PlantwisePlus Blog

Demonstrating plant virus transmission to farmers at a Plant Health Rally in Kenya

Blog by Florence Chege and Julien Lamontagne-Godwin

During a Plant Health Rally regional training in Kitale, Western Kenya, 15 participants, including CABI Africa staff, local Kenya Agricultural Research Institute staff, Ministry of Agriculture extension staff and international Plantwise collaborators from Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, went out to inform farmers on various local plant health issues and problems.
These included soil acidity, the proper use of fertilisers, control and management of Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND), Cabbage Black Rot and Napier Grass Stunt.
Kitale is the largest maize growing area in Kenya, therefore, information on MLND at the rallies was very useful and well received by farmers attending them.
During the first day of rallies, two teams of participants went out to conduct a total of 11 rallies, and reaching out to 768 people in rural market locations.

In this picture, Martin Kimani of CABI Africa is creatively demonstrating (with the use of flour and a maize plant) how plant viruses can be transmitted through movement of infected plant material and equipment, . This will help the farmers to understand the safe handling of infected material in the future, and reduce the spread of a serious maize problem.

Thank you Kim for the creative spark that made farmers laugh and remember the message.

The training, led by Dr Eric Boa is continuing till the end of the week

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