With glossy pink shop window dressings and glittery red hearts everywhere, the arrival of Valentine’s day has been hard to ignore. Even Plantwise has not been able to escape it, with new relationships being established across the Atlantic last week. During a visit to Washington DC a new collaboration was agreed between Plantwise and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which will allow content sharing between the two bodies.
Perhaps the speed-dater of the crop pest world, Plantwise has already developed several successful global partnerships, with the most recent of these being with the USDA. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on the 7th February by CABI CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls, and USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, Dr. Catherine Woteki. This will allow content acquired by the USDA to be shared with Plantwise, helping to build the knowledge bank and in doing so, support farmers and the plant health clinics. The USDA promise “experience in research, extension, and education systems” that will support Plantwise towards its goal of ‘lose less, feed more’ by sustainable crop protection.
The USDA’s recent activity is all part of Obama’s grand plans to use science, technology and innovation to advance global development. Other partnerships being formed will include Universities, inventors, and communication technology initiatives (you can read more about these here, here, and here). The US Administration has recognised the significance of forming such relations to ensure progress in developing countries, which are not only of “moral importance” but will also lead to greater security and economic benefits for the US.
Connecting the sources of crop pest and disease information with those who need it has always been a key objective of the Plantwise initiative, and working with those at the USDA will go a long way towards empowering farmers and improving livelihoods through increased knowledge. While content sharing might not seem like such a romantic gesture, for Plantwise this Valentine’s Day is still all about celebrating partnerships!