The Sri Lankan e-plant clinic pilot, which launched in 2015 at 10 clinics in Central Province, was extremely successful in minimizing the time as well as workload of plant doctors performing data management tasks. As a result of these and various other benefits established over the last 2 years, the e-plant clinic network has been scaled up to Northern, Eastern and Western Provinces with around 66 e-plant clinics in operation, and over 86 plant doctors trained to date. The target is to have 140 e-plant clinics across Sri Lanka by the end of the year.
About 20 plant doctors were trained at a recent training event from 22 to 23 March 2017. The venue of the training was District Agriculture Training Centre, Trincomalee. The training event was organised by Provincial Department of Agriculture (Eastern Province), and convened by the Provincial Director of Agriculture (East). Plantwise Sri Lanka delivered the training in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection Service. Two CABI associates (Mr. P T Bandara & Mr. A. Vakeesan) and two master trainers (Mr. A.M.C.T. Abeykoon & Mr. Nilanka Herath) from the Plant Protection Service led the training.
The plant doctors were instructed in how to use data collection app and the factsheet app in their respective plant clinics. The plant doctors were from Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts. Convinced by the value of ICT-enabled plant clinics, the Provincial Department of Agriculture provided full support in arrangement of the workshop logistics and committed to providing 50% of funding for the tablets – the remaining 50 % are funded by CABI. The next training is planned in Bombuwala (Western Province) to train 34 more plant doctors to run e-plant clinics in the Colombo & Kalutara districts of Western Province.