Plantwise Blog

This week saw the digital launch of CABI’s new global programme – PlantwisePlus. The online event featured presentations from both CABI representatives as well as partner organisations, including FAO and the governments of Kenya and the Netherlands.

PlantwisePlus launch video

The event was an opportunity to highlight the impact CABI’s Plantwise and Action on Invasives programmes have had since launching in 2011 and how PlantwisePlus aims to build on those achievements.

Contributors to the event included:

Dr Daniel Elger, Chief Executive Officer, CABI

Dr Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist, FAO

– Prof Hamadi Boga, Permanent Secretary at the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries

– Astrid Mastenbroek, Senior Policy Advisor on Food and Nutritional Security at the Netherlands Minsitry for Foreign Affairs

Dr Ulrich Kuhlman, Executive Director of Global Operations, CABI

Dr Dennis Rangi, Director General for Development, CABI

In his welcome address, CABI’s CEO Daniel Elger spoke of the knowledge and experience that underpins CABI’s work in solving problems in agriculture and the environment.

“That’s why CABI is so well positioned to deliver a global programme that will make a significant impact, helping smallholder farmers to have increased incomes and grow safer and higher quality food through sustainable approaches to crop production.”

Daniel Elger, Chief Executive Officer, CABI

Dr Ismahane Elouafi, FAO Chief Scientist, spoke of the challenges facing plant health and global food systems. In her presentation, Dr Elouafi emphasised the importance of stakeholder development programmes such as PlantwisePlus in tackling the challenges facing agri-food system.

“These programs had improved farmers yields, so there is more food and more income for rural communities. …  FAO has collaborated in many areas with CABI in the past and we look forward to working with CABI again with their PlantwisePlus programme.”

Dr Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist, FAO
PlantwisePlus launch
Female farmer © CABI

Professor Hamadi Boga, Permanent Secretary at the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries spoke of the impact Plantwise has had in Kenya over the last ten years. Pests and diseases are major obstacles to productivity among Kenyan farmers. Since 2011, the Kenyan government has been working with Plantwise to address these challenges.

“Workers have up-to-date information and, the platform that has been created out of this project, will guarantee success and increase productivity and higher income for farmers.”

Professor Hamadi Boga, Permanent Secretary at the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries

Astrid Mastenbroek, Senior Policy Advisor on Food and Nutritional Security at the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs explained why the Netherlands government-supported Plantwise in the past and will be supporting PlantwisePlus going forward.

“We expect that PlantwisePlus will contribute significantly to sustainable agricultural development … we look forward to the successful delivery of this programme.”

Astrid Mastenbroek, Netherlands Minsitry for Foreign Affairs

CABI’s Executive Director of Global Operations, Dr Ulrich Kuhlman, is also the new PlantwisePlus Programme Executive. Dr Kuhlman provided an outline of PlantwisePlus including the challenges the programme seeks to address and the outcomes being worked towards.

Dr Kuhlman gave details on the four focus areas for the new programme: (a) strengthening detection of and response to pest outbreaks; (b) providing public and private agricultural service providers with better digital advisory tools to support farmers in sustainable crop management; (c) enhancing the availability of nature-positive and low-risk plant protection products to reduce reliance on high-risk farm inputs; (d) increasing consumer demand for and supply to local markets of safer, higher quality and locally produced food.

Attendees were invited to participate in a question-and-answer session with the PlantwisePlus global team leaders: Claire Curry, Dr Monica Kansiime, Dr Ivan Rwomushana and Dr Belinda Luke. They were joined by Dr Wade Jenner, Deputy Programme Executive for PlantwisePlus.

The event ended with a closing statement from CABI’s Director General for Development, Dr Dennis Rangi. Dr Rangi thanked the donors for their contributions to the event.

“PlantwisePlus is a programme built on partnerships and it is precisely this spirit of collaboration that we have experienced today that will ensure the success of the programme.”

Dr Dennis Rangi, Director General for Development, CABI

The e-launch is now available online: watch the PlantwisePlus launch

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