In November 2013, three members of the CABI Plantwise team (Dr Noah Phiri and Peter Karanja of the Nairobi office, and Julien Lamontagne-Godwin of the UK office) visited Musanze in the Northern zone of Rwanda. 12 participants from the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) were trained in techniques to inform the surrounding rural communities on serious pests and diseases of important crops, particularly maize stalk borer and Lethal Necrosis, and potato late blight. During the 4 day training, participants were taught to develop a simple extension message that can be announced clearly in less than ten minutes. This message explains the background to the problem, discusses symptoms, and recommendations to prevent or reduce its effects in the field.
In the picture above, Jeanne Priscille Ingabire uses a megaphone to alert the village of Bikara of an impending talk on maize stalk borer. Kalisa Jean Pierre (left) and Stanislas Mushimiyimana (right) both hold onto a banner to gain more public interest before the talk.
This technique complements the established plant clinics in the area, and will help the RAB team inform and help more people with their agricultural pests and diseases.