Rice pests are no longer winning: the Khmer Smile is back

Hy Broey, rice farmer in Cambodia

Hy Broey, rice farmer in Cambodia © CABI

Contributed by Heng Chunn Hy and Ho Chea, General Department of Agriculture, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Hy Broey, a farmer from Choeung Tik Khor village in Prey Veng Province, Cambodia, came with her problem to the plant clinic. She had many problems in rice planting and production, especially during the tillering stage. By attending plant clinics in her village she has learned how to solve her agricultural problems.

Mr Tep Say, the plant doctor, had identified the problem and told her that it was caused by stem borer. He showed her the affected part: dead hearts or dead tillers that can be easily pulled from the base during the vegetative stages. Also, during the reproductive stage, the plants were showing whiteheads: emerging panicles were whitish and unfilled or empty. He showed her tiny holes on the stems and tillers. He told her that she should synchronize planting, and use a recommended resistant variety. During the harvesting she should cut rice near the stem base in order to remove and kill all larvae and pupae. She should also try to conserve predators and try to catch the adult stem borer moths. If she removes all the affected plants, and only if the insect still persists, she can spray a named insecticide in order to kill the insect.

Later the plant doctor also visited the farmer’s field and gave her IPM recommendations. He told her and her husband not only to rely on chemical control but also include cultural practice to improve crop yields, and to protect the environment, thus allowing the natural enemies like dragonflies to breed and help control the adult stem borer moth.

The plant doctor had a follow-up visit to the farmer to see the implementation of his advice. After attending the plant clinic, Hy Borey and her husband changed their habit of only relying on chemical sprays and practised with IPM technique as provided by the plant doctor. They got good results and harvested a good crop. At the harvesting time the farmer was very happy since she got a better yield. Before visiting the plant clinic she got only 2.5 ton/ha but this year after visiting the plant clinic the yield had increased to 3.7 ton/ha. Before visiting plant clinics, she sprayed pesticide 3 times per season for management of pests but after visiting the plant clinic she learnt to apply the IPM method to control insects and diseases, and no more spraying of chemicals was required in this season. She was very happy and thanked CABI’s Plantwise plant clinic program for the support to help farmers in Prey Veng, and other provinces as well.

Perú: nueva clínica de plantas en de la región de Lambayeque

Texto preparado y editado por Martha Passador, Melanie Bateman y Javier Franco

Bernardina Bereche y su hijo Antonio Hiause después de recibir el formulario con recomendaciones. Foto: Martha Passador

Bernardina Bereche y su hijo Antonio Hiause después de recibir el formulario con recomendaciones. Foto: Martha Passador

Los agricultores de la región de Lambayeque recibieron el día 20 de Julio del 2015 un nuevo servicio para mejorar su producción agrícola. Una nueva clínica ubicada en el poblado de Batan Grande fue inaugurada, dónde los agricultores de esta región podrán acercarse a realizar sus consultas sobre plagas y enfermedades sin costo alguno. Batan Grande es un poblado menor perteneciente al distrito de Pitipo, Provincia de Ferreñafe, Región Lambayeque, dónde los agricultores tienes sus cultivos de arroz, maíz, cebolla, lenteja, papa y maracuyá.

La primera atención de esta nueva clínica, contó con la presencia del alcalde de Batan Grande, Luis Alberto  Valladolid Terrones, que confirmó el apoyo de la alcaldía para este servicio. Antes del inicio de los servicios de clínica, la Ing. Patricia Villegas, Coordinadora de la Unidad de Extensión Agraria de la EEA-Vista Florida-Lambayeque, explicó a los agricultores cómo sería realizado el trabajo. Patricia les explicó que en esta clínica, el agricultor sólo necesita acercarse con una muestra de su planta atacada por alguna plaga o enfermedad y el “Doctor de Plantas” le brindará la asesoría necesaria para resolver su problema fitosanitario, además de brindarle las recomendaciones necesarias para prevenir futuros ataques de la plaga.

Ing. Patricia Villegas habla acerca del servicio de la clínica y de los materiales de extensión. Junto a Patricia están Domingo Guzmán y Cesar Flores (Doctores de Plantas) y el alcalde Luis Alberto Valladolid. Foto: Melanie Bateman

Ing. Patricia Villegas habla acerca del servicio de la clínica y de los materiales de extensión. Junto a Patricia están Domingo Guzmán y Cesar Flores (Doctores de Plantas) y el alcalde Luis Alberto Valladolid. Foto: Melanie Bateman

En este primer día de atención, se llenaron 15 formularios de prescripción, teniendo como problemas presentados por los agricultores plagas, enfermedades y deficiencia nutricional. Los productores de la región llevaron más de una muestra cada uno, y se estuvieron muy satisfechos con este servicio y las recomendaciones ofrecidas. La señora Bernardina Bereche Tejara, supo del inicio de este servicio por su hijo José Antonio Hiause Bereche, que obtuvo esta información en la municipalidad. La señora Bernardina llevó sus muestras de lenteja, papa, maíz y maracuyá para ser analizadas por el Doctor de Plantas y recibir las recomendaciones prácticas y accesibles para sus problemas. Ellos tienes cultivos orgánicos, entonces Patrícia les explicó acerca de la utilización de los fertilizantes orgánicos, que ellos no usaban ni conocían – dijo la señora Bernardina. De acuerdo con el señor Antonio Hiause, nunca tuvieron este tipo de servicio que les parece una muy buena idea, y esperan que siga adelante.

Esta nueva Clínica de Plantas se estará ubicada en la Plaza Principal delante de la Alcaldía, y su horario de atención será de las 9 de la mañana hasta las 3 de la tarde, cada 15 días en los días viernes. Esta nueva Clínica pasa a formar parte de la red de Clínicas ya existentes en diversas regiones del Perú.

Clínica de Plantas de Batan Grande. Foto: Melanie Bateman

Clínica de Plantas de Batan Grande. Foto: Melanie Bateman

Plantwise-Farmer Field Schools; Synergies in Mozambique

Blog contributed by Martin Kimani (CABI) and Lito Malia (Plantwise National Coordinator, Mozambique)

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Farmer field schools (FFS) are essentially schools without walls that introduce new technological innovations while building on indigenous knowledge. In FFS, farmers are the experts. At a recently held FFS stakeholder and donor forum in Mozambique from 30th to 31st July 2015, CABI presented existing opportunities in linking FFS with Plantwise activities. The Forum brought together representatives from FAO, Agha Khan Foundation, IFAD, CARE, CABI, DNEA, DPA-Sofala, IAM, IIAM, DSV, and DINAS e SETSAN. This was a culmination of exploratory visits and meetings held earlier on in the year in Mozambique, Kenya and Rwanda.

“FFS builds farmers capacity to analyse their production systems, identify problems, test possible solutions and adopt practices most suitable to their production systems. It further, provides an opportunity for farmers to test and evaluate suitable land use technologies and introduce new technologies through comparing conventional ones and indigenous ones”, said Martin Kimani, the CABI Country Coordinator for Mozambique.

CABI presented opportunities for FFS and Plantwise linkages in Mozambique where both agricultural extension programmes can be jointly implemented. New farming technologies and approaches published in extension materials generated in the Plantwise programme will now benefit from existing testing and validation systems under FFS. This will result to a higher adoption and adaptation at farmer level leading top improved livelihoods. This was just one among many other potential benefits Martin highlighted at the meeting in linking the two programmes.

Some of the plant doctors in Mozambique are experienced FFS facilitators hence there is already an adequate potential and enthusiasm in linking FFS with Plantwise activities starting with Moamba district. FAO is currently running FFS in Manica, Vanduzi and Maomba districts.FFS-PW Mozambique

Free plant clinics set up in Bangladesh

Ten plant clinics have been set up in Bangladesh to provide practical advice to farmers who have crop problems.

Read the full story here

Healing Plants to Feed a Nation

Growing up in a small village in Western Kenya, I often accompanied my mother and other village women on customary weeding expeditions. Whenever we came across sick plants in the fields—which was all too often—my mother would instruct me to pull them out and cast them aside.

I help farmers properly diagnose plant disease and heal their sick plants-Miriam Otipa

I help farmers properly diagnose plant diseases and heal their sick plants-Miriam Otipa

I did as she asked, but wondered to myself: Why do we simply throw out the plants instead of doing something to make them better?

At times, my mother lost nearly 80 percent of her tomatoes to plant disease. The loss was so bad that she eventually stopped growing tomatoes all together. Yet when one of our cows got sick, my mother would call a veterinarian to come and treat the cow. I wondered: Were there no doctors who could also cure our plants?

I turned this curiosity into a career in science and became the first child in my family to attend university as well as the first woman in my village to earn a science degree. Seeking answers to my childhood questions, I studied botany and zoology as an undergraduate to better understand the diversity of crop and animal pests and diseases afflicting farmers like my mother in Kenya and her peers across Africa. I wanted nothing more than to find a practical solution.

So, I became a plant doctor

Read more of this post

Infographic: Plantwise progress in Africa


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.

Read more of this post


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,004 other followers