Using the crop clinic concept to minimize the indiscriminate use of pesticides

Bandara PT, Kulatunga WMDH (2014) Sri Lanka Plant Protection Industry Journal 8, 39-44A recent article in the Sri Lanka Plant Protection Industry Journal highlights how the crop clinic concept in Sri Lanka has promoted effective, judicious use of pesticides. PT Bandara and WMDH Kulatunga describe how the Permanent Crop Clinic Programme (PCCP), established in 2009, provides effective advice that both prevents the destruction of natural enemies due to the use of broad spectrum pesticides, and reduces outbreaks of Chronic Kidney Disease, which has become a major socioeconomic issue due to pesticide residues in food. Access to Pest Management Decision Guides and a knowledge bank of information helps plant doctors to find alternative advice where appropriate for prevention, monitoring and control of crop pests in order to ensure minimal risks to human health and the environment.

Read the full article by clicking on the image or the link below.

Bandara, PT; Kulatunga, WMDH (2014) Using the crop clinic concept to minimize the indiscriminate use of pesticides and promoting effective, judicious pesticide use. Sri Lanka Plant Protection Industry Journal 8: 39-44. CropLife Sri Lanka.

Infographic: Plantwise progress in Africa

Plantwise_Africa_Infographic

Sri Lankan plant doctors launch e-plant clinics

Farmers listen to the plant doctors whilst they wait their turn. Ginigathhena crop clinic. Photo: Katherine Cameron ©CABI

Farmers listen to the plant doctors whilst they wait their turn. Ginigathhena crop clinic. Photo: Katherine Cameron ©CABI

24 June marked the launch of the first e-plant clinics pilot in Sri Lanka. Experienced plant doctors from ten plant clinics in Nuwara Eliya district came together to learn how tablet computers could enhance the current Permanent Crop Clinic Programme (PCCP) led by the Plant Protection Service, Department of Agriculture. Plant doctors learnt:

  • how electronic data collection and submission could make it easier to collect data about crops and pests in the area
  • how to use the Plantwise factsheets library app, ebooks library, and internet to access information resources during their clinics
  • how to communicate with other plant doctors and local diagnostic experts using a chat app
  • how to ensure that farmers receive good advice in a written recommendation, in the language and format (either SMS or paper) chosen by the farmer

All of this means that the plant doctors’ job should be a little easier in future and they have access to more support for diagnosing pests and providing management advice.

Plant doctor M.N. Sagarika uses her tablet to record data about A. Weerasooriya's bean anthracnose problem. Photo: Abdul Rehman ©CABI

Plant doctor M.N. Sagarika uses her tablet to record data about A. Weerasooriya’s bean anthracnose problem. Photo: Abdul Rehman ©CABI

“It’s easy to carry [the tablet] to the field or any other place with lots of information inside it… The Plantwise factsheet app is easy to use and no need to carry lots of heavy books. Copy paste is more easy, accurate, comprehensive and detailed.” – NMM Chandana Kumara, plant doctor, Bulugahapitiya plant clinic.

It also means that new data can be submitted, collated and analysed quickly after the plant clinics so that stakeholders in the plant health system can use it to track distribution of pests, monitor quality of advice given to farmers, and feed back information to improve the service in future.

“For sharing and using the data e-crop clinics are very good because the data will come quicker. Previously it took a long time to process data – we would see it maybe the next season, not the same season.” – PT Bandara, previous National Coordinator, PCCP.

“Making the data available quicker will help me to monitor the crop clinics in Nuwara Eliya more easily. I can’t visit every clinic in the field but seeing the data will let me know what is going on.” – Ms PK Senevirathne, Deputy Director Extension, Nuwara Eliya district.

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Farmer Field Day training in Malawi

Salima Rice Field Day 021On Tuesday, June 3rd, Land O’Lakes held another in a series of Farmer Field Day training events at one of their signature Answer Plot® sites, known locally as Yankho Plot™ sites in Malawi.  This farmer training event was held in Salima district, Malawi, on a plot planted with several varieties of rice.  On this day, farmers got to see Kilombero and Funwe rice plants right before harvest and to hear from Lead Farmers (who had been trained by Land O’Lakes staff) and Ministry of Agriculture field extension agents, all about the characteristics of these two new strains of these two rice varieties.  In addition, farmers were taken through rice trials done on site in collaboration with the GOM Ministry of Agriculture, the CCARDESA (Center for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for South Africa) and the World Bank.  Under this USDA-funded Food for progress project, Land O’Lakes uses the Yankho Plot™ sites as learning platforms where complementary information is given out about goat production, animal welfare, best animal feed practices and animal health.  In addition, Land O’Lakes nutrition staff work hand-in-hand with MOA Nutritionists and staff from the GOM Ministry of Health to share nutritional information and to conduct cooking demonstrations for all farmer field day participants.  At this special field day event, more than 150 USDA-funded Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) handbooks were distributed by Land O’Lakes to the female heads of community-based Nutrition Groups in order to assist with their community education efforts.  Land O’Lakes also invited many agricultural suppliers and service organizations in order to facilitate farmers networking with other sources of information, services and products.  For example, Demeter Agriculture Limited and CABI Plantwise had tables on which they displayed their helpful information and where staff were ready to talk about their services for helping farmers be better producers.  More than 350 male and female farmers from Salima District participated in the Farmer Field Day training event.

Wheat production in Pakistan – Producción de trigo en México

Infected wheat by P. striiformis/Trigo infectado por P. striiformis (Z. Kang)

Infected wheat by P. striiformis/Trigo infectado por P. striiformis (Z. Kang)

Pakistan

According to Reuters (source provided by ProMED-mail), farmers from districts southeast of Islamabad in Punjab province have seen their crops affected by unusual weather this year. First affected by hailstorm and now by heavy rain and cold weather, wheat fields of the region have been damaged severely. Some farmers have lost up to 70 % of their fields and are still waiting to harvest their crops three weeks behind schedule. Experts said that delays in harvesting and damaged plants can increase the chances of attack by yellow rust also called stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis). The fungal disease causes yellow leaf stripes, loss of vigour and stunting of plants.

Extension officers can review factsheets provided by Plantwise such as the Green and Yellow list written in Zambia* and the Plantwise technical factsheet on yellow rust to create a new and country-specific extension message for Pakistan on how to prevent and manage the disease.

*Please note that the pesticides mentioned in this factsheets are specific to Zambia and before giving recommendations check against your national registered pesticide lists.

México

Según El Diario (fuente proporcionada por ProMED-mail), la producción de trigo en la región de Nuevo Casas Grandes (Chihuahua) se ve afectada por la roya amarilla (causada por el hongo Puccinia striiformis) cual ocasionará una disminución del rendimiento. La roya amarilla es una enfermedad muy agresiva en condiciones favorables para su desarrollo (agua libre, temperatura de 10-15 °C y viento) y cuando se usó variedades susceptibles. Es la enfermedad que produce mayores pérdidas en el cultivo del trigo debido a su gran capacidad de dispersión a largas distancias. Se identifica por la formación des estrías estrechas en las hojas, pérdida de vigor y retraso en el crecimiento de las plantas.

Los extensionistas pueden revisar las hojas informativas de Plantwise como la Lista Verde y Amarilla elaborada en Zambia* y la hoja técnica de Plantwise sobre la roya amarilla para crear material nuevo y específico para México sobre cómo prevenir y manejar la enfermedad.

*Por favor, tenga en cuenta que las pesticidas indicadas en la hoja informativa son específicas para Zambia y antes de dar recomendaciones verificar la lista de pesticidas registradas en su país.

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Mango production in Bangladesh

20157800221According to the Daily Star, mango production in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts in Bangladesh might be hampered by unfavourable weather this year. The farmers are worried as large numbers of fruits, up to 70%, fell from the trees before ripening. Following the attack by leaf hoppers earlier in March, mango trees in that area are now affected by an undiagnosed disease which has symptoms described as mould on leaves. This unconfirmed disease could potentially be caused by powdery mildew (Oidium mangiferae), but reliable pathogen diagnosis is needed before advising management strategies.

For advice on how to prevent and manage mango pests and diseases, such as powdery mildew, anthracnose and mango seed weevil, review the Green Lists hosted on the Plantwise knowledge bank providing cultural and biological management options.

The Green Lists are produced by Plantwise for use by plant doctors and extension workers who provide advice to farmers. To see more about the content held on the Plantwise knowledge bank, please click here.

Mobile phone app for Agricultural video animations

546a187544db8Scientific Animations without Borders (SAWBO) has released a mobile app for viewing their videos on agrilcuture, health and women’s empowerment.

SAWBO has developed more than 30 different 2D and 3D animations with voice-overs in over 50 different (majority African) languages. They have now released a mobile app that is available for any compatible Android device. Download the app in the Google Play market to access the entire library of animations. You can then download as many videos as you want, and share them with anyone through bluetooth.

SAWBO is a University of Illinois-based programme. They work in three main areas: agriculture, health and women’s empowerment. They transform extension information into animations, which are then voice overlaid into a range of languages from around the world. All SAWBO animations are made freely available to anyone wishing to use them for educational purposes. Animations can be downloaded from SAWBO channels and used on computers, tablets, cell phones, TVs, and overhead projection systems.

Agricultural videos include “Biocontrol of legume pod borer (Maruca vitrata)”, “Natural insecticide from neem seeds” and a number of videos on preventing postharvest loss.

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