Backstopping visit to Bangkok, Thailand

As the last part of our data management trip, Claire and I headed to Bangkok for the 11th and 12th of September. We joined a group of plant doctors and farmers at the plant clinic/rally in Nong Kung village, Suppaya district, Chainat province. We saw a demonstration on biocontrol, looked through pamphlets and information available to farmers about crop problems, and discussed the rice harvest which was currently taking place. In the backstopping training at the Rice Department, the participants shared their concerns and plans for future data management in Thailand.

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Participants of the data management backstopping in Bangkok. ©CABI

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Farmers attending the clinic to listen to advice about crop protection. ©CABI

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Emily, Claire, Fook Wing, and Siva observing how plant clinics operate in Chainat province. ©CABI

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Discussing data management in Thailand. ©CABI

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Looking forward to a delicious meal in Nong Kung village! ©CABI

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Farmers learning about biocontrol products using fungal spores grown on a culture of cooked rice. ©CABI

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A farmer and plant doctor discussing issues with food crops. ©CABI

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Preserved samples and specimens for comparison purposes when diagnosing crop problems. ©CABI

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View from the plant clinic into part of the village – it was a beautiful, sunny day. ©CABI

Backstopping visit to Hanoi, Vietnam

After our stay in Cambodia, Claire and I continued on our way to Hanoi, Vietnam on September 8th and 9th. From there we drove out to Hưng Yên province, visiting two plant clinics and an agro-dealer. We had the opportunity to speak with farmers and plant doctors about how clinics are going, and how useful they can be for farmers to seek advice on their crops. On the way, we enjoyed some pomelo and longans, and shared a cup of tea.  Afterwards, we headed back to the city and facilitated a backstopping training session about data management for 6 participants. Together, we identified bottlenecks in the data flow process, and discussed how they can be improved.

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Plant doctors at Plant Clinic 8 in Hưng Yên province. ©CABI

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Longan season in Hưng Yên province. ©CABI

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Interview with the leader of Nhat Quang commune while sharing a cup of tea. ©CABI

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Pomelo picked fresh from the tree! ©CABI

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Visiting an agro-dealer and learning about the safety information available for farmers. ©CABI

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Claire highlighting the importance of data management. ©CABI

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The group visiting plant clinic 8 and talking with farmers about how much they valued the advice provided by plant doctors. ©CABI

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Group photo from the backstopping data management training. ©CABI

Data management training in Phnom Penh, Cambodia – looking back on a successful trip!

In the first week of September, 2014, Claire Beverley and I went to Cambodia for three days to run data management training and a cluster meeting, along with our colleague Jeremy Ngim from the CABI Malaysia office. The presentations were given in English and translated into Khmer, which was a neat experience for all. We got the opportunity to talk with plant doctors and their supervisors about current issues with data management in Cambodia, and how harmonising, analysing, and sharing of data can work within Cambodia.

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The General Directorate of Agriculture in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. ©CABI

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One of the translators, Ho Chea, patiently getting materials ready for a harmonisation exercise. ©CABI

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Participants listening enthusiastically to Claire presenting. ©CABI

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Birds of Paradise at lunch break. ©CABI

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Participants discussing ways issues and solutions with data flow in Cambodia. ©CABI

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Claire working with one of the translators, Sarika, to facilitate a discussion in both English and Khmer! ©CABI

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Emily, happy to be talking about data! ©CABI

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Claire and Emily exploring Phnom Penh in a tuk-tuk. ©CABI

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Delicious snacks at tea – can you name the fruits in this picture? ©CABI

 

 

Factsheet of the month: October – Preventing weeds in cassava

Preventing weeds in cassavaThis month sees the return of World Food Day which is celebrated annually on the 16th October, the day the Food and Agricultural Organisation was founded in 1945. This year’s theme, Family Farming, has been chosen to raise awareness of the role that family and smallholder farmers play in providing food security and achieving sustainable development. In the lead up to World Food Day, the World Development Movement is posting an A-Z of food sovereignty. The latest in this series was M for Mulching. Mulching is a widely-used technique amongst smallholder farmers who want to reduce soil erosion and water loss, and increase soil fertility. Another benefit of mulching is helping to reduce weed growth. This is is explained further in the Plantwise factsheet Preventing weeds in cassava. Cassava is a key staple crop in many countries so it is vital that yields are not affected by pests, including weeds. This factsheet was written in Sierra Leone by experts from the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI).

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Elaborando recomendaciones sobre plagas en Costa Rica

Ana María Solano Guevara elaborando una Lista Verde y Amarilla (Léna Durocher-Granger)

Ana María Solano Guevara elaborando una Lista Verde y Amarilla (Léna Durocher-Granger, CABI)

English summary follows

Costa Rica es uno de los últimos países que se agregó en la metodología de Plantwise. Del 10 al 12 de setiembre 2014, se realizó en San José un taller para la elaboración de Guías de manejo de plagas que se llaman “Listas Verde y Amarilla”. Los participantes eran expertos en entomología, fitopatología y acarología así como extensionistas agrícolas de diferentes instituciones (universidades públicas, Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería, institutos de investigación) y regiones del país. Los participantes aprendieron a elaborar consejos claros y precisos sobre algunas de las plagas más importantes para los productores y productoras en Costa Rica. Estas Listas Verde y Amarilla producidas durante el taller estarán disponibles en el Banco de Conocimientos para consulta y distribución a los productores y productoras a través de los Doctores de plantas.

Ana María Solano Guevara, ingeniera agrónoma y estudiante de maestría de la Universidad de Costa Rica contribuyó al taller con su experiencia en la disciplina de la Acarología. Ana María nos cuenta como el taller la benefició para su trabajo diario:

“El curso que impartieron me pareció de gran utilidad para el aprendizaje sobre bases de datos novedosas y actualizadas para la consulta sobre información de plagas en los cultivos, además, sobre medidas de combate químico, lo cual, muchas veces es en lo que se incurre en errores de uso así como de recomendación técnica.

Además, el tener nuevos contactos y retroalimentación con colegas del área, amplía más los conocimientos.

Me será de utilidad este aprendizaje recibido por ustedes para contribuir en mejor medida al diagnóstico de muestras en el Laboratorio de Acarología, así como de difundir la información a los estudiantes de agronomía de la universidad.

Considero que como se ha manejado el curso, se realizó de manera adecuada; se difundió información y se crearon productos como las Listas Verde y Amarillas de algunas plagas.

Les agradezco sinceramente el tiempo dedicado, la preparación así como su disponibilidad y atención en la clase y en las preguntas que teníamos como participantes.”

Para más información sobre las clínicas de plantas en su región consulte la página de Plantwise o si tiene consulta, manda un mensaje a plantwise@cabi.org

 From September 10th to 12th, a workshop in San José was given to participants from different institutions and regions around Costa Rica. Experts in entomology, plant pathology and acarology learned how to create Pest Management Decision Guides, called Green & Yellow Lists. Ana María Solano Guevara, agronomist and M.Sc. student at the University of Costa Rica, explained how the workshop will impact her work in the future: “The course given was useful for learning new innovative and updated databases on pests and crops, as well on chemical control measures. Moreover, having new contacts and feedback from colleagues broadens your knowledge. This learning will be useful for me to contribute to give better diagnosis of samples in the Acarology Laboratory, as well as to disseminate information to agronomy students at the University.”

 

Factsheet of the month: September – Bacterial wilt management in tomatoes

Bacterial wiltLast month, SciDevNet reported on a hybrid tomato variety that is encouraging Nepali farmers back into tomato production after the majority of plantations were wiped out by storms and disease 5 years ago. The variety, known as Shrijana, is high-yielding, wilt and disease-resistant and flavoursome. The higher yields have increased farmers’ incomes, thus raising their standard of living. This has allowed more farmers in Nepal to send their children to private schools. However, Nepali scientists will continue to research new varieties as it is possible that Shrijana could become susceptible to bacterial wilt over time.

Bacterial wilt is a common and devastating disease affecting a large number of hosts including potato and tomato. It is caused by the bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum which can cause damage to host plants at all growth stages. There are a variety of control measures that have found to be effective against the disease, of which the use of resistant varieties is just one. To read more about additional control measures, read this month’s Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers which was produced by employees from the Horticultural Research and Training Institute (Horti) in Tengeru, Tanzania. Please note this factsheet is also available in Swahili.

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Factsheet of the month: August – Sulphur to control powdery mildew in cashew

Sulphur to control powdery mildewLast weekend, a team of experts from the Naliendele agricultural research institute (NARI) held a seminar in Tanzania to present lectures on the prevention and control of pests affecting cashew. Although cashew production in Tanzania has declined since the 1970s, it remains an important cash crop in the coastal regions of the country. The seminar, held in Mkinga District, aimed to bring extensionists and researchers together to promote the exchange of ideas and provide the extension officers with the knowledge to be able to advise farmers on how to improve the health, and therefore the yields, of their cashew crop.

Powdery mildew is the most important disease facing cashews in Tanzania and was the subject of one of the lectures held in Mkinga District. The disease, which is caused by a fungus, causes patches of white powder to appear on the surface of the leaves and other plant parts. To find out about how sulphur can be used in the management of powdery mildew on cashew,  read the Plantwise Factsheet for Farmers created by employees from Mkuranga District Council and the Ministry of Agriculture in Tanzania. This factsheet is also available in Swahili.

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