Kenyan farmers benefit from Plantwise plant clinics

Kenyan farmers benefit from Plantwise plant clinics

The overall impact is that crop losses due to pests and diseases have significantly reduced with the introduction of plant clinics by Plantwise.

Philip Makheti, Director of Crop Resources, Agribusines and Market Development at the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation

CONTEXT

Plantwise was launched in Kenya in 2010 to increase food security and transform rural livelihoods by reducing crops losses. It works by establishing networks of local plant clinics, where farmers get actionable and science-based agricultural advice from plant doctors.

OBJECTIVES

  • Increase food security and transform rural livelihoods by reducing crop losses.
  • Establish networks of local plant clinics.
  • Gather online and offline plant health information.
  • Collect data on farmers, crops and pests affecting them.
  • Strengthening national plant health systems to respond quickly to emerging plant health problems.

RESULTS

  • Improved yields, increased crop-based household incomes and reduction in pesticide usage.
  • Improved institutional coordination in national plant health systems, generating more knowledge, and improving the likelihood of detecting and responding to pest outbreaks.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • 2 800 plant clinics in 34 countries
  • 18.3 million farmers reached
  • 9 200 trained plant doctors

PARTNERS

TESTIMONY

Finding solutions to fight Fall Armyworn in Kenya

The rampant Fall Armyworm caterpillar arrived in Africa from the Americas in 2016, affected around 50,000 hectares of maize in Kenya alone in 2017, costing 25 per cent of the crop, according to government officials.

"We started looking for local solutions. We took liquid detergents and mixed it with some ash. Eventually we succeeded in fighting it off but the damage was already done. I lost about 50 per cent of my crop, others lost 70 per cent."

"We were using local innovations but it was more like guesswork."

This year, Mr Ngoda said he was better prepared thanks to training in detection and responsible pesticide use provided by the county government and NGOs such as Farm Input Promotions Africa (FIPs-Africa). He said he had applied pesticide to his crops once so far.

CropLife Kenya organises popular county farmer training sessions every month and CABI has more than 120 Plantwise clinics across Kenya where smallholders can bring in samples of their damaged crop to get expert advice on the necessary remedy.