lift them out of poverty. If rural farmers in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are to succeed in today’s market, they need immediate access to the latest information. Even though government and development agencies recognize the potential for ICT and mobile technology to provide this, critical weather and market price data are still not reaching the smallholder famers. Farmers’ inability to stay abreast of developments in agricultural technologies that can improve productivity has been cited as the single largest barrier to the uptake of technology.

what is this project doing? Funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the CABI team is carrying out research and developing ICT solutions for farmers in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.


Identifying the gaps and fault lines in the current system of ICT provision will enable us to pinpoint the problems. We are exploring the possibility of working with local partners to deliver the necessary information services and, by using our decades of experience and expertise in implementing similar grassroots schemes, will ensure that people have access to the vital information they need. Our research has identified the information required and the best means of disseminating it. A need for location or crop specific information and solutions to assist with annual crop planning and budgeting to improve return on investment have been identified. The project has also established that extension workers are under-resourced, inadequately trained and lack the infrastructure to communicate with farmers effectively. High transportation costs and lack of budget mean insufficient visits by field extension staff to the farmers in their area. Although a helpline has been established, further development is needed. As most of the smallholder farmers have mobile phones, mobile applications are particularly well suited for communication between farmers and extension service providers, as well as for disseminating and collecting information from the field via voice and text messages in Urdu. Mobile phone operators have recognized that this could be a huge untapped market and are therefore keen to get involved.

results so far In addition to the fieldwork, the CABI team has attended conferences and exhibitions showcasing developments in IT provision for farmers. Discussions with a variety of people from government ministries and NGOs have enabled the team to establish what the issues are and future requirements for agricultural ICT provision. Informed by this research, a model has been proposed which focuses on providing self-sustaining, customized information through mobile phone technology in the field plus a web-based interface for institutional users. The model is currently being piloted in Pakistan.

sponsor Department for International Development (DFID), UK

Mahrukh Siraj, Project Manager

contact CABI, Opposite 1-A, Data Gunj Baksh Road, Satellite Town P.O. Box 8, Rawalpindi, Pakistan T: +92 (0)51 9290132 F: +92 (0)51 9290131 E: 32



location Pakistan dates July 2009 – June 2013 CABI project team Rana Shafique Muhammad Faheem Mushtaq Ahmed

helping Pakistan’s wheat farmers lose less

With 8.41 million hectares of land under its production, wheat dominates all others crops in Pakistan. The majority of it is grown in the Punjab, in the east of the country.

so what’s the problem? Yields could be increased. Pests, such as the wheat aphid, can decimate crops. Natural enemies of the aphids, such as other insects, are being wiped out by broad spectrum chemical pesticides, the use of which has soared in recent years. This spraying is undermining the natural balance and, without the threat of their natural enemies, wheat aphids are reaping the benefits. More worryingly, wheat aphids are starting to attack crops when the grain is developing, causing maximum damage to maturing plants. It is inadvisable to spray most pesticides when the grain is developing, making it difficult for farmers to protect crop yield potential. Aphids are also thought to transmit viral and fungal diseases, which could hinder future wheat yield across the country.

what is this project doing? CABI is implementing a project to better manage the wheat aphid. As wheat is grown on a large scale, it is neither economically nor environmentally feasible to spray it with non-selective pesticides. More research is needed so the issue can be permanently and sustainably resolved.


The CABI team is carrying out research and developing a management package that will allow wheat farmers to take a proactive approach to aphid control. A package of best agricultural practices (BAP) including the use of biological control agents, such as beneficial insects, has been developed as a management tool to tackle the problem before it becomes an epidemic. As a last line of defence, the team will draw up a list of pesticides effective against wheat aphids, yet relatively safe for the environment and beneficial insects. To increase the numbers of beneficial insects, the team will encourage farmers to intercrop their wheat with canola (rapeseed). Natural enemies will then help to control the aphid populations before they cause significant damage. We will also look into how fertiliser management can be used to support management of this pest and possibilities for developing resistant wheat varieties that are reduce crop susceptibility.

results so far First, the team tested different ratios of the main constituents of fertilizer – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium – to gauge their effects on aphid infestation and yield. Most aphids were recorded in plots where only nitrogen was applied, whereas aphid populations were lowest in the plots where balanced fertilizer was used, which also resulted in the greatest yield. Intercropping of wheat with canola resulted in lower aphid populations due to higher natural enemy populations, with little impact on wheat economic performance. We tested the effects of 15 insecticides on wheat aphids and their natural enemies. Ten pesticides reduced the wheat aphid population by 60%. Two of these proved to be best at controlling aphids and were also safe for natural enemies. Farmers are now being trained in when to sow wheat, applying balanced fertilizer and safer pesticides, watering and intercropping, and these techniques are being promoted for dissemination across the region.

partners Directorate Adaptive Research Punjab, Lahore Wheat Research Institute, Faisalabad sponsor Punjab Agricultural Research Board

Rana Shafique, Project Manager

contact CABI, Opposite 1-A, Data Gunj Baksh Road, Satellite Town, P.O. Box 8, Rawalpindi, Pakistan T: +92 (0)51 9290132 F: +92 (0)51 9290131 E: 34



location Pakistan dates April 2012 – April 2013 CABI project team Riaz Mahmood Ashfaque Ahmed Nahiyoon Ghulam Sarwar Solangi

producing better cotton in Pakistan

Pakistan needs to produce better cotton. Sustainable production and improved quality are essential to achieve this, but several issues are preventing this, including over reliance on pesticides, poor soil and water management, bad working conditions – including the use of child and bonded labour – and limited knowledge and skills.

so what’s the problem? Too many pesticides, poor picking practices, adulteration with water and other materials, mixed grades and seed varieties, inefficient storage and transportation cause Pakistani cotton producers to lose 10–15% of their crop value, equivalent to around US$350m a year. Farmers need to be made aware of the problems and given training so they can improve crop agronomy and processing.

what is this project doing? Using Better Cotton Initiative production principles, this project focuses on encouraging farmers to implement good agricultural practices (GAP). Participatory training is being given to small and large growers/farmers in Mirpurkhas in Sindh, following the farmer field school pattern where people learn by doing.


We are organizing 20 grower clusters and training them to produce better cotton. The clusters include more than 1,000 large and small – defined as farmers with over and under 50 acres of cotton – growers and workers. We are providing large growers with advisory services and training for their workers. We visit each grower cluster every fortnight, in addition to providing advice via mobile phone. Training modules cover the biology and ecological management of pests, on-site natural enemy mass production and conservation, the disadvantages of pesticides, crop agronomy, decency in work, contamination-free picking, packing, and storage and transportation to ginners.

results so far Farmers’ attitudes are gradually changing and crop management is improving. The training of field facilitators and development of collaborative training groups for growers has resulted in farmers becoming aware of problems associated with pesticide over reliance while improving the understanding of the role that biocontrol agents can play in regulating pest populations. We are helping large growers to establish reservoirs of natural enemies in their fields and farmers how they can mass produce natural enemies of the mealy bug, the region’s major cotton pest. More than 50,000 Aenasius bambawalei adults, a natural enemy of the mealy bug, have been released at different farms from CABI’s centre in Rawalpindi. This parasitoid has become abundant in the project area, keeping the mealy bug population under tolerable limits. We are also encouraging farmers to form their own small organizations, have contact with authorities to address their farming problems and achieve better access to market. As a result of the project: • the frequency of use of pesticides is decreasing • farmers are becoming aware of how to work and children are being taken away from field work • farmers are aware of better methods of cotton picking, storage and transportation • discussions on crop and soil management issues and how to solve them are taking place • g  inners (cotton processors) have been asked to work with the farmers practising Better Cotton Initiative principles in farming on the project area We hope that better production will improve the livelihoods of smallholder cotton producers partners Agriculture Research Institute, Tandojam Government of Sindh, Pakistan sponsor Ikea Trading (Hong Kong) Ltd

Riaz Mahmood, Project Manager

contact CABI, Opposite 1-A, Data Gunj Baksh Road, Satellite Town, P.O. Box 8, Rawalpindi, Pakistan T: +92 (0)51 9290132 F: +92 (0)51 9290131 E: 36



location Pakistan dates September 2011 – September 2014 CABI project team Mahrukh Siraj

ensuring Pakistan’s agricultural trade is healthy

Agriculture is vital to Pakistan; about 25 per cent of its total land area is under cultivation, and the country’s exports bring in much needed foreign exchange.

so what’s the problem? Pakistan’s agricultural sector is thriving, but it faces existing and emerging challenges in relation to food safety, agricultural health standards and trade. Poor sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures relating to the country’s exports – bacterial contaminants, pesticides, inspection and labelling as well as animal and plant health issues – have a damaging effect on revenue and economic development. The country’s agricultural exports have recently been subject to rejections and/or alerts from the EU. Pakistan therefore needs to develop a comprehensive SPS strategy.

what is this project doing? In order to increase the technical capacity of animal and plant health officials and scientists in Pakistan, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), CABI and Texas A & M University (TAMU) are developing and running training courses in SPS measures to meet both Pakistani and international needs. The training modules – which will be developed as distance learning DVDs to ensure that they can be used in places with poor internet access – will be translated into Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. CABI will pilot the newly developed modules with appropriate audiences and solicit feedback.


The modules will be complemented by workshops held at CABI’s Rawalpindi office and at regional locations within Pakistan, which will consist of audio, video and written content catering to the different learning styles of the target audience.

results so far Four requirement workshops – two each with animal and plant health officials – to discuss issues and needs have been held in different locations in Pakistan. The results have been used to draw up a list of topics for the development of training modules, which has been shared with USDA and TAMU. Over the next two years, Pakistani plant and animal health officials, exporters and port inspectors will receive this comprehensive, contextualized training. The USDA and TAMU team has visited Pakistan to meet plant and animal health officials in order to get a better understanding of the target audience and the regulatory environment and systems currently in place in Pakistan. The project partners and CABI are developing the first e-learning modules which will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2013.

partner Texas A & M University, USA sponsor USDA APHIS (United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service)

Mahrukh Siraj, Project Manager

contact CABI, Opposite 1-A, Data Gunj Baksh Road, Satellite Town P.O. Box 8, Rawalpindi, Pakistan T: +92 (0)51 9290132 F: +92 (0)51 9290131 E: 38


location Worldwide dates Ongoing CABI project team Gareth Richards Lucinda Charles Mark Palmer David Simpson Nicola Wakefield

the Invasive Species Compendium

USDA Agricultural Research Service,


Invasive species are not native to an ecosystem and can threaten habitats, biodiversity, food security, health and economic development through their introduction, establishment and distribution.

so what’s the problem? Globally the damage caused by invasive species has been estimated at US$1.5 trillion per year – close to 5% of global GDP. Invasive species affect many ecosystems and pose one of the biggest threats to biodiversity worldwide. Growth in trade, transport, travel and tourism inevitably increases the intentional or accidental introduction of organisms to new environments and it is widely predicted that climate change will make matters worse. CABI has a long history of researching the behaviour and management of invasive species.

what is this project doing? CABI developed the Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) in partnership with an international development consortium to address the global need for accessible information on invasive species. The ISC, a comprehensive online knowledge base covering identification, biology, distribution, impact and management of the world’s invasive species, is the most extensive and authoritative compilation on the subject. Content is derived from thousands of peer-reviewed expert contributors, backed up by compilations of knowledge and


research. It offers coverage of all invasive species, from every taxonomic group (excluding human pathogens) with fast and easy navigation between text, images, maps and databases. The ISC is essential for resource managers, extension workers, policy makers and researchers in agriculture and the environment. Freely available to all on an open access basis, it includes detailed datasheets comprising fully referenced sections on taxonomy and nomenclature, distribution, habitat, identification, biology and ecology, species associations, pathways of introduction, impacts and management, complemented by images and maps, and supported by abstracts and full text articles. invasive species datasheets Over 1,500 datasheets on invasive species and animal diseases have been developed for inclusion in the ISC: • 35 per cent plants (aquatic and terrestrial) – 30% pests and pathogens of agricultural and environmental plants (terrestrial) – 15% aquatic animals – 15% animal pathogens – 5% terrestrial vertebrates • animal disease – over 120 animal diseases and associated pathogens • habitat information on risk of species invasion, impacts and management • pathway information on pathways for introduction and dispersal – causes (why a species is transported) – vectors (physical means of transport) • summary information on associated species library Full text articles complement the individual species datasheets. Articles can be easily searched for on the library page ( or the home page ( bibliographic database Over 79,000 abstracts with metadata are available via CAB Direct. These CAB abstracts include references cited in the datasheets of relevant research literature and are updated weekly. The CABI full text archive gives access to more than 1,400 articles.

results so far The ISC launched in April 2012, with 1,520 full datasheets, 6,980 basic datasheets, 57 library documents, 1,130 full text articles, over 780 glossary definitions, and over 75,000 bibliographic records. partners European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) contributors The Invasive Species Compendium could not have been produced without the collaboration of experts from around the world. sponsors A consortium of 29 organizations

Gareth Richards, Project Manager

contact CABI, Nosworthy Way Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 8DE UK T: +44 (0)1491 832111 F: +44 (0)1491 829198 E: 40



location Worldwide dates 2008 – ongoing CABI project team Carol Ellison Peter Baker Julie Flood Corin Pratt Janny Vos

biofuels information exchange

Biofuels, derived from biological carbon fixation, have been identified as a sustainable alternative to traditional energy sources such as wood, oil, coal and gas. They include transport fuel derived from oil crops such as Jatropha and sunflower, bioethanol from fermentation of plant sugars (eg. sugarcane), starches and lignocellulose (eg. crop residues) and algal fuels.

so what’s the problem? Over the last five years, higher oil prices around the world and the perceived growing need for energy security have resulted in biofuels receiving increased attention from the public and the scientific community alike. The production of some biofuel crops and the use of food crops for biofuel remains a contentious topic for both scientists and public. At CABI’s regional members’ consultations in 2007, member country representatives expressed a need for information to help them make decisions on biofuel policy.


what is this project doing? Responding to this need, CABI developed the Biofuels Information Exchange ( which is free to join. The site has been set up to give experts in the field from around the world access to peerreviewed and unbiased information on biofuels and to allow them to discuss their research, experiences and findings. The professional website enables users to: • access 35,000 research records pertinent to biofuels from the CAB Abstracts database • become up to date on biofuels news • find out who is undertaking research and into which areas of biofuels • find colleagues in their region or field of expertise • read independent CABI reports on biofuel-related topics • discuss biofuels issues with people from around the world

results so far The Biofuels Information Exchange has been running since 2008 and now has nearly 600 members worldwide. During 2011, the website recorded close to 20,000 page views. Recent topics of debate on the forum include Jatropha, water hyacinth and pongamia. CABI regularly posts summaries on the Biofuels Information Exchange home page. These focus on publications relating to a particular aspect of biofuels such as Jatropha production, biofuel life-cycle assessments and ethical aspects of the biofuel industry. Papers exclusive to the site are also published; to date these have included “Land use change: science and policy review” and “Biofuels as invasive species”. There is also free access to CAB Review papers discussing biofuels. Site manager Carol Ellison says: “The Biofuels Information Exchange is an important resource to research institutes, extension staff, private entrepreneurs and investors in the biofuels industry. It also provides a forum for debate on biofuel topics of all kinds. It’s great to see scientists from around the world exchanging views and research on this topic.” sponsors Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) – UK CABI Development Fund (CDF)

Carol Ellison, Site Manager

contact CABI, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9TY, UK T: + 44 (0)1491 829080 E: 42



locations Malawi, Pakistan, Philippines dates January 2008 – June 2010 CABI project team Janice Osborn Jane Frances Asaba Janet Halsall Chris Parker Mahrukh Siraj Qiaoqiao Zhang

developing a global agricultural research archive

Worldwide concern about food security and climate change is at an all-time high. It is widely accepted that these issues will hit the most vulnerable communities, those in the tropical regions of the developing world, hardest.

so what’s the problem? Investment in international agricultural research is being increased to meet the threats of poor food security and climate change and technological innovations offer great promise for improved food output in the future. At both local and national levels, much knowledge already exists which, if effectively disseminated and implemented, could immediately improve yields and reduce losses. However, this information is often not readily accessible in developing countries, nor is it in a form that allows it to be shared within countries, let alone across regions.

what is this project doing? CABI is helping solve this problem by creating a network of agricultural information for the world’s researchers to share through our GARA initiative. The aim is to preserve and disseminate valuable agricultural material and associated knowledge for the benefit of current researchers and generations to come. The Global Agricultural Research Archive (GARA) has been developed to capture research digitally and create a knowledge archive on behalf of three developing countries in Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia – Malawi, Pakistan and the


Philippines. The archive is centrally managed and maintained to enable preservation, disaster recovery, and the long-term protection of knowledge which may be lost for ever. It is a vital resource within these countries, and also offers the potential to create an information network that could be shared across the region. Improving access liberalizes agricultural knowledge. When research succeeds and outputs are documented, disseminated and preserved, one small team of researchers can raise the productivity and income of millions of farmers. For developing countries this will mean: • information sharing across borders • agricultural knowledge can become integrated into the burgeoning knowledge economy similarly to that of developed countries • local knowledge will become preserved for future local use

results so far Successfully developed and demonstrated at CABI’s Global Summit on Food Security in October 2009, GARA contains more than 1,500 easily accessible full text records from key institutional partners in Malawi, Pakistan and the Philippines. • 520 full text articles from Malawi • 550 full text articles from Pakistan • 680 full text articles from Philippines These digitized database records include reports, conference proceedings, journal articles and newsletters. In the last year, over 13,000 people have visited the site to use the documents held there. The top ten countries using GARA are Pakistan, India, Philippines, USA, UK, Iran, Malawi, Malaysia, Australia and South Africa. It’s good to see that this small collection of documents is being used and that the countries participating in the project are in this list. It’s also good to see that this work is now being accessed throughout the world. The challenge going forward is how to expand this approach. sponsor CABI Development Fund (CDF)

Janice Osborn, Project Manager

contact CABI, Nosworthy Way, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8DE, UK T: +44 (0)1491 832111 F: +44 (0)1491 829198 E: 44

contact CABI India CABI, 2nd Floor, CG Block, NASC Complex, DP Shastri Marg Opp. Todapur Village, PUSA New Delhi – 110012, India T: +91 (0)11 25841906 E:

Africa Kenya CABI, ICRAF Complex United Nations Avenue, Gigiri PO Box 633-00621 Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 (0)20 7224450/62 E: Ghana CABI, CSIR Campus, No.6 Agostino Neto Road Airport Residential Area, PO Box CT 8630 Cantonments, Accra, Ghana T: +233 302 797 202 E: Americas Brazil CABI, UNESP-Fazenda Experimental Lageado, FEPAF (Escritorio da CABI) Rua Dr. Jose Barbosa de Barros 1780, Fazenda Experimental Lageado CEP:18.610-307 Botucatu, San Paulo, Brazil T: +5514-38826300 E:

Malaysia CABI, PO Box 210, 43400 UPM Serdang Selangor, Malaysia T: +60 (0)3 89432921 E: Pakistan CABI, Opposite 1-A, Data Gunj Baksh Road Satellite Town, PO Box 8 Rawalpindi-Pakistan T: +92 (0)51 9290132 E: Europe Switzerland CABI, Rue des Grillons 1 CH-2800 Delémont Switzerland T: +41 (0)32 4214870 E:

Trinidad & Tobago CABI, Gordon Street, Curepe Trinidad and Tobago T: +1 868 6457628 E:

UK CABI, Nosworthy Way Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8DE, UK T: +44 (0)1491 832111 E:

USA CABI, 875 Massachusetts Avenue 7th Floor, Cambridge MA 02139, USA T: +1 617 3954051 E: Asia China CABI, Beijing Representative Office Internal Post Box 56 Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences 12 Zhongguancun Nandajie Beijing 100081, China T: +86 (0)10 82105692 E:

CABI, Bakeham Lane Egham, Surrey TW20 9TY, UK T: +44 (0)1491 829080 E: E:

Asia project dossier  

Current and recent projects that CABI is carrying out in Asia

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