Plantwise Knowledge Bank fully launched

Knowledge Bank country homepage for Kenya © CABI

The Plantwise Knowledge Bank has now gone live! This central portal for collated global information on crop pests and diseases brings together international science and local material. It is targeted at providing knowledge to all users involved in plant health systems – from farmers on the ground, to researchers and academics, to governments and policy makers.

The most significant development for the Knowledge Bank since its launch as a prototype last year is that information can now be easily filtered by country. The country homepages display relevant information on local pests and their treatment.

New features of the Knowledge Bank:

  • Improved diagnostic tool – search for crop problems based on location, crop and symptoms
  • New interactive distribution map – simultaneously plot pests and their hosts at country and sub-country level
  • Pest lists – see which pests are present on crops in a selected country
  • Pest reports – free access to abstracts of recent pest reports published in the scientific literature and available through CAB Direct
  • Regularly updated country-specific plant health news
  • Links to useful regional information and tools such as Ministry of Agriculture websites, approved pesticide lists, and research institute websites
Diagnostic search tool © CABI

Diagnostic and treatment information

The new diagnostic search tool provides a way of diagnosing a crop problem through the symptoms displayed and the part of the plant affected. Results from the diagnostic search are given as a list of possible pests or diseases, each with an associated image, and a datasheet further describing the pest.

There are around 2,500 species-specific datasheets. Since the prototype was launched in June 2011, many more treatment factsheets have been added to the Knowledge Bank. Factsheets describe pest and disease problems, and may give information on cultural control, varietal resistance, biological control, chemical control, and cropping methods.There are now over 1000 factsheets from more than 20 external providers that are in a variety of languages, including regional languages such as Ugandan factsheets written in Luganda, Lugosa and Runyakitara.

Plantwise distribution map © CABI

Plantwise distribution map

Plantwise has created the world’s most comprehensive distribution data source for pests and diseases. The interactive map links information from a variety of sources enabling a wide audience of users involved in the battle against pest and diseases to map and model distribution data. There is now the ability to plot up to three species (this can include pests, hosts, and natural enemies). You can also view locations of plant clinics and diagnostic centres, and add overlays such as climate zones to help better understand the data.

Plantwise continues to integrate the Knowledge Bank with the plant clinics located in 24 developing countries. Countries will be able to securely store their data and use tools to analyse patterns in pests and diseases that have been detected at the clinics.

Take a look around the new Knowledge Bank site:

Leave us a comment on this post and let us know what you think!

This video introduces the new features and gives a demonstration of the Knowledge Bank’s tools:

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