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New FAO guidelines designed to combat cereal crop diseases, pests, and weeds

Preventive measures to combat diseases, pests, and weeds in cereal crops are more important than ever in regions like Central Asia where populations are growing.

Subject to pests and diseases such as yellow rust, wheat is the area’s main staple food. All too often in recent years, harvests have suffered significant losses in yield.

New guidelines laid out in FAO’s just-released publication, Monitoring Diseases, Pests, and Weeds in cereal crops, provide a standardized overview of monitoring and controlling of pests and diseases that plague cereal crops in the region. Put into practice, the guidelines should help increase per capita grain production in Central Asia, reducing economic losses for farmers and rural poverty in the region.

In Central Asian countries where demand for agricultural commodities significantly outweighs domestic supply, agricultural science offers vital tools. The introduction of varieties that are resistant to diseases and tolerant of climatic factors is one example.

“Cereal crops serve a special role in Central Asia,” said FAO agricultural officer Hafiz Muminjanov. “Here, wheat consumption per capita is the highest – more than 200 kilos per year – and provides the majority of calories and protein for the region.”

The new booklet unifies guidelines for monitoring diseases, pests, and weeds in cereal crops, in response to recommendations from a regional experts consultation held in 2013 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

20 May 2016, Budapest, Hungary

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