Plantwise is an initiative, led by CABI, to improve food security and the lives of the rural poor by reducing crop losses.
For every 1% reduction in crop losses, we can potentially help millions more people feed themselves. This can be done today – with no additional use of land, water, fertilizers or chemicals.
Plantwise is reducing crop losses and improving lives by gathering, organising and disseminating vital knowledge about plant health.
With the right knowledge in the hands of smallholder farmers and the wider research community we can identify plant health problems earlier, provide treatment and best practice recommendations to combat pests and improve crop yields, and slow down the spread of plant pests and diseases around the world. Plantwise is gathering and disseminating knowledge in two ways: 1) via a network of plant clinics in the developing world to help the poorest farmers and 2) internationally via a knowledge bank.
Plant clinics – farmer interface and support system
Over half of the one billion hungry people in the world are smallholder farmers who rely entirely on their crops to feed their families. Plantwise helps developing countries set up and run community based plant clinics that deliver free plant health advice to these farmers. The clinics, staffed by ‘plant doctors’, are a lifeline for farmers helping them overcome plant health problems and improve their yields. Sometimes the clinics can mean the difference between having a modest surplus which can be sold and going hungry. Find out more about the plant clinics >
Plantwise helps developing countries establish an integrated plant health system, of which the clinics form a vital part. Find out more about the role we play >
Knowledge bank – harnessing local knowledge
Plant doctors, extension workers and researchers all need access to the latest information in order to be able to best assist the farmer. Plantwise offers online diagnosis and treatment support information as well as practical on the ground training for potential plant doctors.
As a result of helping farmers Plantwise collects valuable data about plant pest and disease distribution that is shared with the participating countries. Working with the relevant NPPO (National Plant Protection Organization) Plantwise will publish validated pest and disease distribution data. This information, harnessed effectively, can form this basis of an early warning system alerting the plant health community to a change in distribution of existing pests/diseases or the threat of a disease in a new region.
The Plantwise knowledge bank will help with the local, national and regional fight against pests and diseases. In addition to local distribution data captured at the clinics Plantwise will capture data about new pests and diseases from scientists, published sources and official bodies, and map this information in greater detail than ever before. Working with partners this data will be combined with the best information in the field to provide a comprehensive knowledge bank on crops, pests, diseases and weeds.