National Forum, entitled: “Vietnam Plantwise – Advancing Plantwise beyond Pilots” was held by Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) and Center of Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) on the 25th April, 2014 in Hanoi.
Dr. Nguyen Van Tuat, Vice President of VAAS and the Country Coordinator, Plantwise, Vietnam officiated the event. CABI was represented by Dr. Loke Wai Hong- Regional Team Leader, Plantwise-Southeast Asia and Dr. A. Sivapragasam - Plantwise CABI Country Coordinator. More than 40 representatives from different organizations, including Department of Plant Protection and Department of Crop Production -MARD, implementing Planwise Project Research Institutions such as Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI), Southern Horicultural Research Institute (SOFRI), Plant Quarantine Diagnostic Centre (PQDC); Hanoi Institute of Agriculture, Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, Plant Protection Association, Agro-inputs companies, etc. and media attended in the Forum.
The objectives of the Forum were to highlight the various implementation phases of Plantwise and chart the road-map towards the consolidation of existing plant clinics and their scaling in Vietnam. Presentations were followed by discussions and comments on the issues and challenges.
At the moment, there are 20 Plant Clinics in 4 provinces of Vietnam namely Hung Yen, Vinh Phuc, Tien Giang and Ben Tre. The farmers from local areas bring the infected samples to the plant doctors and get advice, prescriptions and recommendations to prevent the diseases.
In 2014, the number of the Plant Clinics will be increased by 30 and reach 50 in total.
Plantwise program is an important development for Vietnam to strengthen current extension services by the government and thus initiatives should be in place for expansion beyond the pilot scale. VAAS, with the support of the other stakeholders, will formulate a proposal to the government for continued funding of Plantwise post-CABI/donor funding.
Kim Ngoc & Xuan Du (VAAS)