INSTITUTE OF DIRECTORS, LONDON- On Thursday 5 December, CABI received an Innovation Award at the 10th annual National Engineering Foundation (NEF) Innovisions Conference, in recognition for its landmark global food security programme, Plantwise.
Hosted by NEF and presenters from the BBC, the Innovation Awards were established to celebrate ‘game-changers’ proven to be the very best of innovation in public policy. Judges were looking for ideas which will not only promote sustainable growth, but also inspire others. Plantwise was chosen as the best example of government policy supporting innovation, with its unique approach to improving food security nurtured from the start by policies of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and government partners who have been key to its success.
Currently up to 40% of crops worldwide are lost to pests, threatening local, national and global food security. Since its launch in 2010, Plantwise has been fostering agricultural development in over 31 countries to better manage plant health and support smallholder farmers in the fight against pests. Plantwise works with governments to set up plant clinics, like those for human health, where trained plant doctors provide farmers with practical, science-based diagnosis and advice to prevent and manage crop loss. Supporting this network of clinics, the Plantwise knowledge bank ensures a global online and off-line gateway to diagnostic services, pest tracking, and best-practice farmer recommendations specific to every country.
Supported in large part by public donors like DFID, Plantwise is part of a global mission to feed 9 billion people by 2050 by building sustainable, resilient national plant health systems in countries where agricultural development is crucial to millions of livelihoods.
Professor Sa’ad Medhat CEO of the NEF said: “Nominees were judged for their clarity of intended purpose, uniqueness of approach, potential impact, and whether they stimulated and galvanised others. The winners will contribute to a culture of generation innovation which will help promote sustainable growth in the UK.”
CABI (Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International) is a not-for-profit science-based development and information organization with nine centres worldwide. Our mission and direction are influenced by more than 40 member countries that help guide the activities undertaken. These include scientific publishing, development projects and research, and microbial services. We use science, information and communication tools to help solve issues of global concern. We do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less, combating invasive species, finding natural alternatives to pesticides and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge. For more information go to www.cabi.org
Plantwise is supported by: Department for International Development, UK, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the Netherlands Directorate General for International Cooperation, Irish Aid, the European Commission DG DEVCO-EuropeAid, the People’s Republic of China Ministry of Agriculture, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
For further information on Plantwise, please visit the website www.plantwise.org
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