Separating the grains from the chaff, and all the pests that move with it

argylesock says… People need food. In a crisis, food aid can save lives. But sometimes, food transport has huge consequences which can’t be reversed.

The Plantwise Blog

Contributed by Melanie Bateman, CABI Switzerland, and Roger Day, CABI Africa

While responding to a food crisis in Tanzania in the 1970s, evidence indicates that the larger grain borer (Prostephanus truncatus) was inadvertently introduced into Africa through an infested food aid shipment[1]. Following this introduction and a later introduction in West Africa, the larger grain borer has now spread to almost 20 different countries in Africa, causing significant losses to grains in the field and in storage both for food and for planting. Consequently, this fateful incursion has had a significant impact on food security in the continent. Even now, other alien pest species such as beetles, snails, weeds and pathogens[2] are intercepted in shipments of grains worldwide. Should these pests become established in new areas, farmers will be confronted with problems they may be ill equipped to solve.

 In order to address this pathway for…

View original post 315 more words

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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