Pests and diseases contribute to 40% of food loss leading to food insecurity. Synthetic pesticides are the predominant control method but these are associated with negative environmental and health concerns. The extensive use of chemicals has sparked a renewed interest in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – an effective combination of control methods and the need for new innovative ways to manage pest and disease outbreaks. There are many digital systems that have been developed to identify, monitor, manage, control and predict outbreaks of a large number of pest and disease species. These systems provide useful information to aid decision-making and timing of integrated pest management strategies. By building on the successes of existing systems and data assets, this project aims to establish a digital agricultural plant health service for efficient pest and disease management in Malawi that will benefit over 100,000 farmers.
FAIR data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Recent studies have estimated a huge opportunity cost of not applying FAIR data principles and the positive impact of FAIR on potential economic annual growth. The project helped the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to consider the barriers of using and applying data and the application of FAIR principles in its investment portfolio and looked at opportunities to address them and ways to improve its grant-making processes. Through an extensive examination of data management and sharing within ACIAR and its investment projects, evidence was gathered on the perception, awareness and implementation of the FAIR data principles. Based on this evidence, CABI provided recommendations on how investment outcomes could benefit from improved data management and how the FAIR data principles could be implemented in ACIAR and across its investments to increase efficiencies and in-country benefits.