As trade has become more globalised so too has the movement of pests from one country to another. Together with a changing climate that has become suitable for pests, this has meant that smallholder farmers in Nepal are having to cope with new problems threatening their crops. With two-thirds of Nepal’s population in farming, new pests and diseases could spell disaster. “More pests are coming and the climate is now getting more suitable to the pests. It catches the farmers quite sudden and they are not able to know how to cope with it,” says Vinod Pandit, a plant scientist. “In 2016, the tomato crop was affected by 70 to 100 percent in some farms. So, it was a huge loss to the farming community.”
Gelareh Darabi travels to Pokhara, Nepal, to learn about a new initiative called Plantwise, a network of clinics where farmers can get a diagnose for pest problems in their crops.