Cookies on CABI

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.


Continuing to use  means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Search this site
Sign up for the CABI e-zine Newsletter
Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

CABI CEO visits India to see agricultural projects in action

CABI CEO visits India to see agricultural projects in action

8 March 2017 - On 13-16 February, CABI CEO, Dr. Trevor Nicholls, visited India to see CABI projects in action. His trip brought opportunities to find solutions to smallholders’ major challenges at a Farmer Producer Organisation, and to participate in a live e-plant clinic run by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Puducherry, Tamil Nadu state.

At the Farmer Producer Organisation, Dr Nicholls met with smallholders to see, first hand, the challenges they face such as accessing food markets, and how membership of the Organisation benefits them. Farmers explained how this initiative, which includes 3,000 fruit and vegetable growers, helps them access credit, procure inputs and supply produce in bulk, as well as giving a strong group identity and opportunities to connect with and support each other.

Looking at how farmers can better tackle specific crop pest and plant health issues, Dr Nicholls recommended allocating a dedicated Plantwise plant doctor to the Organisation’s members, which was warmly welcomed. The CABI-led Plantwise programme tackles food security by delivering plant health knowledge to smallholders to reduce crop losses. Members commented on the benefits a plant clinic could bring, including increasing farmer productivity and incomes.

Trevor in India

Dr Nicholls participated in a meeting for a pilot value chain project, which CABI plans to launch in India. The project will put in place an end-to-end value chain for the Farmer Producer Organisation focusing on fruit and vegetables. Support will include capacity building, food processing and marketing. The project also aims to attract private sector agribusinesses as corporate buyers. Comprehensive ICT and support from Plantwise will form an important part of the project.

At a Plantwise e-plant clinic run by the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Puducherry, Dr Nicholls observed operations and spoke with plant doctors and visiting farmers, who explained their crop health problems, symptoms and treatment options. At e-clinics, information and advice on crop health is delivered via text messages to smallholders in remote locations. Farmers expressed how frequent visits to plant clinics are helping them receive advice, which benefits their crop production and livelihoods.

Trevor at a plant clinic in India

Closing his visit, Dr Nicholls expressed his appreciation for the work being done, and praised the efforts of CABI staff and partners, encouraging them to continue the good work and reach even more smallholder farmers. He said, "My visit was really inspirational in showing the innovative capacity of smallholder farmers and their desire to make a better living from their work, as well as enabling me to see at first hand how CABI is helping them."

For all our latest news, click here.

Seeing is Believing - empowering farmers with smartphone imaging

Many farmers in the northern Indian states of Haryana and Punjab still rely on inefficient agricultural practices that are ill adapted to climate change. Data can help them. Customised advice, based on localised weather and soil data, pests and diseases, as well as input availability, can improve management practices, productivity and... >>

GIZ Crop Protection Baseline Study

Pests and diseases often limit how much smallholder famers can produce. They affect crops both pre and post-harvest by reducing their value or making them unsafe for human consumption. Farmers try to reduce losses through a range of techniques, some of which have human or environmental health impacts. This project aims to understand and report on... >>

Producing fruit crops through innovative and market-orientated IPM in Vietnam

The project focuses on the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of four key economically important crops: dragon fruit, mango, longan and lichi for export to markets in the USA. It addresses the important production-limiting pests and diseases and their management. Specifically, practises based on ecologically sound IPM strategies and the use of a... >>

Gender and the Legume Alliance

Legume crops play a key role in household nutritional security and incomes but production is in decline. To rectify this, the Legume Alliance is trying to get information about growing common beans into as many smallholder farming households in Ghana and Tanzania as possible. This work will also look at information targeting different gender... >>

Simulation - taking plant health training to the next level

People in developing countries depend on what they can grow and sell so require a lot of plant health knowledge. The CABI-led Plantwise programme delivers plant health advice to farmers. Trained plant doctors diagnose the problems and advise on ways to manage them. Simulations are a new way to deliver training and information to plant doctors in a... >>

Building capacity for directly planted rice

As a very important crop in India, the growing of rice and tackling pests and diseases is given lots of attention. Rice that’s planted directly into the field cuts effort and water consumption but increases the likelihood of pest damage. Our aim therefore is to develop a sustainable and scalable system of plant health management, especially for... >>

Promoting sustainable tea production in India

India is the second largest producer and exporter of tea in the world and it can be a powerful engine for development. However, tea crops here suffer from a range of pests and diseases. Pesticides are the main management solution but this results in increased production costs and potential risks to human health. So, we undertook a major scientific... >>