SOUTH AFRICA – Corteva Agriscience, a US based agriculture solutions provider, has officially introduced PowerCore technology to South African maize farmers.

The solution is a new high-performing, herbicide-resistant seed trait that effectively helps protect crops from damaging above-ground insects, such as the maize stalk borer and spotted maize stem borer.

The company’s leading seed brands, Pannar and Pioneer will be offering PowerCore technology as part of new, high-yielding genetics within their respective maize portfolios.

 South Africa’s agricultural, food and beverage exports hit a record high of US$12.4 billion in 2021, with maize being a significant contributor, reaching its largest export volume since 1994/1995.

The export volumes benefited from a bumper harvest, which according to USDA hit the 16 million tons mark.

What’s more, maize is a staple for many across the country, with demand set at above 11.5 million tons, and as such it is critical that local farmers are given the tools they need to help protect their yields.

“We are extremely proud to share the latest advancement in Corteva Agriscience’s innovative pest control solutions with in-country farmers, to help them address one of the largest problems they face on a daily basis,” said Esmeraldo, Business Director, Corteva Agriscience.

PowerCore technology uses combined modes of action to combat primary and secondary pests that can cause significant crop damage and subsequent production losses.

The trait comprises three different Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins, each targeting insects differently, while helping to prolong the durability of the technology.

Not only have local trials demonstrated the efficacy of PowerCore technology, but the trait also has a proven track record in similar climates in both Brazil and Argentina, where it has been successfully used since 2012.

According to Esmeraldo, Corteva Agriscience is committed to enriching lives by offering a diverse range of quality products to the market.

“Farmers have another option in the fight against insect damage and can now decide which Bt trait technology best suits their farms, depending on field history and agronomic conditions.

“Our overall aim is to ensure that farmers have access to better technology to get the most of out of every hectare of maize,” he said.

As a leader in agronomic innovation, Corteva Agriscience has a network of strategically placed research facilities and testing locations spanning the continent, focused on new product development across multiple crops, including soybean and maize trait portfolios in South Africa.

CABI sheds light on poor responses to climate adaptation, invasive species management

In other related news, A CABI-led review has found there are opportunities for increased policy coordination to achieve win-win results for both climate adaptation and Invasive Species Management (ISM) in Pakistan, Zambia, Kenya and Ghana.

The paper, authored by Jonathan Casey, CABI’s Climate Change Manager, explored existing interlinkages across national planning processes for ISM, national climate change adaptation plans (NAPs), national biodiversity management plans (NBSAPs) and other related policies in the aforementioned countries.

In aiming to identify policy recommendations for more integrated approaches and to achieve greater efficiency in resource allocation and spending, the review finds that there is currently very little integration between these policy areas, and little overlap in implementation systems.

Published in the CABI Agriculture and Bioscience journal, Mr Casey’s study identifies sub-national planning and governance systems as an optimal area for increased integration of policy and practice to facilitate locally-led climate adaptation and area-specific responses to ISM issues.

Mr Casey said, “Although these two issues of biotic and abiotic stresses both pose serious threats now and in the future to food security, ecosystem integrity, and water availability for the same stakeholders—particularly smallholder farmers—they are mostly treated as separate issues in current policy and practice in the four countries studied.”

He adds that climate change is seen as something that can and should be mainstreamed across most sectors and ministries, whereas ISM is typically delegated to specific specialist units.

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