A day at the plant clinic in Pucara, Peru

A day at the plant clinic in Pucara, Peru


Did you guess Peru in our ‘Guess the clinic‘ challenge? Well you were  correct.

On the morning of April 22nd , plant doctor and clinic coordinator Flavia Felix Huanca (pictured here) held a plant clinic for local farmers. They brought in samples of their crops which various problems, asking for her advice to diagnose what was wrong. This plant clinic, supported by training from Plantwise and the global Plantwise knowledge bank, runs every other Tuesday at a regular local fair. This is the EEA Plant Clinic of Santa Ana -Huancayo, in Municipalidad Distrital de Pucara.

Plant Health Rallies: Giving Rwandan agronomists the tools to inform the public

Plant Health Rallies: Giving Rwandan agronomists the tools to inform the public

In November 2013, three members of the CABI Plantwise team (Dr Noah Phiri and Peter Karanja of the Nairobi office, and Julien Lamontagne-Godwin of the UK office) visited Musanze in the Northern zone of Rwanda. 12 participants from the Rwanda Agricultural Board (RAB) were trained in techniques to inform the surrounding rural communities on serious pests and diseases of important crops, particularly maize stalk borer and Lethal Necrosis, and potato late blight. During the 4 day training, participants were taught to develop a simple extension message that can be announced clearly in less than ten minutes. This message explains the background to the problem, discusses symptoms, and recommendations to prevent or reduce its effects in the field.

In the picture above, Jeanne Priscille Ingabire uses a megaphone to alert the village of Bikara of an impending talk on maize stalk borer. Kalisa Jean Pierre (left) and Stanislas Mushimiyimana (right) both hold onto a banner to gain more public interest before the talk.

This technique complements the established plant clinics in the area, and will help the RAB team inform and help more people with their agricultural pests and diseases.

Plantwise Afghanistan and the Knowledge Bank join Global Food Security Conference in the Netherlands

Contributed with Julia Dennis

This month, academics, researchers, government agencies, NGOs and corporations convened in the Netherlands to talk about the future of food. The question of how we will feed 9 billion people by 2050 was the major issue on the table, but much of the discussion also called for a careful focus on the imbalance occurring today between the nearly 2 billion undernourished and 1.5 billion over-nourished people on the planet.

Radio interview with Shaun Hobbs
Knowledge Bank Global Director Shaun Hobbs interviewed on Deustche Welle

The First International Conference on Global Food Security, hosted by the University of Wageningen, brought over 800 experts together for oral and poster presentations, in addition to key-note addresses and panel debates on all variety of topics pertaining to food security. The large turnout and eagerness of individuals in attendance demonstrated that the time is right to exchange knowledge from across disciplines. More to the point, with the evolution from the Millienium Development Goals to objectives of sustainable development set to take over in 2015, there is an urgent need for research to inform policy for future action.
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Demonstrating plant virus transmission to farmers at a Plant Health Rally in Kenya

Demonstrating plant virus transmission to farmers at a Plant Health Rally in Kenya

Blog by Florence Chege and Julien Lamontagne-Godwin

During a Plant Health Rally regional training in Kitale, Western Kenya, 15 participants, including CABI Africa staff, local Kenya Agricultural Research Institute staff, Ministry of Agriculture extension staff and international Plantwise collaborators from Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, went out to inform farmers on various local plant health issues and problems.
These included soil acidity, the proper use of fertilisers, control and management of Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND), Cabbage Black Rot and Napier Grass Stunt.
Kitale is the largest maize growing area in Kenya, therefore, information on MLND at the rallies was very useful and well received by farmers attending them.
During the first day of rallies, two teams of participants went out to conduct a total of 11 rallies, and reaching out to 768 people in rural market locations.

In this picture, Martin Kimani of CABI Africa is creatively demonstrating (with the use of flour and a maize plant) how plant viruses can be transmitted through movement of infected plant material and equipment, . This will help the farmers to understand the safe handling of infected material in the future, and reduce the spread of a serious maize problem.

Thank you Kim for the creative spark that made farmers laugh and remember the message.

The training, led by Dr Eric Boa is continuing till the end of the week