KUWA SHUJAA NA PLANTVILLAGE NURU
(Be a hero with PlantVillage Nuru)
PlantVillage is a non-profit research group from Pennsylvania State University. It works directly with farmers to deliver an offline application that diagnoses crops in real-time and provide advice and prevention methods for the diseases.
PlantVillage project director Dr. John Chelal (plant pathologist at Moi University) together with the Dream teams has engaged many farmers in Busia County, Kenya.
Amongst these farmers is Roseline Akochi from Amukura who narrates her journey with PlantVillage in an interview with Mercyline Tata.
ROSELINE CASSAVA FARM
How long have you been with PlantVillage?
I have been with PlantVillage since 2018
How did you know about PlantVillage?
I am a lead farmer. I was selected to get trained as a lead farmer. I was then given cassava seeds to plant. We went to a lead farmer meeting at ARDAP and given smart phones with PlantVillage Nuru app. We were trained on how to use Nuru to help other farmers in our community.
What challenges were you facing initially as a farmer?
I had a big challenge. I can say I was in the dark. My cassavas were unhealthy and drying up on the farm. I thought it was drought because I couldn’t tell what was affecting them. It produced bitter flour. I used to think that maybe it was the soil or the fertilizer used on my maize that had affected the soil. I used to eat unhealthy cassava that was brown without knowing it was affected. Sometimes, the whole farm could dry up and I couldn’t harvest anything. I would remain hungry and poor.
ROSELINES’ CASSAVAS AT 7 MONTHS OLD USING NURU
How has PlantVillage helped you?
When I got the phone with the PlantVillage Nuru app, I could walk around on my farm knowing about CBSD, CMD, and CGM. It has also helped me educate my fellow farmers. I now know how to detect crop diseases on my farm and how to prevent the spread of infections to other crops. I now know that cassava affected by CBSD is unhealthy and that is why my cassava flour was bitter.
ROSELINE INSPECTING MAIZE USING PLANT VILLAGE NURU APP
PlantVillage has shown me light and now I can say am a Hero. People nowadays call me on their farms, especially during the planting season. I use the PlantVillage Nuru app to show them which seed is healthy to plant and which one is infected.
I am proud of PlantVillage because it supports me. It has also educated me about Fall Armyworm affecting maize. It has given me more agricultural knowledge that is why I am a hero.
What’s your expectation with PlantVillage?
I pray that PlantVillage will spread across Kenya. I can say that in the western region, PlantVillage is helping us a lot. It should spread to other regions like central, rift valley, coastal regions to help every farmer in Kenya.
For those of us who are trained and are now Heroes, we should be championing PlantVillage and help to educate other farmers.
Written By Mercyline Tata