Join Trevor Nicholls and Michael Thompson from CABI for a breakfast presentation on the Plantwise programme at this year’s SX.
Plantwise aims to support Millennium Development Goals No.1 (Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger) and No.7 (Ensure environmental sustainability), and their successors in the post-2015 UN development agenda, which are anticipated to be even more ambitious. The presentation will provide an introductory overview of the programme and then discuss some of the latest developments, including feedback from recent monitoring and evaluation studies.
Plantwise aims to improve food security and rural livelihoods by reducing crop losses through providing diagnostic and advisory services to farmers on any crop, any problem. By the end of 2014, 33 countries were participating in the Plantwise programme, over 1400 clinics had been established and 1.9 million households received advice through direct and indirect reach of plant clinics and complementary activities.
The programme encourages plant doctors (trained extension staff) to offer plant health management advice guided by the principles of integrated pest management (IPM). If a chemical approach is unavoidable, farmers should be given objective advice on the rational use of an appropriate chemical. Plant doctors are trained to recommend only locally-registered and available pesticides, which are not restricted by international conventions.
Plantwise recognises the critical role of women in agriculture and therefore has developed a gender strategy (http://www.plantwise.org/strategy/plantwise-policies/). The Plantwise Online Management System (POMS) is now tracking data for all countries where data agreements are in place. This allows us to look at plant doctor performance, clinic attendance and crops grown by gender. Plantwise is also making increasing use of mobile phones and tablets in order to support and train plant doctors more effectively. The presentation will cover some of our experiences in this area, highlight linkages to other Australian initiatives and demonstrate a revolutionary simulation, delivered via mobiles or tablets, for continuous professional development of plant doctors’ diagnostic skills.
When? Friday 14 August, 7.30 – 8.30am
Where? Lily’s on the Lagoon, Twin Waters, Sunshine Coast
Registration is free but bookings are essential