The successes of smallholder farmers in Nepal, Uganda and Kenya – thanks to help from CABI – have become the focus of the Plantwise Impact Story Competition won by three extension workers who helped them combat crop pests and diseases.
Debraj Adhikari, a Senior Plant Protection Officer from Nepal, plant doctor Mubunga Joshua from Uganda and John Mutisya Kimeu also a plant doctor, from Kenya have all been awarded a tablet computer for their accounts of farmers who have reaped increases in yield as a result of intervention from Plantwise plant clinics.
CABI’s global Plantwise programme has a major impact helping farmers in Kenya grow more and lose less to crop pests and diseases, according to a new impact report published today. Research undertaken by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and published today, shows that:
- Plantwise contributes to improvements on yields, crop-based household incomes and reductions in pesticide usage for farmers living in plant clinic catchment areas
- Plantwise is improving institutional coordination in national plant health systems, improving the likelihood of detecting and responding to pest outbreaks such as the fall armyworm
- Plantwise is improving knowledge of extension agents and management of data, providing detailed insights into where response interventions should be targeted
Story by Malvika Chaudhary, CABI in India
Photo: Saurav Paul
Vargur is a small village in the Tamil Nadu state of India where paddy is grown on a large scale. The plant clinics in this region are very popular with farmers. For plant doctor Sarangpani it was a usual day, anticipating the regular crowd of paddy farmers in his plant clinic. He enjoyed this interaction with them, especially after improving his pest diagnostic and advisory skills through training provided by Plantwise and research non-profit M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF). His rich experience as a farmer in the past had now translated into service for his community through these regular plant clinics.
Though ‘samba,’ or long grain rice season was usually quiet, this time Balchander and many farmers like him had a different story. The farmers had been seeing white spots on the young leaves of their paddy plant, which began to turn to grey-green in couple of days, bringing them increasing worry. It was time for plant doctors like Sarangpani to take immediate action to try and help Balchander and his neighboring paddy farmers.