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Plantwise helps reduce extreme poverty in Rwanda


A study has shown that the CABI-led Plantwise programme has helped to achieve a 5% reduction in the likelihood of a household falling below the extreme poverty line of $1.25 per day in Rwanda. Through his research, CABI’s Dr Justice Tambo demonstrates how the country’s network of Plantwise plant clinics has helped farmers achieve bigger crops and net income gains of up to 23%.

The story

New research into the impact of the CABI-led Plantwise programme on smallholder farmers has revealed that its plant clinics have contributed to reducing incidences of extreme poverty in Rwanda by helping farmers manage crop-devastating pests and diseases.

Dr Justice Tambo, CABI scientist and lead author of a paper in the journal World Development, has shown how the country’s network of plant clinics has helped maize farmers fight fall armyworm and maize stalk borer to achieve crop yield gains of 28% and net income gains of 23%.

Working with the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board, Dr Tambo and colleagues from CABI’s centre in Kenya found the advice given to farmers has contributed to achieving a 5% reduction in the likelihood of a household falling below the extreme poverty line of $1.25 per day.

The results demonstrate that policies and programmes aimed at establishing and promoting farmers’ participation in plant clinics can contribute to increased agricultural productivity and poverty reduction.

Plantwise has set up a sustainable network of over 4,000 plant clinics in more than 30 countries around the world. The clinics are set in places where local agricultural advisory officers, known as plant doctors, advise farmers on the management of plant pests and diseases affecting their crops. In Rwanda, there are now 66 plant clinics and nearly 350 people trained to serve as plant doctors.

Dr Tambo says, “Around 40% of potential global crop production is lost each year to pests and diseases, putting a significant strain on a country’s ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of ‘No Poverty’ and ‘Zero Hunger’. This study complements the increasing body of evidence showing that Plantwise is having a positive impact on farmers’ knowledge on plant health, adoption of good agricultural practices and increases in yields and farm incomes.”

For more information about Plantwise, go to

Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty

Helping small-scale farmers improve their livelihoods by providing knowledge about plant health and access to markets.

Life on Land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, combat land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.