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PlantwisePlus Knowledge Bank helps countries like Malawi prepare for crop health threats


CABI has upgraded the PlantwisePlus Knowledge Bank to provide reliable plant health information to smallholder farmers and extension experts worldwide. The free resource has over 15,000 pieces of plant health content and has been accessed by millions in 192 countries. In Malawi, extensionists use the Knowledge Bank to enhance their knowledge and skills and provide critical plant health information to farmers. It helps them prepare for risks, protect crops, and develop materials like pest management guides.

The story

Access to plant health knowledge is critical for the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers. It can make the difference between crops that succeed or fail. But for many farmers globally, finding reliable plant health information can be difficult. It can even be a challenge for the extension experts who support them.

To help solve this problem, CABI upgraded the PlantwisePlus Knowledge Bank. This plant health information resource helps smallholders, extension services, and many others identify pests and protect crops.

The PlantwisePlus Knowledge Bank is a free, open access resource featuring over 15,000 pieces of plant health content. Since its launch in 2012, it’s had over three million visits from people in 192 countries. In 2022, CABI conducted a survey to understand its benefits, usage, and users. The survey revealed the impact it’s having worldwide, including in Malawi.

Mr Eric Haraman is the Programme Manager for the Blantyre Agriculture Development Division in Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture. Here, extensionists use the PlantwisePlus Knowledge Bank as a resource to boost their knowledge and skills. In the survey, Mr Haraman explained that the tool has helped his team bring critical plant health information directly to farmers.

Specifically, it’s given them information about plant health problems not yet reported locally but observed in neighbouring countries. This has enabled them to prepare for risks and threats. Preparation is critical for safeguarding crops from invasive species and pest outbreaks. By doing this, it helps to protect farmer livelihoods.

“We have developed quite a number of extension materials such as factsheets for plant health problems of concern in Malawi. The PlantwisePlus Knowledge Bank has also assisted the Malawi plant health team to come up with over 50 pest management decision guides for specific important plant health issues facing the country,” he said. He explained that, in this way, the resource has helped Malawi as a country.

Sustainable Development Goals

No Poverty

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

Zero Hunger

Developing a sustainable food system that helps smallholders meet the world's growing need for food.

Gender Equality

Empowering women and young people to play a more powerful role in the future of agriculture.

Responsible Consumption and Production

Helping grow more from less land by introducing higher-yielding and environmentally responsible food production techniques.

Climate Action

Helping agricultural sector to supply sufficient, safe and nutritious food, embedded in a healthy and climate resilient landscape

Life on Land

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

Partnerships for the Goals

Organizations must develop and enhance partnerships to find the best and most sustainable solutions to the world's challenges.

Related projects


Farmers’ crops are increasingly at the mercy of climate change, pests and diseases. PlantwisePlus will work to help countries predict, prepare for and prevent potential threats and reduce crop losses. We will provide comprehensive support to countries and farmers so they meet the increasing global demand for quality food in a changing climate.

Start: 01/07/2021