Collaboration with National Institute of Plant Health Management (India).
Invasive weed incursions can have devastating economic costs and threaten food security and the livelihoods of farmers. It is estimated that weeds are responsible for 30% reduction in potential crop production in India, worth US$ 90 billion per year. SE Asian countries are vulnerable to weed incursions but lack systematic methods for preparing for these. Eradication attempts usually come too late and are costly and ineffective.
We want to tackle this problem by developing an early-warning and ready-response system for weed incursions. This will include a weed risk assessment tool for evaluating and prioritising threats; monitoring strategies for early detection; and a weed management decision support tool, based upon bioeconomic models, for choosing cost-effective strategies for managing incursions. These tools will be used by policy-makers and trainers to deliver comprehensive management of weed risks.
The current project will bring together experts in weed risk analysis, agricultural economics, agricultural data collection, bioeconomic modelling, and digital technology; and plant protection policy-makers and educators from India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. We will identify stakeholder requirements and resource requirements for the development of tools, document these in reports, and assemble a team to develop and evaluate these tools in a follow-on project.
This project has the potential to help to protect the food security of over 1.5 billion inhabitants of India, Nepal and Bangladesh, and protect the livelihoods of farmers in these countries. The methods we will develop will become exemplars of best practice that can be adapted for use in other DAC countries.