Plantwise initiative helping improve food security in Zambia

Zambia cassava-high-yeild-farmer

Ever since Lackson Njovu, a farmer in Rufunsa district, learnt how to deal with plant diseases and pests using the natural way, his harvest has improved.
Mr Njovu now registers less losses and feeds more by identifying, preventing and curing plant health problems.
On his five hectares farm east of the capital, Lusaka, where he grows maize, cassava, groundnuts, pigeon peas and cow peas, Mr Njovu places chemical solutions as the last resort to safeguard human life and the environment.

Click here to read the full story

Plantwise Bangladesh in a new era of partnership: National Extension Officers trained as Plant Doctors

Newly trained plant doctors in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Newly trained plant doctors in Dhaka, Bangladesh © CABI

The Plantwise programme in Bangladesh was launched with the training for module 1 (Field Diagnosis and Plant Clinic Operation) and module 2 (Introduction to Plant Healthcare) for 32 extension officers in Dhaka early this March. The training followed the signing of a tripartite agreement between the Economic relation division, Ministry of Agriculture and CABI on the 20th January this year. This was followed by signing of a work and funding contract that marked initiation of activities with the national partner to implement the program in the country.  Though Plantwise was being implemented by a few NGOs in Bangladesh from 2011, the partnership with Department of Agricultural Extension has opened a new era for the program which has a strong possibility of driving the program to sustainability in the nation. Ten Upojillas (unions) have been selected to conduct ten regular plant clinics in five districts of the country. Dr. Steve Edgington was the CABI trainer who meticulously and consistently captured the attention of 32 trainees as they understood how the symptoms can be easily recognised at field level. The clinic concept is quite new to the country and, although the Farmers Information and Advice Centre is already established by the World Bank as advisory centres to farmers, many farmers could get additional synergies with PW operations as suggested by some newly trained Plantwise doctors.

It was very encouraging to see the complete and punctual attendance of the trainees for all the four days. Their rapt attention during the presentations and active participation in the field as well as in class room exercises was noticeable. Prior to the training the workshop opening session was presided by the Director-General DAE, Director PPW and other eminent staff of the department. This event was captured by the national television media and broadcasted in prime hour throughout the nation.  Click this link to see a clip of the television coverage: https://www.dropbox.com/l/sGSepN8iCMnEbAcx1b5khr

Though the women constituted around only 20% of the participating trainees, their enthusiasm and passion to execute the clinics was evident.  The commitment of these officers to support farmers to guide them with timely diagnosis in order to reduce the use of pesticide was appreciable. This was also evident by their earlier efforts to bring out certain tools in this focal area. The newly trained plant doctors proudly wore their badges at the end of the training while receiving their certificates. They are now looking forward to April when they will witness a model clinic first-hand. Later in April the plant doctors plan to conduct the first plant clinics in their respective unions and start to provide their farming communities with practical advice in plant health.

Perú: Una visita al campo con los Doctores de Plantas en Huamanga-Ayacucho

Texto escribido por los doctores de planta de la Estación Experimental Agraria Canaán (INIA): Victoriano Eduardo Núñez Cuba, Melancio Huamani García y Aníbal N. Huarancca, y editando por Léna Durocher-Granger (CABI-UK).

English summary follows

Melancio explica a la agricultora sobre el diagnóstico y el control de la enfermedad del Peronospora farinosa (Fr) “Mildiu” que ataca al cultivo de Quinua.

Melancio explica a la agricultora sobre el diagnóstico y el control de la enfermedad del Peronospora farinosa (Fr) “Mildiu” que ataca al cultivo de Quinua.

El Instituto Nacional de Innovación Agraria (INIA), organismo público adscrito al Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego, a través de la Estación Experimental Agraria (EEA) Canaán-Ayacucho, brinda Asistencia Técnica de Capacitación con el Modulo de Clínica de Plantas a los pequeños productores agrarios de la Comunidad “La Colpa”, del distrito de ACOS VINCHOS y de la Comunidad “Moya”, del distrito de QUINUA, provincia de Huamanga – Ayacucho.

Victoriano Eduardo Núñez Cuba, Melancio Huamani García y Aníbal N. Huarancca son tres Doctores de Plantas de la EEA Canaán. Parte del trabajo de un Doctor de Planta es de visitar a los pequeños agricultores y agricultoras en su finca para proporcionar información sobre el diagnóstico, agente causal, tratamiento, control, prevención e importancia económica del ataque de plagas y enfermedades en los cultivos alimenticios, además de brindar Charla Técnica de Capacitación a los pequeños productores agrarios. El objetivo es brindarlos asistencia técnica oportunamente para el incremento de la producción y el mejoramiento del ingreso económico familiar.

Victoriano, Melancio y Aníbal tienen roles fundamentales en Plantwise que impactan directamente a la seguridad alimentaria y nutricional de los pequeños agricultores y sus familias, además de contribuir a mejorar el sistema fitosanitario del país.

Sigamos Victoriano, Melancio y Aníbal a través de unas de las actividades a cargo de la Unidad de Extensión Agraria (UEA) de la EEA Canaán (INIA), desarrolladas junto a los Coordinadores Nacionales Luis Torres (EEA-La Molina) y Luis Navarrete (EEA-La Molina) y al Programa Plantwise.

Victoriano Eduardo Núñez Cuba, Melancio Huamani García and Aníbal N. Huarancca are three Plant Doctors from the Experimental Station Canaán (INIA) in Ayacucho-Peru. Part of a Plant Doctor’s work is to visit farmers to provide information related to the diagnosis, prevention, control, management and economic importance of the pests and diseases affecting various crops in the region. The Plant Doctors also provide technical training to farmers. The objective is to support smallholder farmers by providing appropriate technical assistance aimed at increasing crop yields and improving family income. By improving the plant health system in their country, Victoriano, Melancio and Aníbal play a key role in Plantwise that directly impacts food security and nutrition of smallholder farmers and their families. Let’s follow them for a day!

 

 

Plant clinics help improve yields in Machakos, Kenya

Plant doctor John Mutisya examining a potato sample at the Katoloni plant clinic Credit: David Onyango © CABI

John Mutisya, a plant doctor at the Katoloni plant clinic examines a potato sample
Credit: David Onyango © CABI

“Approximately 300 farmer-self help groups from Machakos County and its environs under the Katoloni community-based organization have registered improved crop yields in the last one year due to high levels of sensitization on crop pest and diseases at plant clinics in the region,” writes Maugo Owiti of HiviSasa.com.

In the article, Pius Ndaka, a farmer from Iluvya village shares the benefits he has experienced from the Katoloni plant clinic.

Click here to read the full story

The Hindu covers Plantwise activities in India

The National newspaper-The Hindu covers Plantwise efforts in India. Plant clinics are not only providing solutions to pest problems and are reducing the crop losses but also the farmers visiting them are realizing surplus harvests as compared to their fellow farmers.

Picture1

Farmers are relying upon these plant clinics for providing them guidance to distinguish the difference between pest and infestations, understand harmful effects of red labelled/ banned pesticides, pest resurgence, resistance to pesticides etc. To read the full article click here 

Infographic: Plantwise progress in Kenya so far

PW Kenya Infographic

Plant clinics helped improve my yield

Rose Wanjiru displaying healthy mango fruits in her farm  Credit: David Onyango © CABI

Rose Wanjiru displaying healthy mango fruits in her farm
Credit: David Onyango © CABI

I meet Rose Wanjiru Ireri in her 2.5 acre farm in Mbeere inspecting her crops. From the smile on her face, it is apparent that her plants are healthy.

“I grow oranges, mangoes, cassava and vegetables on my farm. I also produce a lot of bananas for sale.” She currently has over 100 banana plants in her farm. Times are better now, but it has not always been smooth sailing for her. Crop pests and diseases were a major cause of crop losses in her farm until she sought help from her local plant clinic at Kathiga Gaceru irrigation scheme.

“When the leaves of the orange plants became black in colour, I went to the plant clinic with a specimen of the sick leaves. The plant doctors recommended an insecticide to control aphids. I sprayed it on my oranges and now my harvest has greatly improved.”

Rose is one of the many farmers benefiting from the advice provided for free at plant clinics since 2012. “I have been attending the plant clinic at Kathiga Gaceru irrigation scheme for the last one year and I clearly see the benefits. My banana harvest has increased significantly. I have managed to buy more land and construct a poultry house. The best part of this is that the plant clinics offer the services free of charge. ” She sells each bunch of banana at a farm gate price of Kshs 800 each.

CABI is working with The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF), Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organisation (KALRO), University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), Agrochemical Association of Kenya (AAK) and Small Scale Horticultural Development Project (SHDP) to set up and run the plant clinics. A total of 89 plant clinics are currently running across 13 counties in Kenya.

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