Plantwise: building a network, reaching more farmers
With over 168 partners, Plantwise is led by CABI, but it is only through building and strengthening linkages that the programme can reach its goals of improving livelihoods and increasing food security worldwide.
In 2017, the Plantwise programme focused its efforts on demonstrating the outcomes and impact of its work since its launch in 2011. To date, the programme has provided plant health knowledge to 18.35 million farmers in 34 countries, through its network of 2,842 plant clinics, plant health rallies and mass media campaigns on radio and television.
The results from our monitoring and evaluation (M&E) studies demonstrate improved yields and household incomes, which contribute to reducing smallholders’ poverty levels. While farmers in Malawi and Rwanda reported higher costs as they adopted new practices learnt at plant clinics, their yields and net incomes increased at a higher rate compared to non-users of clinics, making their farms more productive.
"A few years ago, I would make ZMW 5,000 per year. Last year I got 15,000. I have never missed any plant clinic session. I’ve been very committed, very faithful, because I have seen the benefits." – Kenny Mwansa, Farmer, Rufunsa District, Zambia.
Plantwise continues to be at the cutting edge of championing digital innovations to improve agricultural productivity. The rollout of tablet computers at plant clinics is now established in over half of all Plantwise countries. With the increasing use of ICT tools, data processing has become more efficient. Over 60,000 plant clinic records have been submitted digitally and over 5,000 images have been shared via communication apps. This has made diagnosis and data collection nearly ‘real time’, enabling prompt action on emerging pests.
The programme’s innovations and impact are now widely recognised. In March 2017, Plantwise won the Bond Development Award for Innovation 2017. This was followed in April by the St Andrews Prize for the Environment 2017, an initiative by the University of St Andrews and ConocoPhillips celebrating significant contributions to environmental conservation. In May 2017, Al Jazeera broadcast a documentary of Plantwise work on tomato leafminor (Tuta absoluta) a new pest in Nepal, to a global audience.
Learn about the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, a global resource to help combat plant health problems at www.plantwise.org/knowledgebank
See the Plantwise Annual Report 2017 for more information about this programme: