‘Plant doctors’ to help Myanmar farmers reduce crop losses

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The practical plant doctor training sessions took place in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar (Photo: East-West Seed)

A new program in Myanmar has just produced its first group of ‘plant doctors’ – experts who can help farmers reduce their losses by diagnosing problems with their crops.

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Voices of farmers facing the Fall armyworm

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Deo Mutekanyiza beside his maize field (Photo: Farm Radio International)

Masindi and Kiryandongo are the maize-growing regions of Uganda, and maize – or corn – is a staple crop, cooked into a porridge for breakfast or into ugali for dinner.

The Fall armyworm is threatening maize crops in Uganda – and by extension the food security of Ugandans. It’s expected to damage up to 1.39 million tonnes of maize.

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E-plant clinics launched in Mozambique

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E-plant clinic in Inhambane Province, Mozambique (© CABI)

E-plant clinics have been successfully launched in Mozambique this November, following two trainings and official launches. The trainings took place in a village called Tenga, Moamba near the capital city of Maputo (around 80 km), and in Morrumbene District near the city of Inhambane.

Training was delivered in partnership with the National Directorate of Agricultural Extension (DNEA), an institution of the Ministry of Agriculture in Mozambique.

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Una clínica agropecuaria para lograr ‘el oro en la vida’

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La clínica de plantas del pueblo Chamis del departamento de Cajamarca representa algo raro en Perú: un servicio de asesoría para agricultores con presencia permanente en el pueblo. Según el censo agropecuario del 2012, sólo un 7.3% de los agricultores del país reciben asistencia técnica y en Cajamarca es menos todavía, con un 4.6%.

Frente a esta escasez alarmante de servicios para los pequeños productores de Perú, la introducción de clínicas de plantas cayó como anillo al dedo. Las clínicas, un nuevo tipo de servicio rural, fueron establecidas en varias regiones del Perú en el 2013 a través de un convenio entre Instituto Nacional de Innovación agraria (INIA) y el programa Plantwise de CABI.

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A plant and livestock clinic to win the ‘gold medal of life’

1The plant clinic in town of Chamis in the department of Cajamarca represents something unusual in Peru: a farmer advisory service with a permanent presence. According to the agricultural and livestock census of 2012, only 7.3% of the country’s farmers receive technical assistance and in Cajamarca it is even less, just 4.6%.

Faced with this alarming scarcity of services for smallholders in Peru, the introduction of the plant clinics fit like a hand in the glove. The clinics, a new type of rural service, were established in several regions of Peru in 2013 as part of an agreement between the National Institute of Agricultural Innovation (INIA) and CABI’s Plantwise programme.

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Haciendo llegar los servicios donde no alcanzan

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En medio de un entorno altamente desafiante, la EEA Baños del Inca de INIA (Instituto Nacional de Innovación Agragia) en Cajamarca ofrece un servicio de asesoría para los pequeños agricultores. Desde el 2013, cuando se estableció el convenio Plantwise-INIA, los doctores de plantas Ing. Fernando Escobal Valencia e Ing. Marieta Cervantes Peralta operan dos clínicas de plantas, una en Chamis y otra en Chetilla. Tres años de experiencia les han enseñado mucho sobre el reto de proveer un servicio que satisface la demanda, tanto de los hombres como de las mujeres. Una visita al campo en el centro poblado de Chamis y sus alrededores mostró cómo la las clínicas de plantas, a través de actividades complementarias, pueden aumentar su alcance para que más agricultores se aprovechen, sobre todo las mujeres. La creatividad y flexibilidad son clave, y sobre todo, la disposición de la gente.

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Delivering services to places that are hard to reach

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In the midst of its highly challenging surroundings, the INIA (National Institute of Agricultural Innovation) Experimental Station of Baños del Inca in Cajamarca offers an advisory service for smallholder farmers. Since 2013, when an agreement was signed between Plantwise and INIA, plant doctors Eng. Fernando Escobal Valencia and Eng. Marieta Cervantes Peralta operate plant clinics, one in Chamis and another in Chetilla. Three years of experience have taught them a lot about the challenge of providing a service that satisfies the demand, not just of male farmers, but of the women farmers too. A field visit in and around the town of Chamis showed how the plant clinics, through complimentary activities, can improve their reach so that more farmers can take advantage, especially women farmers. Creativity and flexibility are key, and above all, the willingness of the people. Continue reading