Plantwise Blog

The CGIAR COVID-19 Hub provides a coordinated research response to the global pandemic threatening health systems worldwide, along with posing serious risks to food security and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The Hub focuses on supporting national response and recovery work across CGIAR research themes, harnessing knowledge for emergency response, recovery, and resilience.

Rice farmer in Bangladesh Photo by Ashraful Haque Akash on Unsplash

CIMMYT is coordinating the COVID-19 hub activities in Bangladesh alongside IRRI, IFPRI, CIP and IWMI. Plantwise has been identified as a national crop health monitor and will be integrated into the platform along with other monitoring systems like fisheries, livestock and even human health.

COVID-19 Hub aims

The proposed project aims to:

  1. Train DAE officers in crop disease recognition and reporting in coordination with CABI
  2. Conduct surveys on farm level stress related to COVID-19 and other factors (input availability, yields, market access and price changes) with DAE officers and farmers
  3. Construct a digital dashboard that can display near realtime information on
    1. crop diseases,
    2. satellite-based data on
      1. planting delays,
      1. harvesting delays and
      1. flood-affected area and crop loss
    3. weather stresses affecting crops.
  4. Situation reports based on the collected data in dashboard will be shared with DAE
  5. DAE officers will be trained in how to use to collect data on farm households’ diets via a mobile app. This information will be used to understand nutritional insufficiencies and suggest crops that can be grown to address the deficiencies.

Activities implemented

The Hub is expected to support the Bangladesh Government’s initiatives to promote homestead cropping. Under this project, different activities are being implemented in different districts in Bangladesh in coordination with DAE-CIMMYT-CABI in order to strengthen crop pest management.

In order to ensure the successful operation of the program, a training schedule has been designed for 22 ADDs from 22 districts in Bangladesh.

Training

Covid-19 hub training Bangladesh
The CGAIR COVID-19 Hub training in Bangladesh © CABI

The training aims to provide information on crop pest diagnosis and management using the CABI Plantwise module. It will provide information on dynamic pest surveillance, with hands-on application and management activities for certain pests.

Through CABI Plantwise, teacher training has been taking place throughout October. A total of 22 additional deputy directors – one for each district – were trained in the programme. Mr. Md. Asadullah, Director General, Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), spoke at the training session and stressed the importance of training in the field. CABI was represented by Dr. Malvika Chaudhary, Regional Coordinator, while Dr. TS Amjath Babu was in attendance for CIMMYT.

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