Rwanda pioneers rapid responses to crop diseases
Published: January, 2016
For millions of Rwandan farmers crop pests and diseases are a constant threat. The Rwanda Agriculture Bureau (RAB) and Plantwise have worked together since 2011 to alert farmers to risks and provide effective solutions. Quick and decisive action is needed to prevent major losses from diseases such as banana xanthomonas wilt, cassava viruses and maize lethal necrosis disease. Plant clinics across the country give regular advice at fixed locations to farmers, but this is not enough.
Plant health rallies aim to take a more proactive approach, targeting specific pests and diseases and moving rapidly through rural communities to raise awareness of threats in short public events. This brief explains what the rallies have achieved in Rwanda, and draws on recent research by the University of Rwanda (UoR), supported by Plantwise, on extension campaigns.