Photostory: SDC visits Plantwise Sri Lanka

The story of support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for the Plantwise food security programme goes back to its inception in 2011. Since the start, SDC has been a major supporter of both in-country programme activities as well as global resources such as the Plantwise knowledge bank. Sri Lanka is one example of a Plantwise country that has shown particularly strong uptake of the plant clinic concept. This prompted Dr Carmen Thoennissen, an SDC senior advisor for the Global Programme Food Security, to join CABI staff and partners in Sri Lanka for 3 days to discover how the programme is unfolding on the ground and understand what makes it a success. Check out the photo story and read more after the jump

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Who benefits from Plantwise?

Plant doctor, Agnes Kariuki, helping a female farmer diagnose her crops in Embu Town clinic, Kenya ©CABI (photo credit Holly Wright)

Plant doctor, Agnes Kariuki, helping a female farmer diagnose her crops in Embu Town clinic, Kenya ©CABI (photo credit Holly Wright)

As part of our Monitoring and Evaluation within Plantwise, we are identifying indicators both to help us improve the way we operate and also increase accountability to our participants, partners, and donors. As a follow-up to our blog post on International Women’s Day, one of the ways we can improve our current work and set the stage for more effective project design in future is by collecting sex-disaggregated data. Read more of this post

Plantwise 2013 Highlights

PW collage

As we move into the New Year and all that 2014 has to offer it seems like a good time to review some of the achievements of 2013. Here are a few of the Plantwise highlights of 2013!

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Plant health system developing well in Zambia

Farmers' validation of factsheets during Plantwise training in Lusaka, Zambia

Farmers’ validation of factsheets during Plantwise training in Lusaka, Zambia. Credit: Stefan Toepfer © CABI

Since the launch of Plantwise in Zambia last year, much progress has been made to build capacity within the national plant health system. In collaboration with the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI), CABI staff have successfully trained crop officers and extension staff from the Department of Agriculture, ZARI, and Self Help Africa on ‘how to be a plant doctor’. In addition to this, training on development of pest management decision guides and factsheets has produced content that will be made available on the Plantwise knowledge bank for other plant doctors to use. A workshop on data management has also been run, training plant health experts in recording data at plant clinics, data harmonization, validation, analysis and sharing. Read more of this post

Plantwise on TV: Launch of Makerere University Training in Uganda

Check out this great coverage of Plantwise coming out of Uganda. Working with the University of Makerere, Plantwise is training young plant doctors to answer the increasing demand for plant clinics across all regions. National television station UBC news interviewed CABI’s Joseph Mulema and key partners on this major development for extension and smallholder farmer services in the country.

Video courtesy of UBC and Joseph Mulema

The Hindu covers Plantwise India




National newspaper The Hindu publishes article discussing the positive impact of Plantwise activities in the country. With support of the M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation,  ‘plant doctors are coming to the rescue’ of farmers in India. Read full article here.

Days are numbered for pests in Kenya’s irrigation schemes

Plant clinic launch in Mbeere, Kenya

Plant clinic launch at Mbeere Sub-county SHDP, Kenya © Rose Kamau

Report by Peter Karanja and Abigail Rumsey

Between May and July this year, 22 new plant clinics were established in Kenya. Nine of these clinics were launched by the Smallscale Horticulture Development Project (SHDP), which has been funded by the African Development Bank to help smallholder farmers increase the amount that they produce and earn through irrigation and enhanced marketing. The new clinics have been initiated by the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in irrigation schemes in nine districts.

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Can you guess this plant clinic?

Take a close look at the photo below. Can you guess where in the world this plant clinic is located? It is one of hundreds of clinics, operated by national partners in local markets and meeting places, where farmers can find the plant health advice they need.  Click ‘Read more’ for the location answer….


Can you guess this plant clinic? Image courtesy Janny Vos, CABI

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Makerere University brings Plantwise to class

Contributed with content from Joseph Mulema, CABI in Africa

Makerere training August

One group of Makerere University students undergoing Plantwise’s ‘How to be a plant doctor’ Module 1 and Module 2 training course (Image:Joseph Mulema)

Since 2005, Plantwise has been supporting the establishment of plant clinics and knowledge bank access in Uganda. But recently, plans to expand clinic operations to each sub-county have led to increased demand for trained and knowledgeable plant doctors. To answer this call, and provide a promising career opportunity for a new generation of agriculturists, the University of Makereke’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), based at the University Research Institute at Kabanyolo, Uganda, has launched a summer term for BSc students on Plantwise Module 1 and Module: how to become a plant doctor and run a successful plant clinic.

The government of Uganda has been and essential partner through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF) supplying resources and equipment. Now through the partnership with Makerere, a prestigious institute drawing students from across the continent, Plantwise will find bright and motivated young graduates to provide diagnostics and advice to the farmers.

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Plantwise Photo Of The Month – August

A farmer at a plant clinic in Grenada receives a demonstration of how to make a trap to catch coconut weevils using discarded plastic water bottles. Image courtesy of Shamela Rambadan (CABI).

A farmer at a plant clinic in Grenada receives a demonstration of how to make a trap to catch coconut weevils using discarded plastic water bottles. Image courtesy of Shamela Rambadan (CABI).


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