Por Fernando Escobal Valencia, Doctor de Plantas – INIA-Plantwise, Cajamarca – Perú
El caserío Secsemayo pertenece al Centro Poblado Chamis, distrito Cajamarca, en la región Cajamarca; está ubicado a 20 kilómetros en dirección al sur – oeste de la ciudad capital, geográficamente enclavado en los andes cajamarquinos a 3,200 m.s.n.m.; bajo estas condiciones, la papa es el principal cultivo, cuya producción se destina íntegramente al consumo y seguridad alimentaria de aproximadamente 150 familias rurales.
It was such a pleasure to talk to Noureen Anum (Anum) over video call from across the border in India and hearing about her experiences and role in Plantwise. She is an agricultural officer in Taxila, a small Tehsil near Rawalpandi District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Taxila has long been known for its universities empowering many with knowledge and information. Anum has been working in the extension service for the last two and a half years and was trained as Plantwise master trainer in 2017. Since then she has not only been training more master trainers to scale up trainings but is also continues to work with farmers as a plant doctor.
CABI has today launched PestSmart Diagnostics in Europe and North America, a new and unique e-learning course based on training developed for the award-winning Plantwise agricultural programme aimed at farmers in developing countries.
PestSmart promises to benefit the way businesses in the food supply chain manage plant health problems to grow more and better produce.
Located in semi-arid Eastern Kenya, Machakos county is home to the Umatui amazing site women group. The group comprises 15 members who mainly grow tomatoes, cowpeas, pigeon peas, and maize. It is among eight other women groups working with Katoloni Community Based Organisation (CBO), a non governmental organization under infonet biovision. The CBO runs a mobile Plant Clinic in Machakos county, Kenya and mostly targets organized farmer groups.
The Plantwise training for plant doctors (Module 1: Field diagnostics and plant clinic operation) is unique in that it is the only international training that focuses on field diagnosis and uses live plant samples in the learning process. The training takes advantage of the fact that many of the symptoms caused by the different groups of pathogens are often similar irrespective of the host plant. The training has been widely praised by those just starting a career in field diagnostics as well as those trained to PhD levels as it is rare that the symptoms are laid out in this way.