Sustainability of Plantwise: an assessment after 10 years of the programme
Published: March, 2021
The global Plantwise programme has been operating since 2011 and is currently implemented in 30 countries, working with more than 200 partner organisations across Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Plantwise has been demonstrated to be a working concept for the effective delivery of plant health information to smallholder farmers. However, it is critically important that CABI interventions contribute to lasting positive change beyond the end of direct Plantwise funding, hence the need to assess the sustainability1 of activities across the 30 Plantwise countries. At this advanced stage of Plantwise, it was therefore felt that Plantwise sustainability needed to be viewed from a broader and country-specific perspective to gain a deeper understanding of what elements of Plantwise are operating within the country, whether these are likely to continue and why or why not (beyond the ‘who is going to pay’ question).
This synthesis report draws on the country reports of the sustainability assessment carried out in 2020, as well as other recent reports and evaluation studies, to present the key findings as to where indications of sustainability or risk/challenges to Plantwise activities have been highlighted. These findings are presented within the overarching five Plantwise themes: 1) stakeholder linkages, 2) plant clinics and complementary activities, 3) data management and use, 4) information exchange and Knowledge Bank, and 5) monitoring and evaluation (M&E).
Worldwide, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two-thirds of the earth’s growing population. Achieving a zero hunger world by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholder farmers – but their crops face a significant threat. Yearly, an estimated 40% of crops grown worldwide are lost to pests. If we could reduce crop losses by just 1%, we could potentially feed millions more people. The lack of access to timely, appropriate and actionable extension advice makes it a fundamental challenge for farmers to get the right information at the right time to reduce crop losses.