Afghan Chief Executive praises Plantwise at agricultural fair

Contributed by Muhammad Faheem and Zakria Faizi, CABI Afghanistan

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CABI exhibited its Plantwise plant clinic activities in Afghanistan at the Kabul International AgFair, held at Badam Bagh Kabul on 19-21 October. On display were materials regularly used at plant clinics throughout Afghanistan, including photo sheets, factsheets, PMDGs, and prescription forms. CABI representatives also demonstrated tool kits used in the nationwide Insect Pest and Plant Diseases (IPPD) Survey, which is being led by CABI. To underline our close partnership with our implementing partners in Afghanistan, the booth was directly next to the Ministry of Agriculture’s Plant Protection and Quarantine Department (PPQD) booth.

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Afghan Ministry of Agriculture to conduct nationwide plant pests and diseases survey

Deputy Minister Mir Amanudin Haidari speaking at Stakeholder Planning Workshop.
Image © Khaama Press

Afghanistan is highly dependent on agriculture but has been suffering from multiple plant pest and disease outbreaks. With this in mind, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) has prioritized the identification all existing plant pests and diseases, to be followed by a prevention strategy. This has led to the launch of the ‘Nationwide Insect Pests and Plant Diseases Survey’. At a Stakeholder Planning Workshop, Deputy Minister Mir Amanudin Haidari said: “We have many diseases in Afghanistan and they have cost us a lot. They are even a trade barrier. Some diseases have been transmitted to our county. Identification and creating a database of such diseases are vitally important. It will enable us to prevent diseases like we had in melons in Takhar Province few years ago.”

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Plantwise on show at Afghan Annual AgFair

Factsheets and other plant doctor equipment displayed at the Plantwise booth
Factsheets and other plant doctor equipment displayed at the Plantwise booth © CABI

by Muhammad Faheem, Country Coordinator (m.faheem@cabi.org) and Zakria Faizi, CABI Associate, Afghanistan (faizizakria@yahoo.com)

The annual AgFair exhibition was held from 21st to 23rd March in Badam Bagh, Kabul, Afghanistan, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL). The participants were from the government, non-governmental, private sector and farmer organizations.

In this exhibition the Government, NGOs, Simi Governmental and Private companies put their agriculture produce, equipment, new ideas and advanced practices for good agricultural practices (GAP), plant protection, animal husbandry, food preservation, phytosanitary  standards and market access. People from different entities, farmers, public and other foreign visitors came to this exhibition to make it one of the most important places for agricultural commerce.

The Plantwise plant clinic model was presented at our booth displaying plant diagnostic kit, prescription sheets, banners, factsheets, photosheets and pest management decision guides (PMDGs). Printed factsheets were the most attractive material that people were keen to take home. Two trained plant doctors were present at the model clinic, where they briefed the audience and provided on-the-spot advice to farmers. Moreover CABI’s other activities such as bio-control lab products, different projects and themes were put on show for public awareness. Continue reading

Plantwise captures the imagination of the Afghan Agricultural hierarchy through its National Forum

Group Photo NFM
Representatives at Afghanistan’s National Forum

Since 2012, the Plantwise Afghanistan team, including Muhammad Faheem as Country Coordinator, Dr Babar Ehsan Bajwa as Regional Director for CABI Central and West Asia and Julien Lamontagne-Godwin as European Support Staff from the CABI UK centre, has been increasingly involved in the agricultural development of the country. As the programme has gone from strength to strength, it has not only grown its clinic network, but also engaged regularly with the various stakeholders involved in the country’s agricultural system.

The National Forum is one of the many stakeholder engagement tools at the programme’s disposal, and it was used to full effect in March 2014. Continue reading

Factsheet of the month: June – Wild Oat Weed in Wheat

Wheat is one of the most important crops grown around the world. Its high protein content compared to other cereals  means it is a key component in the diets of  many. It is also easy to cultivate, versatile and contains a range of vitamins and minerals.

Although pest resistant varieties of wheat have been developed, there are still numerous pests that can affect the yield of wheat, such as weeds. Wild oat is an example of one of these weeds. Wild oat resembles wheat so it often goes unnoticed until the wheat crop is already being affected. For information about how to identify wild oat in your wheat field, and how to manage this weed, please read the ‘Wild Oat Weed in Wheat’ factsheet, written by staff at the Plant Protection and Quarantine Department of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture. Please note this factsheet is also available in Dari.

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Plantwise news update May 2013

PlantwiseLeaves150x150The latest Plantwise newsletter is here. Click ‘Read more’ to find out about the launch of Plantwise in Ghana, discussions on greater collaboration between CABI and agricultural stakeholders in Myanmar,  support for Plantwise from the European Union, and developments in the Knowledge Bank.

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Plan for the Launch of Plant Clinics in Baghlan Province

CABI country coordinator briefed Plantwise program to the Dean of Agriculture Faculty, Baghlan University, Afghanistan
CABI country coordinator briefed Plantwise program to the Dean of Agriculture Faculty, Baghlan University, Afghanistan

Muhammad Faheem, CABI Country coordinator for Plantwise Afghanistan travelled to Baghlan province north of Kabul, which has great agriculture potential. Six plant doctors, belonging to Plantwise partners DAIL, AKF and Baghlan University were recently trained in how to become plant doctors. Introductory meetings Between Plantwise and implementing partners were held to set up the future plan of operation for three plant clinics in the area. Continue reading