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Open-access crop pest diagnosis and management courses help with use of biopesticides

Published 31/03/2023

Theme: BioProtection Portal

Fall armyworm on maize.

With climate change as a key contributor to pest and disease outbreaks, advisors and farmers seek cost-effective solutions. They aim to diagnose and treat plant health issues while reducing reliance on chemical pesticides. To support them, CABI Academy – which brings together CABI’s expertize in crop health, agricultural advisory services and digital development – is now making its crop pest diagnosis and management courses open access in 29 countries. These courses could be especially useful to users of the BioProtection Portal seeking guidance on the identification and management of their crop problems. This enables them to effectively source and apply biocontrol products.

Course students learn hands-on field skills for plant pest diagnosis, disease identification, and effective management strategies. It is based on CABI’s established methodology for diagnosis, used by thousands of Plant Doctors all over the world.

The first of the crop pest courses, the CABI Academy Crop Pest Diagnosis course has been designed to teach users to identify different insects and mites, plant-health symptoms, and nutrient deficiencies amongst other diagnosis skills. The course equips students to identify new crop threats and recognize symptoms of biotic and abiotic plant health issues.

The CABI Academy Crop Pest Diagnosis course is complemented by the CABI Academy Crop Pest Management course, which shares information on ways to manage pests and diseases in crops. It teaches how to apply integrated pest management principles (IPM) in real-world scenarios. The eight-module course covers areas such as, fungi, viruses, economic considerations, insects and mites, and chemical applications. 

Using CABI Academy and CABI BioProtection Portal together

After acquiring skills from these courses, advisors and farmers utilize the CABI BioProtection Portal to search for biopesticides. These natural products help control pests and diseases in specific crops. The portal offers comprehensive information, such as safety factsheets, manufacturer details, and permissions from organizations like the Rainforest Alliance. This data pertains to bioprotection products accessible in the 29 open-access countries.

Advisors and farmers, armed with CABI Academy knowledge and BioProtection Portal information, enhance yields for personal and environmental benefits. This synergy promotes sustainable agricultural practices.

The CABI Academy and CABI BioProtection Portal are integral components of PlantwisePlus, a global program. It works towards enhancing incomes and cultivating safer, higher-quality food through sustainable crop production approaches. The program fortifies plant health systems, empowering nations to equip farmers with knowledge to reduce losses and enhance food production.

The full list of open-access countries is Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Iraq, Jamaica, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. 

For more information, including creating a free CABI Academy account and access to the courses, visit

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