Assessing the Plant Health System of Burundi: What It Is, Who Matters and Why
Published: November, 2022
The concept of a plant health system (PHS) is mainly anchored on experiences from human health where varied sources of knowledge, expertise, and technology are combined to provide healthcare. While diverse human health systems have been proven, little is known about PHS and what is needed to base effective plant healthcare services. A stakeholder analysis was carried out in Burundi. The aim is to understand the system as it is presently and to identify constraints and opportunities. This paper reports on the process and results of this assessment. The initial step in this process was to define PHS and its functions and to evaluate stakeholders’ interests and influence. The first step was followed by examining stakeholders’ perceptions concerning the sustainability of interventions geared at strengthening PHS functions. The process included a document review and stakeholder workshops. After the stakeholders defined the PHS functions, they proceeded to identify valuable actors. The assessment process highlighted several key challenges, including inadequate skills to serve farmers and insufficient capacity to diagnose pests, as significant impediments to effective PHS performance. Based on the information marshalled here, seven broad interventions are proposed for practitioners to strengthen Burundi’s PHS rapidly.