28 December 2005

PestNets - getting and giving information on insect pests and diseases

Plant pests -– insects, pathogens and weeds - are always present, damaging crops and potentially spreading from country to country. Email 'PestNets' in the Pacific, South east Asia and the Caribbean help growers and plant health professionals manage these problems by providing advice and information.

Run by 5 volunteer moderators, PestNet helps people in the Pacific and Southeast Asia obtain rapid advice and information on plant protection, including quarantine. It responds to questions on insect pests and diseases of plants, provides identifications online, and sends out alerts and plant protection news. It is an entirely free service, and it is not donor funded, so its sustainability is ensured. A similar service in the Caribbean is hosted by CariNet and supported by CTA.

Both sites contain substantial listings of plant protection institutions, resources and photographs and the email question, diagnosis, and answer archives are accessible to members. Discussions have started to launch a similar network in East Africa.




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