The CABI BioProtection Portal officially launched on 13th February 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya. The portal is a free web-based online resource aimed at raising the awareness and uptake of safer products to fight crop pests such as biocontrol and biopesticide products by growers and advisors.
The portal is initially available online in Kenya and can be used with smartphones, tablets or a desktop computer. Its aim is to help farms, growers and advisors identify, source and correctly apply biocontrol and biopesticide products for their specific crop-pest problems. An offline version will be released soon to enable growers to access the tool in rural areas.
The free-to-use tool has been made available by CABI in partnership with Koppert Biological Systems, Syngenta and e-nema, and with additional funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the African Development Bank and the UK Department for International Development. The portal is particularly beneficial for growers looking to replace chemical pesticides with biological products in order to meet market or export standards, satisfy consumer demands for healthier and safer food and reduce pressures on the environment.
The CABI BioProtection Portal will be rolled out to a further 10-15 countries in 2020, including Spain, Brazil, Uganda and Bangladesh, and in multiple languages, with further countries to follow in 2021. It is the aim that this tool becomes a global go-to resource for information on biocontrol and biopesticide products.
Dr. Ulrich Kuhlmann, Executive Director, Global Operations at CABI said:
“Globally, an estimated 40 percent of crops are lost to pests – such as the devastating maize pest fall armyworm and the tomato leaf miner – as well as a range of plant 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 BioProtection Portal which promote sustainable approaches to pest management.”
Dr. Kuhlmann said the portal is not just of benefit to growers but also to national authorities responsible for the regulation/registration of plant protection products, private-sector decision-makers – such as cooperatives and organisations operating voluntary certification schemes – and biocontrol manufacturers looking to promote wider uptake of their products.
“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,” he added.