Kenya: Plantwise app gives farmers help for crop troubles

plantwisePlantwise has launched an app in Kenya that helps to improve world food security and the livelihoods of farmers in developing countries and remote locations.

Provides knowledge and connectivity
The firm has developed the new Plantwise mobile app ‘Factsheets library,’ which gives plant specialists the knowledge and connectivity they need to advise farmers on handling pest problems with their crops. Farmers in rural areas who lack resources and knowledge on pests are often faced with devastating yield losses.

Android app accessible by farmers and plant doctors
The app is accessible to both farmers and plant doctors — experts with a background in agriculture who have received training to operate plant clinics where they diagnose and treat crop diseases. The app is being trialled on Android phones and on low-cost Lenovo A3000 tablets.

Aim is to provide food security
“The main goal of the app is to improve food security by enabling farmers to produce more for consumption,” says Tim Holmes, head of technical solutions for the Plantwise knowledge bank. This can be done in many ways, such as helping countries provide best-practice advice directly to farmers to safely manage crop problems and to secure food and income for their families.

Working with national partners in over 30 countries, networks of plant clinics are established, whereby plant doctors offer free plant health expertise and practical advice in dealing with pests.

Making a real difference to farmers
Margaret Simba, a farmer from Embu West district, Kenya, says: “With Plantwise app, a plant doctor detected and treated Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLN) in my farm”. “It is not like before when you had to wait for a very long time to get diagnoses for your crops’ diseases. Now it happens very fast,” she adds.


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