Parthenium workshop in Ethiopia
The team went to Ethiopia in December to begin planning on the current phase of the Parthenium project and to lead a workshop, where scientists discussed the advantages and challenges of biocontrol, the importance of gender when it comes to project planning, and the impact of Parthenium in Kenya and Tanzania.
Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab leverages funding for project work
On a recent trip to Ethiopia for our Parthenium project, the President of Haramaya Agricultural Univeristy, Chemeda Fininsa, surprised us with a gift of 100,000 Birr, roughly $5,000, for our work on Parthenium in East Africa. In addition, one of IPM IL’s international partners, iDE, received a $2 million award from the USAID mission in India to link biopesticide producers in India with distributers in Nepal and Bhutan.
Israeli scientists interested in our work
Two Israeli weed scientists, Baruch Rubin and Tuvia (Toby) Yaacoby, attended IPM IL’s Parthenium workshop. Parthenium invaded Israel through the contamination of imported grains used in a fishpond during the late 1970s. Although the fishpond is in the upper Galilee region, Parthenium has now spread to many other areas of the country.
Nepal Climate Change project holds inaugural workshop
An inaugural workshop was held on January 29, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal, with over two dozen government agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofits participating. It included an overview of the project, and gave participants the opportunities to discuss research directions. These included: the management of Parthenium hysterophorus through biological control; finger millet and buckwheat as hardy drought-resistant crops; and combating the invasive species Ageratina adenophora through the restoration of native species. Speakers highlighted the environmental issues to be addressed, particularly the increasing problems due to invasive species and pests, and the increasing vulnerability of rural communities in the face of a changing climate.
Virus workshop in Nepal
Associate Director Amer Fayad and Dr. Naidu Rayapati, a virologist from Washington State University, spent two weeks in February and March in Nepal leading a plant virus disease workshop, “Training on Diagnosis of Plant Virus Diseases in Vegetable Crops.” Sixty people attended, including dignitaries such as the former secretary of agriculture, and the USAID representative Navin Hada.
Associate Director receives recognition
In early August, Dr. Fayad received a certificate honoring his service to the American Phytopathological Society in Pasadena, California. He had just completed a term as board member for the Office of International Programs (OIP) of APS. “I was very happy and honored to receive the certificate recognizing my service to APS’s Office of International Programs,” Fayad said. “I remain committed to serving the plant pathology discipline, OIP, and APS in promoting collaboration among plant pathologists and plant protection specialists, with the aim of increasing food security through improved plant health and agricultural productivity, especially in the developing world.”
Twitter gaining impressions and followers
Our Twitter account, @IPM_IL, has been gaining followers and reaching influential people. We have over 1,000 followers, with some noteworthy recent ones being: Gender CIAT, FEWS NET (the Famine Early Warning Systems Network), Marilyn Terrell, a researcher for National Geographic Magazine, and Lenni Monitiel, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development. Over the course of the past three months, our Twitter has gotten over 80,000 impressions.