Plantwise Impact: Results and Lessons from Pakistan
Published: November, 2019
This publication is a digest of a mixed-methods evaluation report of the impacts of CABI’s Plantwise programme in Pakistan (PW-P), undertaken by American Institutes for Research (AIR).
- Qualitative data showed that the trainings implemented as part of the Plantwise program successfully prepared Agricultural Officers (AOs) to act as plant doctors and to provide relevant advice to farmers. Plant clinics also increased AO’s direct contact with farmers.
- PW-P activities have led to some system-level changes in the geographic areas of focus for the evaluation. However, given the size of the program compared to the number of farmers, existing systems, and other external agriculture programs in the country, PW-P lacks the reach, scale, and influence to change systemic approaches to pest and disease control
- Results from quantitative studies show that Plantwise contributes to:
- Increased use of cultural practices such as planting early, weeding in a timely manner, or using traps.
- Pesticide risk reduction at the farmer level
- Increased farm productivity of farmers of all crops who use plant clinics and who reported their crops having plant health issues.
- A cost-benefit analysis of Plantwise in Pakistan shows that estimated monetary benefits outweigh the costs of implementing the program at a benefit-cost ratio of 1.2:1 and an internal rate of return of 28%.
Worldwide, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two-thirds of the earth’s growing population. Achieving a zero hunger world by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholder farmers – but their crops face a significant threat. Yearly, an estimated 40% of crops grown worldwide are lost to pests. If we could reduce crop losses by just 1%, we could potentially feed millions more people. The lack of access to timely, appropriate and actionable extension advice makes it a fundamental challenge for farmers to get the right information at the right time to reduce crop losses.