The CABI BioProtection Portal, which helps growers and pest management advisors identify, source, and correctly apply biocontrol and biopesticide products for their specific crop-pest problems, has been launched in Uganda and is now available in the local languages.
The portal, which is predicted to become the go-to resource for identifying and sourcing biocontrol and biopesticide products, will be particularly beneficial for growers looking to replace chemical pesticides with biological products to meet market or export standards, satisfy consumer demands for healthier and safer food and reduce pressures on the environment as it is increasingly clear that certain kinds of chemical pesticides in agriculture are creating serious human health and environmental effects.
Dr Morris Akiri Regional Director at CABI Africa said, “Globally, an estimated 40 percent of crops are lost to pests and diseases. The widespread use of chemical pesticides to fight crop pests alone is not sustainable either economically or environmentally in the long run especially when you factor impacts exacerbated by climate change”.
“CABI is helping growers to adapt to this major challenge through projects that apply, among other things, our expertise in digital development and crop health as well as products like the CABI BioProtection Portal which promote sustainable approaches to pest management.”
The innovative tool has been made available by CABI in collaboration with its network of partner biocontrol manufacturers (Biobest, e-nema, Idai NatureKoppert Biological Systems, Oro Agri and Syngenta) and donors (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, African Development Bank, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development) who provide invaluable support in the form of technical inputs, strategic guidance and funding.
“The CABI BioProtection Portal brings together in one place the various safer and more environmentally friendly biocontrol and biopesticide products that growers can add to their ‘arsenal’ against crop pests as part of an integrated pest management plan.”
Users of the CABI BioProtection Portal enter their country and crop-pest problem query in the system and generate key information on biocontrol and biopesticide products that are authorised by national regulators for that specific search. Insights will be sourced directly from national governments’ list of registered pesticides and from partner biocontrol manufacturers.
“The government of Uganda has championed several reforms to provide a suitable foundation for the desired transformation in the Agricultural sector. Despite the gains so far attained, a few challenges are imminent. The proliferation of substandard inputs such as pest control products and fertilizers continue to deter our farmers from moving from subsistence to commercial agriculture.”
“There have been occasions in the past where the use of sub-standard products has resulted in the interception of our fresh produce exports hence rendering them less competitive in the global market.”
“It is in the backdrop of these challenges that innovations like the CABI BioProtection portal can play a role in sensitizing farmers and all other key players in the sector with the right information on where to source high quality, effective yet less hazardous crop protection products, said Mr. Pius Wakabi Kasaijja, The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).
The CABI BioProtection Portal has now been launched in Uganda, in addition to already helping farmers reduce reliance on chemical pesticides in Kenya, Ghana, Morocco, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Jordan, Spain and Peru.