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.

Myanmar strategy launch.jpg

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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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La Necrosis letal del maíz amenaza la producción en América del Sur

English version below the break.
Artículo elaborado por Joao A. Jeque Junior, Léna Durocher-Granger y José Gómez Vargas.

La enfermedad conocida como la necrosis letal del maíz (MLN, por sus siglas en inglés), causada por la co-infección de dos virus, está amenazando la producción de maíz en el Ecuador. Según el Ministerio de Agricultura, la incidencia y severidad de la enfermedad fue de casi 14% en 2016 y estaba presente en las provincias de Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabí y Loja. Aunque no está claro cómo y cuándo la enfermedad entró en el país, se están haciendo esfuerzos por las organizaciones nacionales de protección fitosanitaria para controlar la propagación de la enfermedad, así como para cuantificar los daños.

Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms. Naivasha, Kenya. March 2
Síntomas de la Necrosis letal del maíz/Maize lethal necrosis disease symptoms. Naivasha, Kenya. March 2012 (©CABI/Rob Reeder-2012)

Esta enfermedad es causada por la co-infección del virus del moteado clorótico del maíz (MCMV) y del virus  mosaico de la caña de azúcar (SCMV). En África, se detectó la enfermedad por primera vez en 2011 en el distrito de Bomet, Kenia. En 2012 un estudio realizado en los distritos de Bormet y Naivasha, Kenia, mediante la secuenciación de alto rendimiento de muestras de hojas de maíz recogidas en la clínica de plantas Plantwise, ayudó a confirmar la presencia del virus MCMV y SCMV en el maíz (Adams et al., 2012). Debido a  que la enfermedad puede propagarse rápidamente (en menos de una semana), en  4 años se han reportado casos de la sintomatología de la enfermedad en Tanzania, Ruanda, Uganda, Sudán del Sur y la República Democrática del Congo (RDC), y su presencia se confirmó en Tanzania y RDC en 2012 (Makumbi & Wangai, sin fecha).

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (07 Sep 16)

Tuta absoluta mines through leaves and feed on tomato fruit © Peter Kodwaran, MOALF, Kenya
Tuta absoluta mines through leaves and feeds on tomato fruit © Peter Kodwaran, MOALF, Kenya

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include a new insect pest, Cyrtozemia dispar, on peanut in India, the presence of the entomopathogenic fungus Pandora neoaphidis in Argentina and the first record of Tuta absoluta in Tanzania.

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New Zambia office strengthens Plantwise food security programme

New Zambia office strengthens Plantwise food security programme

CABI has opened a new Southern Africa office in Lusaka, Zambia, putting staff on the ground to strengthen its work in international development. The CABI-led Plantwise programme has been active in Zambia since 2013. Working closely with national agricultural advisory services, CABI and national partners establish and support sustainable networks of plant clinics, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers receive practical plant health advice to help them lose less and grow more. To date, Plantwise has helped establish 42 plant clinics and trained 77 plant doctors in Zambia, reaching thousands of the country’s farmers.

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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→

Making the most of the knowledge bank: which pests are in your country?

This is the fourth instalment in our series on the Plantwise knowledge bank in which we hope to demystify some of the key aspects of the knowledge bank.  This week we’re focusing on pest and disease distribution. Pest distribution on PWKB

When accessing the knowledge bank for the first time, it is advisable to select the country or region that you are interested in, so that the content you see, including pest distribution information, is relevant to you. There are three ways to access this information on knowledge bank.

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