Plant clinics train local farmers to grow better crops

CABI

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It’s estimated that up to 40% of crops are lost to pests or disease. Plantwise, a CABI-led project with partners including various government departments, research agencies, and educational institutions, gives farmers the knowledge they need to lose less of their crops and feed more people.

Plantwise supports the establishment of plant clinics staffed with trained plant doctors, where local farmers can seek practical plant health advice. Farmers are encouraged to bring samples of their infected crops into clinics where plant doctors can diagnose the problem and make recommendations to prevent and manage further crop loss.

Data and information that comes out of this clinic is then collected and used to track outbreaks, enabling targeted protection and helping to strengthen effective national plant health systems.

In addition to the plant clinics, Plantwise has also created a knowledge bank full of online and offline resources designed to supply farmers with further information, including diagnostic resources and best practise pest management advice.

So far Plantwise has helped to establish 2,300 plant clinics, and trained 6,800 plant doctors, who have reached nearly 10 million farmers in 34 countries. By 2020, they aim to reach 30 million farmers in 40 countries, to enable greater food security for generations to come.

The CABI Plantwise project, along with Send a Cow’s Taro project, won the Bond Innovation Award 2017.