The CABI-led Plantwise programme this week won the OECD Development Assistance Committee’s Prize 2015 for innovation. The award recognises initiatives that take innovative approaches to international development, scaling up pilot projects and applying them more widely. Over the past five years, Plantwise has grown to reach over four million farmers in 34 countries, helping them to lose less and feed more. Plantwise was announced OECD DAC Prize winner at a ceremony at the OECD headquarters in Paris on 9 March.
Despite advances made in international development, gaps remain. The objective of the DAC Prize is to support ideas that have been scaled up, helping to close development gaps and make a difference to people’s daily lives. This prestigious award recognises the efforts of all the Plantwise supporters and partners – over 168 worldwide – who make its innovative approach a reality in policy and practice.
Plantwise helps increase food security and improve rural livelihoods by reducing crop losses. It achieves this by establishing sustainable networks of local plant clinics, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers can find practical plant health advice. Plant clinics are reinforced by the Plantwise knowledge bank: a gateway to actionable online and offline plant health information, including diagnostic resources, pest management advice and front-line pest data for effective global vigilance.
A video showing how Plantwise works and its impact at scale was delivered in Paris at the event
Raj Kumar, Chair of the humanitarian council of the World Economic Forum and member of the DAC Prize jury, said: “Plantwise’s promising partnership model is exactly the sort of innovation we need to reduce plant loss and combat hunger around the world.”