A new program in Myanmar has just produced its first group of ‘plant doctors’ – experts who can help farmers reduce their losses by diagnosing problems with their crops.
Peace, partnerships, projects, production, perspectives, participation and passion to name just a few. These were all squeezed into a side event at CFS44, organised by CABI, entitled ‘How Cross-Sectoral Partnerships Help Smallholders Deliver a More Food Secure Future‘.
In developing regions where pest and disease outbreaks and the impact of climate change is most devastating, early warning systems are required to build resilience into agricultural production. These early warning systems cannot operate in a void, but proves effective when incorporated within a national policy framework that can support a holistic plant health system approach.
In Myanmar, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI) has identified that its efforts to intensifying and diversifying agricultural production is being challenged by increasing pesticide use, illegal importation of pesticides, introduction of invasive species and slow response to disease and pest outbreaks. These issues have served as constraints to building a strong national plant health system as they undermine the resilience of millions of smallholder farmer who are key stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
Contributed by Dr Sivapragasam Annamalai, CABI
Paulus Verschuren, a CABI Board member, recently visited Myanmar, accompanied by CABI staff, associates and representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. His motivation for the trip was “to get out and learn in the field what Plantwise means to farmers and other stakeholders”. The brief but busy itinerary entailed field visits to see plant clinics in action and also to meet with some of the key donors currently operating in Myanmar.
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.
by Dr. Kyin Kyin Win, Deputy Director (Plant Protection Division, MOALI)
A major outcome of the two-year pilot programme of Plantwise in Myanmar was the recommendation from Dr. Tin Htut, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) to develop a Myanmar Plant Health System Development Strategy (MPHSDS) to guide the future development of the plant health system in Myanmar. Following this, a write shop with senior officials of MoALI was held on the 22nd April 2016 in NayPyiTaw,. The first draft of the MPHSDS was prepared by CABI using as reference documents the Myanmar Rice Sector Development Strategy (MRSDS) and Climate Smart Agriculture Development Strategy.
The 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.