15 May 2019 – CABI is working with the University of Technology and Arts of Byumba (UTAB) in Rwanda to train more plant doctors who, as part of the Plantwise programme, help farmers identify and treat a range of pests and diseases which threaten their crops.
The agreement, recently signed between Dr Elizabeth Nambiro, Plantwise Regional Coordinator, Africa, and Prof Dr Fr Nyombayire Faustin, Vice Chancellor of UTAB, will see the fundamentals of how Plantwise works taught to second year students within the Faculty of Agriculture, Environmental Management & Renewable Energy.
CABI will provide technical support, including occasional guest lectures, on two modules – delivered as part of the teaching programme – as well as knowledge on other plant health-related topics. Pest Management Development Guides will also be produced alongside a range of extension and reference materials.
Plantwise is a global programme led by CABI, which helps farmers lose less of what they grow to plant health problems. It works closely with national agricultural advisory services as part of a global plant clinic network, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers can find practical plant health advice. Plant clinics work just like 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.
Dr Nambiro said, “CABI is delighted to be working in collaboration with UTAB to help increase the capacity for the Plantwise programme to have a positive impact upon the ability for farmers to grow more and lose less to crop pests and diseases.
“The shared expertise that both organisations bring as part of the partnership will not only result in more plant doctors being trained to eventually work in the field but also to upskill existing extension workers operating at plant clinics across Rwanda.”
CABI, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has been implementing the Plantwise programme through plant clinics in Rwanda since 2012. There are currently 66 plant clinics and 295 plant doctors providing expertise to help increase food security and improve rural livelihoods by reducing crop losses.
The University of Technology and Arts of Byumba published their own news story on the MOU ‘UTAB signs a partnership agreement with CABI.’
Find out more about the CABI-led Plantwise programme.