Photo: David White/ILRI
RAPID RESPONSE TO CROP
AND LIVESTOCK DISEASE
CGIAR programs respond to emerging threats to crops and livestock with strategic research, tested solutions and roll-out to those most in need.
Caprine pleuro-pneumonia is a contagious transboundary disease threatening the health of sheep and goats in Africa and Asia. The CGIAR Research Program on Livestock & Fish developed a rapid, inexpensive field diagnostic tool which is a prerequisite to controlling the disease. The tool includes a simple read-out device, powered by a car battery and produces a diagnosis in less than 45 minutes. The next step is commercial development.
Wheat blast, a highly virulent and little understood infection, has long been confined to Latin America, but appeared for the first time in South Asia in 2016, damaging crops on some 15,000 hectares in Bangladesh. As part of an initiative led by the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat, researchers from nearly a dozen institutions worldwide will join forces to develop high- yielding varieties with resistance to blast, reducing the risk of catastrophic crop losses. A related cultivar, Borlaug 100, was shown to perform well in Bangladesh, and seed is being multiplied.
Fall Armyworm, an insect pest, causes damage to more than 80 crop species in 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, posing a significant threat to food security. An estimated 13.5 million tons of maize, valued at US$3 billion, are at risk in the region in 2017-2018 – the equivalent of more than 20% of its total production. CGIAR institutions, including the International Center for Tropical Agriculture and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, have significant strengths in building the region’s ability to respond to transboundary pathogens, and are contributing to a quick and coordinated response.