Plant health is increasingly under threat from a range of abiotic factors – such as nutritional deficiencies, extremes in temperature, adverse soil pH, pollutants – as well as biotic factors such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, insects and other animals. Diagnosing and managing these issues requires a new approach in training agricultural extension field staff, to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and tools required.
Agriculture is increasingly knowledge-intensive with a continuing need to provide the right information to the people who need it most, making a real difference to their livelihoods. This ensures food security for the ever-growing population by providing the best possible remedies for crop health issues. Globally, rapid adoption of ICT tools and applications provides new avenues to share and access information.
CABI has held a five-day course on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to train post graduate students and young researchers on a range of pest management techniques including how to keep pests, diseases and weeds below levels that cause economic damage.
E-plant clinics in Sri Lanka were launched in June 2015. Since then 190 Plant doctors have been trained and equipped with tablets, with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Agriculture funding half of the total number of tablets themselves. Being equipped with tablets means Plant doctors give higher quality recommendations, and the data collection process is also considerably streamlined. Below are two snapshots of how e-plant clinics are doing in Sri Lanka.
O novo campus da Universidade Federal de São Carlos, localizado no sudoeste paulista, estabeleceu desde 2016 uma parceria com CABI Plantwise para integrar a rede nacional de entidades executoras das clínicas de plantas no Brasil. As clínicas de plantas são uma metodologia para oferecer serviços de diagnóstico e recomendação de problemas fitossanitários com enfoque no manejo integrado de pragas e direcionado a agricultura familiar.
For the fourth successive year, CABI UK Centre staff in June ran a four day training course on Techniques in Plant Pathology. Through lectures, demonstrations and practical sessions, the course provided a comprehensive overview of methods used for diagnosing plant health problems and for isolating, culturing and identifying fungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses and phytoplasmas as causal organisms. This year, as in 2015, the primary aim of the course was to support the development of diagnostic capacity within the Plantwise programme. As such, all participants were carefully selected from 19 Plantwise partner countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean and Latin America. The majority are actively involved in Plantwise activities within their respective countries, and some are already providing diagnostic assistance directly to plant clinics or through provision of laboratory-based diagnoses and pest identifications. To provide a practical management perspective, participants also received some insight on the key characteristics of high impact pests they are likely to encounter in their work and how these are best tackled in the field. Feedback from all participants, who immensely enjoy the course and their time in the UK, has been extremely positive. Continue reading →
A two day training on Plant Disease Diagnosis was conducted in the Department of Food, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine from July 13 to 14 to agricultural extension officers of Trinidad and Tobago.
The training was organised under the auspices of The UWI-RDI (Research Development Impact) funded project on ‘Promoting Agriculturally Important Microorganisms to Address the Challenges in Food Safety and Food Security in the Caribbean”. The training was attended by 23 agricultural extension officers of Trinidad and Tobago representing seven counties [St George, St David, St Andrew, County Caroni, Nariva/Mayaro, St Patrick West, County Victoria] of North Regional Administration and South Regional Administration, Research Division Central Experiment Station, Extension Training and Information Services Division and Agricultural Division of Tobago. During the training programme, the agricultural extension officers were trained to diagnose the various vegetable diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses based on the symptom expressed in roots, stems, vascular tissues, leaves and fruits.