Plantwise has officially been launched in Uganda as of 16th April 2012. The ceremony was held at Nkokonjeru in Buikwe district central Uganda and was attended by over 300 people made up of Plantwise plant doctors local dignitaries and farmers who have been helped by the local plant clinic. The honoured guests were the local MP (himself a part-time farmer) Mr Komayombi and Dr Karyeija the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of crop protection within MAAIF (Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries).
It was fitting that the occasion was in Nkokonjeru as this was one of the first plant clinics begun by CABI back in 2005. Clinics have prospered in Uganda with the hard work of Sol Danielsen and Rob Reeder. Although Plantwise has now been launched this is not the beginning of Plant Clinics in Uganda.
The meeting at the civic hall featured talks on the work of Plantwise around the world and what the Knowledge Bank will be able to do for Uganda as well as the excellent work that has been achieved by Self Help Africa and their requests for the Ministry to now take up the mantle.
A typical Ugandan lunch followed before we made our way down to the local Plant Clinic for the ribbon cutting ceremony. At the clinic we were treated to local dancing and singing before the ribbon was ceremoniously cut by Mr Komayombi. He declared his support to Plantwise in Uganda and spoke highly of their achievements to date. Plantwise Plant doctor uniforms (white golf shirts with green trim) were issued bearing the logo of Plantwise and MAAIF. The day was concluded by a bumpy and long (but worthwhile) journey back to Kampala with members of the press and Ugandan television who had covered the event.