The Impact of Plant Clinics on the Livelihoods of Bangladeshi Farmers
Published: October, 2019
The Plantwise programme in Bangladesh was launched in 2015 to build local capacity in plant pest and disease management to enable frontline extension workers to provide practical recommendations to farmers. We assessed the impact of plant clinics on farm productivity and profitability with a focus on cucurbits with fruit fly. A quasi-experimental approach was taken, with a matching design, based on the similarity of agro-ecological zone, crops grown and pests and diseases. Results showed an increase in income for plant clinic users growing all types of cucurbits.
Worldwide, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two-thirds of the earth’s growing population. Achieving a zero hunger world by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholder farmers – but their crops face a significant threat. Yearly, an estimated 40% of crops grown worldwide are lost to pests. If we could reduce crop losses by just 1%, we could potentially feed millions more people. The lack of access to timely, appropriate and actionable extension advice makes it a fundamental challenge for farmers to get the right information at the right time to reduce crop losses.