Excerpt reblogged from the Ethiopian Herald.
A two-day national stakeholders forum on Plantwise Ethiopia was opened yesterday on the premises of the Ethiopian Agricultural Centre for Research. Plantwise National Coordinator Konjit Feleke told journalists on the occasion that there is much loss of production due to pests and crop diseases. It is in this light that Plantwise was launched in Ethiopia in 2013 following agreement reached with CABI.
As part of the initiative, a pilot project was first launched in Oromia State where 8 community-based clinics were established. It later expanded to Amhara and Tigray states. According to Konjit, plant clinics provide advice and recommendations to farmers for disease prevention and crop management and prescribe the necessary pesticides and treatments.
Currently, 45 community-based plant clinics are supporting the farming communities by delivering them advice and treatments for crop diseases and pests. The states are increasing the numbers of plant clinics using their own resources, realizing that such clinics would improve productivity and prevent loss of production. The plant clinics are well equipped with experts trained by the initiative and are run by local extension staff known as plant doctors, who set up the clinics in rural market places to give services to farmers.
The workshop is reviewing the performance of pilot projects and put way forward for 2016 plans.