Meet Teacher Building a Livestock Farming Empire

Posted on December 2, 2021 by PlantVillage

No one else could be so enthusiastic about agriculture than an ambitious teacher in Umoja Village in Lugari, Kakamega County. The teacher is a determined entrepreneur and he intends to build it into a grand project, and make a fortune out of it.

Mwalimu Gilbert Okech, who teaches at Idavaga Muslim Secondary School in Mbale, Vihiga County, has already set up a fishery with five ponds, an apiary with 30 beehives, a dairy cattle pen, a pigsty, has a...Read more

Practical Solutions for Your Farm this Drought Season

Posted on November 23, 2021 by PlantVillage

Kenya is experiencing a drought season that normally hits the country between September and March before the onset of the long rains that persist until August.

The most severely hit areas in Kenya are the northern counties and those along the coastal line, such as Kilifi (where PlantVillage is advancing its operations).

PlantVillage goal is to help the smallholder farmer tackle such challenges brought about by climate change. PlantVillage...Read more

A new USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab housed at Penn State will help smallholder farmers around the world cope with pests in a climate-changed world

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Reducing the negative effects of pests, diseases and weeds on crops in a climate-changed world is the goal of a multi-institution team led by Penn State and funded by the U.S. Agency for...Read more

We all know that the excess carbon dioxide (CO2), a compound of carbon, is a result of industrialization, poor farming activities and human negligence resulting to destructive occurences such as deforestation and forest fires.

Long since before this, nature had its own way of cycling and balancing carbon. Practically, when a tree dies and decomposes, it releases carbon dioxide, methane and other gases. Movement of carbon and...Read more

PlantVillage founder and director David Hughes is among three chosen to lead the USAID's Feed the Future program's new innovation Lab on Current and Emerging threats to Crops after Penn State University won a whopping $39 million grant for the course.

"The lab will serve as a venue for a broad coalition of experts from around the world to collaborate on novel approaches...Read more

Climate change is the shift in weather conditions of a given place over a period of many years. Climate change can be solved through reducing emissions, adapting to the climate change and through agroforestry.

We are currently experiencing some of these weather changes which include flash floods, prolonged drought, increased temperatures, heat waves and increased warm and cold winds.

Before industrial...Read more

24 interns camp for 3-day training in Bungoma, Kenya

Posted on October 18, 2021 by PlantVillage

PlantVillage interns from different parts of Kenya camped at the County Green Hotel in Sikata, Kanduyi Sub-county in Bungoma County, for a 3-day training aimed at inducting them on a two-week long field activity.

Interns pose for a photo at the County Green Hotel in Bungoma County, Kenya.

The special event, overseen by the county director Dr. John Chelal, kicked off on Monday 11th October 2021 and ended on Thursday 14th October 2021. It brought...Read more

Lead Farmers Meet for Soil Analysis

Posted on October 16, 2021 by PlantVillage

At least 12 lead farmers from different parts of Busia County met at a home in Nambale Sub-county for a soil training session. In Bungoma County, farmers gathered in Kimilili to receive an interpretation of soil test results from their fields.

Led by Dr. Edwin Rotich, a biotechnologist and soil scientist lecturer at Moi University – and accompanied by officers from PlantVillage – the farmers got an interactive opportunity to learn about the...Read more

Cassava flour benefits and uses– your hearty kitchen companion

Posted on September 27, 2021 by PlantVillage

Cassava has, for a long time, existed in the traditional African recipe. The tuber crop, which comes in handy for its roots and leaves, used to form a great meal companion for our great grandparents– no wonder their robust health and fulfilling lives!

In this article, we are going to review the benefits that come with cassava flour, its uses in Kenya, and just exactly how you can make a fantastic recipe for a loving one, a...Read more

Engaging Youths through Innovations in Agriculture

Posted on August 12, 2021 by PlantVillage

This year theme of international youth day 2021 is transforming food system; Youth innovation for Human and Planetary Health’ with an aim of highlighting the global success achieved with participation of young people. The world has about 1.2 billion people aged between 15 and 24 years, making up 16% of the world’s population. With this enormours pool of potential,it is important to encourage young people to participate in feeding...Read more

PlantVillage University Seminar - Cassava Viruses

Posted on August 5, 2021 by PlantVillage

Cassava is the highest-produced fresh staple crop in Africa. In 2019 alone about 192 million tons of cassava were produced in Africa. After cassava, the most produced staple crops in Africa are maize, yam, banana, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and millet in descending order. Among all the major staple crops in Africa, cassava is the most adapted crop for climate change. Cassava is the only staple crop that is expected...Read more

PlantVillage University Seminar - Agroforestry

Posted on July 27, 2021 by PlantVillage

Agroforestry for Food Security and Climate Change in Africa


Agroforestry refers to growing woody perennials and crops and rearing animals in the same environment for ecological and economical benefit. Farmers practice agroforestry for optimal food, fiber and livestock production. Agroforestry provides multiple ecological and environmental benefits that helps communities not only adapt to climate change but also produce food sustainably. There...Read more


Posted on July 15, 2021 by PlantVillage

Agroforestry can simply be defined as agriculture with trees according to World Agroforestry. It is the interaction of agriculture and trees.

Agroforestry is the combined management of trees, shrubs and agricultural crops. This kind of diversification in farming is beneficial to the farmer and soil. FAO describes agroforestry as land-use systems where woody perennials (trees, shrubs, palms bamboo) are used on the same land as agricultural crops and / or animals. Example of trees that...Read more

Nature Based Solution for Fall Armyworm in Kenya

Posted on June 29, 2021 by PlantVillage

Fall armyworm is continuously threatening food security and the livelihood of hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that fall armyworm threatens maize crop worth USD 18 billion per year in Africa, near East and Asia-pacific. Using nature based solutions that is environmental friendly to manage this voracious pest is crucial.

In Kenya, PlantVillage dream team led by...Read more

Vaccinating for fall armyworm

Posted on June 23, 2021 by PlantVillage

We previously wrote about the use of natural enemies like parasitoid wasps that help farmers combat the terrible fall armyworm. This is work that we have been doing with the excellent team at icipe. You can see a video of the release we did with Dr Peter Malusi and Dr Tadele Tefera of icpie.

We had not expected to start releasing the parasitoid wasps since by the time we met up with Dr Malusi the maize had already grown to over knee height and had plenty of...Read more

Demo plots establishment in Kilifi County

Posted on June 3, 2021 by PlantVillage

PlantVillage operates in 3 Sub Counties in Kilifi; Kilifi South, Kilifi North and Malindi. PlantVillage interacts with farmer groups or individual farmers. For most groups, a lead farmer is identified and equipped with a smartphone and trained on the use of PlantVillage Nuru Application. They then scout their farms, those of their neighbours and other group for pests and diseases. They receive immediate diagnosis and advice on how to manage the pests or...Read more

Cassava Pest and Diseases

Posted on May 13, 2021 by PlantVillage

A farmer planting cassava will never lack food in their farm regardless of the season. It is a drought resistant crop grown mostly in parts of Africa.

Do you know that cassava can be infected by diseases? Many farmers do not know of this and would blame low yields on high temperatures. Below are some of the pest and diseases causing low cassava yield:

Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD)

This is a viral disease thus has no cure. Signs and symptoms of CBSD are mostly...Read more

In the recent concluded virtual event, PlantVillage was privileged to participate as well as contribute to Mercy Corps AgriFin 5th Annual Learning Event. PlantVillage Founder and Professor in Pennsylvania State University, David Hughes together with CEO Annalyse Kehs were among speakers who delivered session on Moonshoot technology innovations tackling climate change with smallholder farmers.PlantVillage Nuru was...Read more

PlantVillage has successfully distributed clean cassava cuttings in the month of April, 2021 to farmers in Kilifi, Bungoma and Busia counties. More than 96 bags of clean cuttings of different varieties have been given to new lead farmers and their groups to multiply. Upon harvest, the lead farmers are expected to share the cuttings with their group members.

Cuttings distribution in Bungoma
This exercise has only been made possible as a result of collaborative...Read more

Reaping huge with Cassava farming in Kilifi

Posted on April 20, 2021 by PlantVillage

Mr. Nzaro plants cassava in 6 acres of his  farm. He is also a certified cassava seed enterprenuer in Mtepeni ward Kilifi county. He plants the Tajirika variety which does  very well in the coastal region. Nzaro is well conversent with cassava agronomic practices and earns about ksh 1,000,000 /USD 9,282 annually just from cassava. Now lets break this down and see how he gets such returns.

An acre plot carries about four...Read more

Using the links below,you can now access articles featuring PlantVillage efforts in the fight against the invasion of desert locust.

...Read more


Posted on April 12, 2021 by PlantVillage

Access recent news and stories featuring PlantVillage Nuru using the external links below:

...Read more

Irrigation to curb climate change in Kilifi county

Posted on March 30, 2021 by PlantVillage

Irrigation is a process of harvesting and applying water to the land to supplement inadequate rainfall and fulfill the water requirement of the crops throughout the crop period. There are different types of irrigation methods;

  • Drip Irrigation
  • Sprinkler Irrigation
  • Manual irrigation
  • Furrow Irrigation
  • Flood Irrigation
  • Basin irrigation

Kazungu Tambo,a farmer in Madunguni ward Kilifi County says that the rainfall patterns in the area have...Read more

Fall Armyworm(FAW) has become a major pest in Kenya, causing losses of about a third of the annual maize production, estimated at about 1 million tonnes. A field survey conducted in March 2017 and other current reports have confirmed presence of fall armyworm in the following counties: Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Kericho, Baringo, Nakuru and Busia. The pest is causing damage on off-season...Read more

PlantVillage Operations in Bungoma

Posted on March 17, 2021 by PlantVillage

The basic need for human survival; food, shelter and clothing are all dependent on agriculture for their production. Technology is present in all parts of our day to day lives. The main form of technology used by nearly 80% of world population is mobile technology. The number leads us to conclude that we have ability to use mobile technology to help farmers improve their agricultural production.

As the world is revolutionized, PlantVillage has harnessed the...Read more


Posted on March 12, 2021 by PlantVillage

Kilifi Agricultural Sector Development Support Program (ASDSP) in collaboration with Agricultural Training Center (ATC) Mtwapa conducted a Ward Agricultural Officers(WAOs) three day training on cassava good agricultural practices in Malindi Pearl Hotel from 1st to 3rd March 2021. PlantVillage had the privilege to attend and take part in training the WAOs about PlantVillage Nuru App.

Kilifi County government has put more effort in cassava production and...Read more


Posted on March 11, 2021 by PlantVillage


PlantVillage Nuru ni Nini?

  • Nuru ni akili bandia katika utambuzi wa magonjwa na wadudu wanaoshambulia mazao.
  • Nuru ina uwezo wa kutambua uwepo wa magonjwa kwa kuangalia dalili zinazoonekana katika majani.
  • Programu ya Nuru ina uwezo wa kutambua magonjwa ya michirizi kahawia,batobato na athari za tanabui katika mihogo. Pia inaweza kutambua athari zinazoletwa na viwavi jeshi katika mahindi.

Faida za programu ya Nuru

  • Ina uwezo wa kufanya uchunguzi na kutoa...Read more

Success story:Mobile App used to select clean cassava cuttings

Posted on January 26, 2021 by PlantVillage

Boniface Omollo is a recognized cassava seed entrepreneur from Sijowa Village in Samia Sub County in Busia County. He has worked with organizations such as REFSO Busia, KALRO Kakamega, IITA Kampala and PlantVillage Kenya in introducing improved and clean cassava varieties in Busia County. Over the years, there has been a challenge of accessing clean planting materials. As a result, farmers source cheap and diseased local cassava...Read more

New DreamTeam Expectations

Posted on January 20, 2021 by PlantVillage

2021 started with a bang here in Plantvillage with so many activities expected to take place this year .One of them is the expansion of the DreamTeam Kenya to other counties , which are Kilifi county and Bungoma county .

17 recent graduates from different universities across the country have joined the DreamTeam .They were welcomed with an intensive training in Busia County .The training was led by the senior DreamTeam members and Mr. wafula ,an Agricultural ...Read more

Sugarcane farming in Busia,Kenya

Posted on December 8, 2020 by PlantVillage

Francis Mwalungo Charo is a farmer from Ujam village in Adungosi in Busia County practicing sugarcane farming on his 2 acres piece of land. With the help of his family of three, he also plant other crops such as pawpaw, okra, eggplant, soya beans, cassava, arrowroots and maize both for subsistence and commercial use.

As an experienced farmer of sugarcane, this is what he does;

Planting material

Francis mainly uses Nigeria C0945 variety of cuttings. This variety...Read more


Posted on December 2, 2020 by PlantVillage

Adverse climate change has propelled farmers to build resilience .In Matavi Village, Samia Sub County, Busia County, we find the Muliro family - our very own climate activist.

The three brothers; Antony Pilly, Fredric Muliro and Augustine Muliro have taken actions to reduce the long term effect of climate change in their village. These are some of the actions taken;


Samia Sub County is characterized with high temperatures and unseasonable...Read more


Posted on October 21, 2020 by PlantVillage

Climate change has devastating effects to farmers in arid and semi-arid regions depending on rainfall for agricultural production.

To mitigate the water stress in agriculture, Tom Okinda from Mundika region in Busia County, has been practicing mulching.Tom started farming in 2007 after job retrenchment. Due to limited water, he started applying organic mulch on his crops and noticed how beneficial this practice was.

Mulching is the technique of...Read more

P.S.U.Ndergrads Fall 2020

Posted on October 13, 2020 by PlantVillage

Each semester, PlantVillage at Pennsylvania State University, has a large following of undergraduates across all disciplines that work with us for credits. We want to honor their hard work and innovative abilities by sharing some of their stories. Please feel free to reach out to the PlantVillage team if you want to learn more! 

Julieann Patarini - Hi! My name is Julieann Patarini and I'm a senior studying Biology. I've had the opportunity to grow up in...Read more

Weed Control Using Mucuna

Posted on October 6, 2020 by PlantVillage

Moses Odwali is a Seed entrepreneur and a very dedicated farmer from Teso South, Busia County. He owns ½ an acre piece of land in Asing'e village where he has established his homestead, a zero grazing unit and farming land where he grows cassava and fodder crops. Due to limited land, He has leased an acre in the neighborhood to grow maize and cassava for cuttings and tubers.

Moses has set aside ¼ of his land as a Cassava demo plot. He has planted MM...Read more

Getting LOST can be good..

Posted on September 18, 2020 by PlantVillage

PlantVillage AI engineers Rohit Gangupantulu and Peter McCloskey, have successfully utilized open access resources on GitHub to design and develop an image annotation software. The LOST (Label Objects and Save Time) tool allows our experts (located globally) and undergraduates at Penn State annotate images in batches, online, all within the web browser. This erases the need for annotators to: 1) be in our lab facility  2) need extra resources (hardware/software)...Read more

Farmers guide to Tomato Farming

Posted on September 15, 2020 by PlantVillage

Stephen Wedaba is a remarkable farmer with PlantVillage diversifying in Cassava, sweet potatoes and tomatoes in Nambomboto, Busia County. Wedaba makes a fortune from tomato farming in his ¾ acre field. Despite low rainfall in his region, he does hand watering to his tomatoes to ensure the plants get adequate water supply. From an interview with him, this is what you need to know about tomato farming.

Conditions for tomato growing

Tomatoes thrive in...Read more


Posted on August 31, 2020 by PlantVillage


Helen Barasa is a cassava agripreneur from Kajoro village, Nambale in Busia County. She started cassava production in the year 2000 and has since diversified to other crops like maize, soya and sweet potato.

Across the years, organizations such as Ministry of Agriculture, ARDAP, SHA and PlantVillage have helped her shift from  Agriculture to Agribusiness.

Helen’s farm has fetched great interest from farmers and organizations...Read more


Posted on August 17, 2020 by PlantVillage

This month (August) marks a one year anniversary of PlantVillage Dream team in Kenya. 

The Dream team is composed of young graduates tasked with offering extension services, field mapping, knowledge sharing and training of small holder farmer on how to use mobile technology to improve farming.

Dream team started with 10 graduates in August, 2019 and has since expanded to 12 Dream Team members in Busia, Kenya and 52 locust team members in Northern...Read more


Posted on July 30, 2020 by PlantVillage

Joseph Khaleke is a PlantVillage farmer from Kitale County Kesogon village whose goal is to be able to have a sustaining and well balanced food source from his farm by 2021. Joseph grows varieties of crops including different fruits. Currently, his farm has bananas, millet, passion fruits and sweet potatoes propagated for commercial purposes.

Joseph yields have increased from accessing Free farming knowledge from PlantVillage. He now...Read more


Posted on July 24, 2020 by PlantVillage

Bee farming is a profitable venture of keeping bees for productive purpose. Charles Sioka is an established bee keeper in Samia region Busia County. He sells pure honey and value added product like body creams. Charles has his own brand of body cream called Baselines body cream produced from bee wax, and other additives like honey and aloe Vera. If you want to start bee keeping,this is what you need to know.

What is the Cost of starting bee...Read more


Posted on July 14, 2020 by PlantVillage

Striga also known as witchweed is a parasitic weeds that affect cereal crops in many parts of Africa, reducing production to a complete loss of the crop. The most affected crops are maize, sorghum, rice and sugarcane. Striga weed puts its root onto the roots of maize or sorghum plant thus taking the food the maize or sorghum crop is trying to get from the soil. Each striga plant produce up to 20,000-50,000 seeds, which lie dormant in the soil until...Read more


Posted on June 30, 2020 by PlantVillage

In Western Kenya 83% of farmers engaged with PlantVillage are women. Alice Otwane from Kamarinyang in Busia County is a small holder farmer planting Maize, sweet potatoes, cassava, banana, groundnuts, vegetables for both commercial and subsistence purposes.

As a parent, she practices agriculture to provide food and income for her family. Alice attributes her constant source of food to cassava crops because of their potential to manage multiple risks such...Read more


Posted on June 22, 2020 by PlantVillage

Conditions for Onion Farming

Onions perform well in well drained, fertile, sandy loam, non-compacted soils. The ideal pH is 5.8 to 6.8. Soil test with accredited laboratories is important.

The ideal temperatures onions need to grow are between 13 – 35 degrees centigrade. This means that onions can grow in most parts of Kenya. Onions are a cool season crop. Most areas in Ukambani and the Coastal region are extremely dry. 1 kg of seedlings can be used in 1 acre while 20...Read more


Posted on June 17, 2020 by PlantVillage

Sylvester Ouma is a farmer with PlantVillage from Bwiri location, Samia Sub County, Namuduru Sub Location, Ganga area. He is the local chief and the owner of one of the three aggregation centers in Busia County. The rest are in Teso North and Teso South.

This aggregation center was established in 2018 as a result of high demand from cassava farmers requesting cassava processing.

Sylvester acquired his processing machine from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)...Read more

Successful Behaviour Change Story of Amos Ejakati

Posted on June 10, 2020 by PlantVillage

Amos Ejakati is a farmer with PlantVillage Nuru from Amagoro, Keng’atunyi Sub Location, Malaba South Ward in Busia County. He plants different crops like maize, banana, sweat potato and cassava.

Amos is devoted in ensuring the community within embrace change in their Cassava farming.

His Cassava farming has progressed ever since he learnt more about cassava and its pest and diseases from PlantVillage. He plants Mygeria and MK94 variety.

...Read more

Hilda Murunga is a cassava seed entrepreneur in Busia County. Her cassava cuttings business has experienced increase in profits which she attributes her success to PlantVillage Nuru. She sells cassava variety mm96 6966.

This is what she had to say,

''I use PlantVillage Nuru app on my farm to scout my cassava plant. When I scan the cassava leaves, it shows the disease affecting my crop.

When the app detects cassava viral...Read more


Posted on May 26, 2020 by PlantVillage

Stages in post-harvest handling of common beans

Drying. Dry the common beans before threshing them. Thresh them before they properly dry results in damage on pods. Dry the pods on raised platforms, plastic, mat to avoid contact with moisture and other impurities.

It is advisable to do the threshing when the moisture level is 14-15%, If the seeds are too dry, the pods can be easily damaged during threshing, thresh the pods manually by beating with a...Read more


Posted on May 22, 2020 by PlantVillage



Nipande mihogo bora sio bora nipande mihogo


Joyce Apam from Busia County, Kenya is one happy farmer experiencing positive changes in her maize field after following the advice from PlantVillage. 

When did you join PlantVillage?

I joined 2018 when PlantVillage was introduced in Busia County.

What advice do you get from PlantVillage?

PlantVillage gives weather updates. They also respond to questions asked through their...Read more


Posted on May 15, 2020 by PlantVillage


PlantVillage empowers small holder farmers by availing free Agriculture knowledge through mobile phones and farm visits.

Patrick Osangir, a PlantVillage farmer in Busia County, Teso North sub County, Angurai south ward has access to knowledge that help him grow more food.

What do you grow in your farm?

I plant mainly maize and cassava. I also plant tomatoes, bananas, beans, groundnuts and kales. Farming is a source of income that I use to pay bills such as...Read more


Posted on May 8, 2020 by PlantVillage


Desert locust are the most destructive migratory pest that ravages crops and threatens food security. A small swarm of locust consume the equivalent of food for 3500 people in just one day.

Currently, the horn of Africa is suffering its worst desert locust outbreak in decades. A second much larger wave of locusts is causing destruction on vast scale. The second generation breads to produce younger and more aggressive swarms that requires urgent control...Read more


Posted on April 17, 2020 by PlantVillage

Digital connectivity is vital in maintaining relations especially now with Covid_19 pandemic. PlantVillage has enforced work at home policy by operating virtually through mobile technologies. There is regular updates between staffs located in different countries via constant zoom call meetings. Also, the Dream team members’ makes regular phone calls to farmers to advise them on various agricultural aspects and how to use our mobile phone...Read more


Posted on April 10, 2020 by PlantVillage

Help flatten the curve by playing your part in the farm

Governments have issued directives urging people to stay at home and work from home to minimize spread of the Covid-19. The virus has affected the daily households operations including smallholder farmers. With planting season in play and farmers outsourcing farm workers to prepare the land or conduct other farming activities, it’s important for farmers to help with flattening the Covid-19 curve....Read more


Posted on April 7, 2020 by PlantVillage

PlantVillage SMS program to Target Kenyan Farmers

PlantVillage SMS program is a free to use mobile platform offering small holder farmers access to free pool of information.

The SMS program has grown exponentially since January 3rd, 2020 when the SMS service was officially launched and operational in Kenya. The SMS platform has provided thousands of farmers across different counties in Kenya an opportunity to register and get information on the best farm...Read more

PlantVillage is the frontline tool for the United Nations as it tackles locusts across East Africa which the United Nations considers a humanitarian issue affecting 19 million people. We also work for the UN on their global fall armyworm platform which is another pest insect causing losses of food  from  West Africa to China.  PlantVillage operates via apps that run AI tools inside the...Read more

Successful stories of cassava farmers in Busia County

Posted on March 23, 2020 by PlantVillage


Josephine Arisat Earns from her Cassava Farming


Josephine Arisat from Asing’e location in Busia County has been growing Cassava since 1995. With climatic change and its consequences; root and tuber crops provides a suitable choice to her as they exhibit higher tolerance threshold to stress such as water and heat.

“Initially, I was planting Cassava for subsistence purpose in a two acre...Read more

Technologies Learned From ICIPE Visit

Posted on March 6, 2020 by PlantVillage

Technologies to curb Fall Armyworm in Kenya

Kenya has always relied on maize production for it’s domestic as well as exports need. However, constraints such as drought, pests, and diseases have hindered this. The invasion of Fall Armyworm in Kenya has made an already bad situation worse.

Digital tools such as PlantVillage have put tremendous efforts in identifying the diseases and pest problems. PlantVillage Nuru is an offline Artificial Intelligence...Read more

Dream Team Visit to ICIPE

Posted on February 21, 2020 by PlantVillage



The international Centre for insect physiology and ecology (ICIPE) was established in 1970 in direct response to the need for alternative and environmentally friendly pest and vector management strategies. ICIPE has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and is mandated to conduct research and develop methods that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing and which are affordable to resource-limited rural and...Read more

Locust swarms

Posted on February 21, 2020 by PlantVillage

As you no doubt have seen East Africa is threatened by massive locusts swarms. In Kenya, they are the worse people have seen in 75 years. They threaten the livelihood of 19 million people according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation. 


After the last locust upsurge in 2003–2005, FAO developed a tool to enable national locust officers in frontline countries from West Africa to India to record observations in the field and transmit the data...Read more

Penn State Team Travel - India, 2020

Posted on February 17, 2020 by PlantVillage


Hello PlantVillage Community! 

A fun break from our usual Dream Team blogs, we have an update on travel from the Penn State Team! Engineers, Pete McCloskey and Annalyse Kehs, traveled to India for 2 weeks from January 25 - February 8, 2020. We had the privileged opportunity to attend the Global Potato Conclave. The first 3 days were spent fruitfully engaging with other researchers in the potato space. We learned about new research being done on potato...Read more

NURU Addressing Food Security in Kenya

Posted on February 13, 2020 by PlantVillage

Climate change is already affecting agricultural production in Africa threatening food security. Chapter 4 of the foresight Africa 2020 report says,

“As climate change threatens means of production and the nutrition of the continents people, policies centered around leveraging science and digital technology and addressing fragility hold the greatest promise to address FOOD SECURITY challenges”

Digital technology has helped transform the lives of...Read more


                                                                                                          (Be a hero with PlantVillage...Read more

Mr. Dunclapperton Omeru Memoir

Posted on January 21, 2020 by PlantVillage


PlantVillage Nuru is saddened by the sudden demise of late Mr. Dunclapperton Omeru on 10th January 2020 and would like to express our deep condolences to the family of the deceased, who will be laid to rest on 24th January 2020.

Mr. Omeru worked with PlantVillage as a seed entrepreneur since last year in Busia County Kenya. He came across as a very active and spirited person who took part in reaching out to other farmers to educate them on...Read more

The Dream Team 2020 expectations

Posted on January 15, 2020 by PlantVillage

The Dream Team 2020 expectations

Buckle up! The bar has been raised.


Another year full of expectations and like everybody, Dream Team expects growth. With New Year come new expectations, new resolutions, new strategies, new goals and plans. Dream team members have also set their New Year expectations and we couldn’t wait to share with everyone to help us grow. The team is as ready as ever to take up their new roles and responsibilities in ensuring that...Read more

2019 Wrap-Up & 2020 Expectations

Posted on January 2, 2020 by PlantVillage

Happy New Year PlantVillage community! While 2019 is over and 2020 has begun, whether we were ready or not, there is plenty to reminisce about over the past year. Below is a brief highlight of the major events that occurred at PlantVillage during 2019. 

  • Dream Team in Busia, Kenya

What started as a concept idea in June by Dr. John Chelal, plant pathologist lecturer at Moi University and PlantVillage’s project director, led to a full team deployment in...Read more

If you are a fitness enthusiast and a lover of nature, then you should have fun reading this. One day you wake up and, Hey, we’re heading up the hills. So here we have two places, “Apatit” and another “Akitu Kare” translated to “two” mouths by the locals. Funny, right?

 So we head to the two mouths. The place is well endowed with beautiful rock structures and some tough...Read more

The Dream Team Blog 5: Cultures and Beliefs of Teso Community

Posted on December 4, 2019 by PlantVillage


The Teso people are plain Nilotes who came from Sudan and came to Kenya through Uganda where they separated with the Karamojong community who remained in Uganda. They are an ethnic group in Eastern Uganda and Western Kenya. The Kenyan group entered Kenya through Malaba. Malaba is a Teso name meaning “crossing”. They settled in some regions of around Busia county and named the place...Read more

The Dream Team Blog 4: Crops, Diseases, and More!

Posted on November 25, 2019 by PlantVillage

Busia county has been our home base for the past four months. Butula, Budalangi, Matayos, and Samia are the sub-counties that we visit. These-sub counties are more diverse with different tribes mainly; Luyha, Luo and Iteso. This makes it easier for us to communicate with people around Swahili being the common language shared. Our main aim is to reach out to the small scale farmers and disseminate information which has been possible with the help of...Read more

The Dream Team Blog 3: Working with Farmers for a Solution

Posted on November 18, 2019 by PlantVillage

Cassava is indispensable to food security in Busia. It is a staple food that is widely consumed, as it is a hardy crop that can be stored in the ground for a long period of time. It is used as a fallback source of food that can save lives during famine. Despite cassava being a major crop in the county, it has received relatively little attention compared to other Staples such as maize. The crop has long been threatened by the cassava brown...Read more

Dream Team Blog 2: The Border County

Posted on November 12, 2019 by PlantVillage


In the South of Mt. Elgon, Teso plains offer sandy loam soils where most of the tuber crops do very well. The Iteso tribe is one of the plain Nilotic groups that adopted farming rather than pastoralism. Cassava is the main crop found in this area.  It is a source of food to almost every home and a cash crop for some of the farmers. They even have crisps and baking flour made from cassava. The Iteso people are so welcoming and most of them are eager...Read more

The Dream Team: An introduction

Posted on November 5, 2019 by PlantVillage

Inspired by the Dream Team’s in-field experiences

Hello, PlantVillage community! It has been quite the eventful and spectacular summer. We were fortunate to gain a new collaboration between us (PlantVillage at Penn State University), United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (UN FAO) and Moi University located in Eldoret, Kenya. This new partnership with Moi University began as an effort to engage and integrate Kenyan youth into agricultural and farming...Read more

Josephine is a farmer in Western Kenya who had a serious problem. In fact, more than one. She is one of the 28,000 farmers within the Self Help Africa (SHA) network, spread across 7 counties in Kenya. Through a large EU funded project SHA is building climate resiliency into these communities and promoting profit-making at the farm gate by helping farmers grow more cassava. This crop is widely recognized...Read more

Climate change happening now in Kenya

Posted on April 28, 2019 by PlantVillage

The long rains in Kenya have failed according to Acting Deputy Director of Kenya Meteorological Department Bernard Chanzu quoted in the Nairobi News.

Mr Chanzu blamed the failed rains on climate change.

According to Mr Chanzu, there’s no immediate rainfall in the horizon  and all the signs point to this state persisting to the end of the season.


“The bigger picture about prolonged dry spell which means a...Read more

As you may know, we have been beta testing our AI assistant, Nuru, that is capable of diagnosing cassava viral and mite diseases in Busia County, Kenya.  We work with farmers in the Self Help Africa network. There are 28,000 farms in this network across 7 counties being helped by this excellent charity. The charity is trying to promote cassava which is a climate resilient crop. The farmers grow mainly maize, cassava, and...Read more

Overview of the PlantVillage app

Posted on March 28, 2019 by PlantVillage

We wanted to create an overview of the PlantVillage app. We have both an android and iphone version. It is only the android version which can use the TensorFlow AI tool to diagnose diseases.

Here is an annotated guide to the PlantVillage app


This is the first page you see 


When you click on the flashing icon you see 4 choices 

A key feature of PlantVillage is...Read more

Oh My-Ailanthus!”

Posted on July 22, 2018 by PlantVillage

From black instars to red to adult flies, the Spotted Lanternflies are quickly approaching their adult phase and the PlantVillage team is on top of it! Working closely with Don Seifrit, extension educator and Karen George, Master Gardener, we are continually collecting data from sticky bands down in the Reading and Lancaster areas. This past Wednesday, Annalyse and Pete went down again to capture more images and talk with locals on this pest.



In past visits, Annalyse...Read more

Nuru at 2 weeks

Posted on July 9, 2018 by PlantVillage

It has been just two weeks since Nuru was released in her Beta or test phase. Our goal is to get her out there and understand how she performs. The strength of Nuru is that she works off-line and so can be used across regions where internet connectivity is poor or not present. But of course, we have to make sure that the diagnosis that she is providing is correct. So, in these two weeks, we have been testing Nuru with scientists who work in UN FAO field offices in Ethiopia, Zambia,...Read more

Spotted Lantern Fly Project in PA

Posted on June 8, 2018 by PlantVillage

The PlantVillage team is working on a problem that is locally important too. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is experiencing a big problem at the moment with an invasive insect called Spotted Lantern Fly. This is a  plant-feeding insect that can cause a lot of damage to crops like grape, but also is a massive problem to the timber industry because it prevents exports from Pennsylvania to other states.  You can learn more about that pest...Read more

Be aware and beware crop-pathogen-environment interactions

Posted on April 18, 2018 by PlantVillage

By Rob Williams 

We are all aware that different genotypes (varieties, cultivars) within a crop species can react very differently to pathogens and pathogen-vectors. This allows the selection and development of disease-resistant crop varieties.

We should also understand that the same crop genotype, i.e. a single variety or cultivar, can produce very different reactions to a specific pathogen even at one location in response to local...Read more

TensorFlow Summit

Posted on April 10, 2018 by PlantVillage

On March 30th we attended Google's TensorFlow summit where a documentary commissioned by Google featured our work using TensorFlow for cassava farmers. Amanda Ramcharan and Pete McCloskey from PlantVillage were joined by Latifa Mrisho from IITA. It was a very exciting event and wonderful to have Google feature us after many years of support. Many thanks to Pete Warden and Vint Cerf for their continued support. 

Amanda, Pete and Latifa also got to meet Jeff Dean who is...Read more

New site layout

Posted on March 28, 2018 by PlantVillage

Hi folks We are launching a new look to PlantVillage. The goal is to provide more details on the capacity building we are doing with extension services, and to showcase our work with AI, drones, satellites and other tech we think can help smallholder farmers. more soon -david

World Bank event and NURU testing in IITA

Posted on March 7, 2018 by PlantVillage

Hi all We are having a busy week here. I spent Monday and Tuesday in DC at the World Bank Annual Agriculture meeting. We got to share our work with field officers from the bank who are stationed across the world. We unveiled our AI assistant NURU which people were really impressed with. Still in the beta version but the potential is extremely high and people recognized that which is great. At the same time I was chatting the team in Tanzania (team leader,...Read more

Blog is back

Posted on February 24, 2018 by PlantVillage

Hi all We will be starting up the blog again to provide updates and general news

Plant Viruses: Friends and Foes

Posted on October 2, 2014 by PlantVillage

Tomatoes Build Pesticides From The Smells Of Their Neighbours

Posted on May 23, 2014 by PlantVillage

Tomatoes Build Pesticides From The Smells Of Their Neighbours

How many crops feed the world?

Posted on May 12, 2014 by PlantVillage

How many crops feed the world?

Keeping Up With The Plant Destroyers

Posted on May 7, 2014 by PlantVillage

Keeping Up With The Plant Destroyers

PlantVillage 2.0

Posted on March 24, 2014 by PlantVillage

It's hard to believe that it's already been a bit over a year since with launched PlantVillage. We're excited how well it has fared. We'll spare you the numbers for now, but we're breaking usage records on a almost a daily basis now. Today we are excited to announce PlantVillage 2.0. As you browse around, you will find two major upgrades: 1. Content is more accessible now. It's easier to jump between library entries and Q & As. The site also looks gorgeous on a any mobile device....Read more

A tale of two villages

Posted on March 23, 2013 by PlantVillage

Growing our own food is a hallmark of human societies. It is the single biggest technological achievement we have made as a species and the ways we grow food are always changing, always adapting, always evolving. It is important to realize that nothing is written in stone and we can change things in which ever way we want. Here at PlantVillage we think about the potential for change a lot. We think about how people growing food- whether that are in Nebraska or Nigeria -could...Read more


Posted on March 12, 2013 by PlantVillage

We're excited to announce that we just rolled out a major new feature: badges. Badges is PlantVillage's way of showing others how much you have contributed, and how much the community valued your contributions. You can get badges for providing answers, questions, comments; for getting picked as the provider of most helpful answers; for participating in the community by voting; etc. Example of badges
Example of badges
Badges come in three levels: level 1 (brown), level 2 (green), and level 3 (gold). Level 1...Read more

Some like it hot!

Posted on March 1, 2013 by PlantVillage

As you know, PlantVillage is all about knowledge sharing on edible plants. And as we post new plants, we provide some small details to go with on our blog. Today we have a plant that many people say is inedible - so why is it still here on PlantVillage? It is of course the Chili Pepper. The name Chili Pepper refers to the fruit of a number of different species of plants in the genus Capsicum, including Capsicum annuum (e.g. jalapeños and cayennes), C. frutescens (e.g. tabasco and...Read more

New plants & new features

Posted on February 27, 2013 by PlantVillage

It's always growing season at PlantVillage! Even though we just launched less than a month ago, the user base and the number of contributions are growing rapidly. At the same time, PlantVillage itself is growing up - both in terms of content, and in terms of the features that we're adding. We've just added four new plants: Anise Bergamot Black Pepper Cassava, or Manioc which brings our total of plants to 88. We're also adding a new feature that we think will help people find...Read more

New crop alert: Cocoa-The food of the Gods

Posted on February 21, 2013 by PlantVillage

PlantVillage is constantly updating and we add new crops regularly. When we do we will make an announcement here on our blog. Drumroll please: We have a Cocoa page! Of the 80 plus crops we have now I would have to say Cocoa is the one I get most excited about. This is a tree from the Upper Amazon that was widely cultivated by the Mayans and Incas of South America well before Europeans arrived. The first European to discover it was none other than...Read more

Common knowledge and experts

Posted on February 17, 2013 by PlantVillage

There is a wonderful event in the study of plant diseases which goes like this. In the fields of Bordeaux in SW France there are lots of grapes. The wine is world famous and growing grapes has long been a mainstay of the economy. It is said that in the 19th Century, farmers would prevent local kids from stealing and eating their grapes by applying a foul tasting dye along the pathways where young boys walked. During periodic epidemics of fungal diseases, a now famous...Read more

The inaugural PlantVillage post: Part 2

Posted on February 16, 2013 by PlantVillage

Like David, I’m super excited about PlantVillage. PlantVillage is a simple idea – provide an open access system to connect people, helping each other to grow food. It seems easy enough, and in 2013, you would think that such a system exists. We looked at some of the systems out there, and we didn’t like what we saw, so we decided that we’d like to build a better system. The features that we built into PlantVillage – ease of use, open access, community driven–...Read more

The inaugural PlantVillage post: Part 1

Posted on February 16, 2013 by PlantVillage

This is the inaugural blog post for PlantVillage. So some explanation of why it has come about and the history behind the platform is needed. Humans are agriculturalists! Perhaps the most important invention our species made was the ability to grow crops. And since the beginning, knowledge of better ways to grow has spread between people. But things have changed in recent decades for a number of reasons. For the first time in our history more than half of us...Read more
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