Plant Doctor wins best Agricultural Extension Agent award in Ghana

Contributed by Solomon Duah, CABI Ghana

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Paul Gyedu, a plant doctor working with the Plantwise program in Ghana, has been awarded the Ashanti region Agricultural Extension Agent (AEA) of the Year Award. Paul works for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and combines his work as an extension agent with plant clinic operations in the Bekwai Municipality of the Ashanti Region. His experience and plant doctor training played a crucial part in being selected as the best AEA from among over 400 candidates in the region at the 2016 National Farmers’ Day awards ceremony, held on 04 November.

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Tune in to the Cassava show

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Farmer listening group; photo David Onyango, CABI

Last week in the Nkhotakota region of Malawi a new radio show went on air. Not a news programme or a music show, but a show devoted to Cassava. Sounds pretty specific? Well, it’s even more focussed than that. The weekly 30 minute programme is actually focussed on managing one of Cassava’s most damaging diseases – Cassava mosaic disease.

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Kenyan farmers keen to learn more about pest and disease management at agri trade fair

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Image by Rose Kamau

Plantwise Kenya held a demonstration plant clinic at the University of Eldoret Agribusiness Trade Fair, held on the university’s campus from 22-25 September. The fair, which has been an annual highlight in western Kenya for the past 11 years, saw around 30,000 visitors exploring over 200 exhibits.

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Making the most of the knowledge bank: How to enhance your country’s content

Contributed by Léna Durocher-Granger and Kate Dey

Are you perhaps a coffee expert, a research scientist, post-graduate student in crop management, an extension officer working at the Ministry of Agriculture? Would you like to contribute to the plant health system of your country, bring the Plantwise methodology to your institute, help us with the translation of content so it can be used locally or improve your extension writing skills?

Well, we have made it easier for you to get involved with the development of essential extension materials and enhance pest management and control information for your country. You now have the power to download and edit Green Lists– a type of Pest Management Decision Guides (PMDGs) which provide simple and vital prevention, management and control information for extension workers and farmers. They contain generic non-chemical and non-hazardous advice such as cultural and mechanical control.

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Myanmar Agricultural Extension adopts the Plantwise framework for its Plant Health System

by Kyin Kyin Win, Deputy National Plantwise Coordinator, Myanmar

The Myanmar Plant Health System Strategy (MPHSS) was launched successfully in Nay Pyi Taw on 8th September 2016.  It was officiated by H.E. Dr. Tun Win, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI), and was attended by key officials of MOALI including the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Tin Htut. Dr. Tin Htut, who is also the CABI Liaison Officer for Myanmar, had earlier advised the CABI country team to write the PHSS as a strategic document based on the Plantwise framework to transform and catalyse the required reforms in the nascent agricultural extension of Myanmar. Plantwise has been operational in the country since 2014. When the evaluation results of the pilot phase of Plantwise were reviewed and presented by the Plant Protection Division and CABI, MOALI officials were convinced that internalising the Plantwise approach could substantially contribute to increasing the efficiency of and having impact on the desired changes of the Myanmar plant health extension.

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Farmer field schools to link with plant clinics in Nepal

Contributed by Vinod Pandit, CABI Nepal

img_4573After a successful pilot phase in Nepal, with plant clinics in 45 districts reaching more than 5000 farmers, Plantwise is now looking to scale up and become sustainable by getting partners to commit resources to the programme. To maximise synergies with existing agricultural extension methods, partners have suggested linking plant clinics with farmer field schools, which are already established in Nepal.

In Nepal, farmer field schools are run by the Ministry of Agriculture and Development (MoAD) and the Plant Protection Directorate (PPD), with technical support from FAO and funding from the World Bank. About 250 farmer field schools were established but fewer than 100 are currently active. Five farmer field schools (one in each of the five administrative regions of Nepal) act as Key Resource Centres for all of the districts in their region, providing biocontrol agents, monitoring and technical support.

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Paying a visit to the Plant Doctor in Uganda

By Katie Tomlinson. Reblogged from the Cabot Institute blog.
Two weeks ago I organised a visit to a plant clinic in the Mukono district of central Uganda. The plant clinics are run by district local government extension staff with support from CABI’s Plantwise programme and offer a place where farmers can bring crop samples to get advice on how to prevent and cure diseases.

Why does Uganda need plant clinics?

It’s estimated that smallholder farmers loose 30 – 40% of their produce to plant health problems before harvest, which threaten food security, income and livelihoods. Ugandan farmers suffer heavily from pests and diseases, including maize stalk borer, wheat rust, banana bacterial wilt, coffee wilt and cassava viral diseases. The situation is always changing, as outbreaks of disease emerge and persist across the country.

Read the full article the Cabot Institute blog→