Nelly Bassily | November 18, 2013
You can read the full article on which this story was based here: http://www.trust.org/item/20131030112148-c27df/?source=hptop
New seed varieties developed in Kenya to battle the lethal stem rust disease in wheat are proving effective in the fight against the disease-causing organism or pathogen known as Ug99, discovered in Uganda fourteen years ago.
The following UN Food and Agriculture Organization web pages track and report on stem rust: http://www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/rust/stem/en/
Here is information on Ug99 in particular:
Basic information on, and photos of, wheat stem rust can be found here: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=9910
Here is some further reading on new seed varieties:
Two Ug99-resistant wheat varieties developed in Kenya: http://www.albertafarmexpress.ca/news/two-ug99-resistant-wheats-developed-in-kenya/1000645205/
FRW has reported on stem rust and the new wheat varieties:
Kenyans optimistic about new wheat varieties: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/10/24/kenya-farmers-optimistic-about-new-wheat-varieties-irin/
Stem rust returns to threaten wheat crops again (IPS, IRIN, The Economist): http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/07/26/1-global-stem-rust-returns-to-threaten-wheat-crops-again-ips-irin-the-economist/
Farm Radio International has produced a number of scripts on pests and diseases in crops. Try out these Resource Packages:
–Integrated pest management strategies for farmers (FRRP #72, September 2004) can be downloaded here: http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-72-integrated-pest-management-strategies-for-farmers/.
–Farmer innovation (FRRP # 81, August 2007): http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-81/ .
If you broadcast to a region where farmers grow wheat, you could produce a story highlighting stem rust.
-Are new seed varieties helping wheat farmers overcome diseases such as Ug99?
-Is stem rust a disease that farmers know how to deal with?
-Have they heard of Ug99, or heard reports about new strains of stem rust?
-How do they currently manage wheat diseases?
-Would they use fungicides to control rust? Are fungicides affordable?
-How often do they check wheat for signs of disease?