The Plant Health Initiative Inception forum that was held on May 13, 2022 in Nairobi to commemorate Plant Health Day has unveiled new ideas on how to deal with the crop pest and disease problem in Third World countries.
The hallmark event that was convened at the Safari Park Hotel in the Kenyan capital brought together stakeholders from across the globe to find ways of protecting the agriculture-based economies of low and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America from devastating pest incursions and disease outbreaks.
Stakeholders at the Plant Health Initiative Inception Forum in Nairobi on May 13, 2022 [Photo-PlantVillage]
The forum deliberated a way forward through donor participation; the importance of having farmer engagement at the onset; bridging knowledge gaps and networks; guiding preparedness and rapid response; integrating disease and pest management solutions to threats; tools and processes for protecting food chains from mycotoxin contamination, among other things.
The meeting, which was composed of 30 percent women and 10 percent young people, featured a discussion on gender and social inclusiveness as a key factor in the success of plant health innovations.
Winnie Onyango, PlantVillage Dream Team coordinator in Kenya, demonstrated the organization's model with farmers that adheres to the gender and social inclusivess factor.
Technology was also unveiled as an important component of plant health innovations. One of the technologies showcased by speakers in the meeting was the AI-powered PlantVillage Nuru app, which is a diagnostic tool for crop pests and diseases.
One of the key speakers in the Plant Health Initiative Inception forum [Photo-PlantVillage]
The Current and Emerging Threats to Crops Innovation Lab was mentioned as a key collaborative partner who will work paralel to the International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Plant Health Initiative towards the goal of helping farmers deal with pests and diseases.
The initiative employs strategies to mitigate the impacts of pest and disease outbreaks through eco-friendly, socially inclusive and sustainable management approaches.
- Written by Sam Oduor