Plantwise: connecting smallholders to knowledge through ICT interventions

Plant doctor showing a specimen on his screen through a USB microscope in Balkheda plant clinic. Photo: MSSRF
Plant doctor showing a specimen through a USB microscope in Balkheda plant clinic. Photo courtesy: MSSRF

The emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the last decade has opened new avenues in knowledge management that could play important roles in meeting the prevailing challenges related to sharing, exchanging and disseminating knowledge and technologies. The types of ICT-enabled services are capable of improving the capacity and livelihoods of poor smallholders are growing quickly.

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

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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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→

How plant clinics are reaching female farmers in Honduras

Written by Eduardo Hidalgo and José Gómez

Plant clinic operation in the indigenous community of El Rodeo, Intibucá. Photograph by Eduardo Hidalgo, CABI.

The Plantwise programme supports local implementing organizations in their efforts to mainstream gender equality in their activities. The Plantwise steering committee in Honduras invited Olinda Rubio (Chief of Communications at the Ministry of Agriculture [SAG-SENASA] and gender expert), to join the team and lead the in-country Plantwise gender strategy, which focuses on ensuring the inclusion of both men and women groups, and tailoring plant clinic services to their needs.

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Plant doctors to the rescue in integrated pest management

By Dyna Eam. Reblogged from the CGIAR CCAFS blog.

Farmer representatives and project team members of Rohal Suong Climate-Smart Village in Cambodia learn about rice pest management in light of climate change.

Many people attribute floods, droughts and cyclones to climate change and these natural disasters impact greatly on agricultural productivity. But recent scientific evidences show that pests are getting a boost from climate change. The increasing temperature and erratic rainfall cause pests and diseases to thrive and infest crops in wider ranges of places globally.

Read the full article on the CGIAR CCAFS blog →

Doctors for Farmers

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

Damien Nsabiyumve explaining the role of "plant doctors" through the "Plantwise" programme Damien Nsabiyumve explaining the role of “plant doctors” in the “Plantwise” programme

The 7th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW7) organized by the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) is took place in Kigali-Rwanda from June 13-16. During this event many companies and organisations attended, and brought their products and services to market and share innovations from different regions.

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