Regional center

East/Southern Africa

About

Our focal country in East/Southern Africa will be Kenya with the intent to rapidly expand to other countries in this region (Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe).

We are very interested in hearing from you on priorities for other Feed the Future countries. Email ideas to CETCIL@psu.edu

In year 1 we will conduct a large IPM project on maize across 10 counties in Kenya that will establish 1,000 demonstration plots. We will develop a large IPM (Integrated Pest Management) package focused on current threats of maize: Maize Lethal Necrosis (clean seeds), the parasitic weed Striga (using a commercially available bioherbicide), and Fall Armyworm (using parasitoid wasps with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe)). Since the current drought is expected to continue into 2022 we will also promote practices that reduce water loss from the soil (no till) and intercropping with a legume to improve nitrogen content, as well as forecasting with USAID’s FEWS NET. In Kenya, our principal partner is the Dream Team Agro Consultancy company which is a youth-driven, owner-operated business that has worked with PlantVillage on scaling up extension services aided by Artificial Intelligence.

This large demonstration of an IPM package for a critically important crop (maize) is intended to reach a broad audience. We will work with a TV program Shamba Shape Up to share the results in real time, each week, with 9 million farmers and weekly SMS messages to over 500,000 farmers each week.

The second project will be conducted with International Potato Center (CIP) for the reduction of pesticide application in potato growing systems by establishing a decision support system for pesticide use. Potato late blight genotyping for pathogen evolution and pesticide resistance

The Third project we have in Kenya in year 1 is the integration of phenotypic and genotypic point of care diagnostics for rust in wheat , With the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the John Innes Centre we will build capacity on the MARPLE (Mobile And Real-time PLant disEase) technology for wheat rust genotyping and provide wheat rust forecasting at the the national level.

Regional center

West Africa

About

In West Africa, we will focus on Burkina Faso with the intent to expand to other countries in West Africa (Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Central Africa).

In year 1 with the Environmental Institute for Agricultural Research - Burkina Faso (INERA) we will conduct ​Adaptive research and diffusion of new IPM packages for the management of fruits and vegetable crops pests and diseases and surveillance to identify major fruits and vegetable crops major threats.

Conduct adaptive research on IPM packages for vegetable crops pests and diseases management:

  • Mango dieback and anthracnose disease prevention and management.
  • Mango Fruit flies management in mango orchards with traps made from local products (local brewery yeast)
  • Build extension research capacity in pests management with parasitoids and predators
  • Capacity building of extension officers and papaya growers for papaya mealybug.
  • Initiate an investigation for entomopathogenic fungi and other biocontrol agents
  • We will develop TV and Radio content with local partners to share good agricultural practices for crop pests management, adaptation and mitigation to climate change.
Regional center

Central America

About

In Central America, we will focus on Honduras with the intent to rapidly expand to the two other countries in that region (Guatemala and Haiti). In Honduras, we will partner with Zamorano University to focus on potato growers and promote the integrated model of the Dream Team and AI-powered disease diagnostics in the hands of smallholder farmers.

With CIP we will build potato growers' capacity in potato pest and disease management, seed system development and conduct research for the reduction of pesticide application in potato growing systems.

Regional center

Asia

About

In year 1 we will focus on Nepal with the intent of expanding to the other countries in this region.

We will have two projects in Nepal. The first will be to establish a Dream Team in collaboration with iDE who have long worked in Nepal. The objective is to show how the model successfully deployed in Kenya and Burkina Faso whereby Lead Farmers are provided smartphones running powerful AI models capable of offline disease diagnosis and weather alerting can not only assist communities but can help the country and region understand which current threats are more common, and what possibly emerging threats are being observed.

The second project we have in Nepal in year 1 is the integration of phenotypic and genotypic point of care diagnostics for rust in wheat. Here we will work with CIMMYT and the John Innes Centre on the Minion nanopore sequencer capable of offline phylogenomic based diagnostics for rust diseases.

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