Since the launch of Plantwise in Zambia last year, much progress has been made to build capacity within the national plant health system. In collaboration with the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI), CABI staff have successfully trained crop officers and extension staff from the Department of Agriculture, ZARI, and Self Help Africa on ‘how to be a plant doctor’. In addition to this, training on development of pest management decision guides and factsheets has produced content that will be made available on the Plantwise knowledge bank for other plant doctors to use. A workshop on data management has also been run, training plant health experts in recording data at plant clinics, data harmonization, validation, analysis and sharing.
These workshops have been received well, with many trainees providing positive feedback:
“[This training] has been very interesting and an eye opener which will definitely improve my extension service delivery to farmers,” shared one Module 2 training participant.
“I have learnt how important it is to know the active ingredient as opposed to just using the trade name,” comments another trainee on the recommendations for input-use.
“The most exciting was how I come up with a good recommendation so that I give the farmer good and accurate advice on the problems they bring to the clinic.”