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Using ICT to strengthen agricultural extension systems for plant health

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Holly Jane Wright
  • Willis Ochilo
  • Aislinn Pearson
  • Cambria Finegold
  • Lucy Oronje
  • James Wanjohi
  • Rose Kamau
  • Timothy Holmes
  • Abigail Rumsey
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Agricultural and Food Information
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)23-36
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date6/02/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Plant pests cause crop losses of 30–40%, contributing significantly to global food insecurity. The Plantwise program works alongside national agricultural extension services, who advise smallholder farmers on plant health issues and collect data on problems they face. In a 1-year pilot, Plantwise tested the use of information and communication technologies (ICT)—tablets and short message service (SMS)—with 60 Kenyan extension workers. They were able to assist more farmers with better advice, had significantly improved access to plant health information, valued being able to ask their peers for advice, and dramatically improved the quality and speed of the data they collected.