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The challenge

Today an estimated 40% of crops are lost each year to pests. Reducing this crop loss by just 1% could feed millions more people. Over a third of the world’s population is supported by 500 million smallholder farmers, so supporting farmers in their fight against pests is a global priority. Many factors combine to make this a more critical issue today than ever; nearly one billion people going hungry today; water and energy remaining scarce resources for many; climate change and globalisation speeding up the spread of new pests to new areas.

The solution

Plantwise is a global programme led by CABI, which works to help farmers lose less of what they grow to plant health problems. Working closely with national agricultural advisory services we establish and support sustainable networks of plant clinics, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers can find practical plant health advice. Plant clinics work similarly to clinics for human health: farmers visit with samples of their crops, and plant doctors diagnose the problem and make science-based recommendations on ways to manage it.

Plant clinics are reinforced by the Plantwise Knowledge Bank, a gateway to practical online and offline plant health information, including diagnostic resources, best-practice pest management advice and plant clinic data anlaysis for targeted crop protection. Together, these two unique resources are part of the Plantwise approach to strengthen national plant health systems from within. The stronger the national plant health system, the better equipped the country will be to help farmers provide a safe and sustainable food supply and improve their livelihoods.

The wider context

As well as helping farmers, Plantwise is strengthening national plant health systems from within by bringing the many different people who play a role in delivering knowledge to farmers together. These include extensionists, researchers, educators, policy makers, agricultural input suppliers, farmer organizations, NGOs and more. This is what we call plant health systems development, and it supports a country’s long-term sustainable agricultural production. We help stakeholders to build the knowledge, skills and long term linkages to provide farmers with the knowledge they need to lose less and feed more. We also listen to and learn from these stakeholders through a continual process of monitoring and evaluation, feeding the insights they give us back into our program.

Contact Plantwise

If you would like to discuss how you can get involved with Plantwise today.
+44 (0)1491 832111