Food Security

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 371–386

Plant health clinics in Bolivia 2000—2009: operations and preliminary results

Authors

  • Jeffery W. Bentley
    • Global Plant Clinic
    • Global Plant ClinicCABI
  • Solveig Danielsen
    • Centre for Health Research and Development, Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of Copenhagen
  • Pablo Franco
    • CIAT
  • Olivia Antezana
    • CIAT
  • Bertho Villarroel
    • CIAT
  • Henry Rodríguez
    • CIAT
  • Jhon Ferrrufino
    • CIAT
  • Javier Franco
    • Fundación Proinpa
  • René Pereira
    • Fundación Proinpa
  • Jaime Herbas
    • Fundación Proinpa
  • Oscar Díaz
    • Fundación Proinpa
  • Vladimir Lino
    • Fundación Proinpa
  • Juan Villarroel
    • Facultad de Ciencias Agrícolas, Pecuarias, Forestales y Veterinarias, Universidad Mayor de San Simón
  • Fredy Almendras
    • Facultad de Ciencias Agrícolas, Pecuarias, Forestales y Veterinarias, Universidad Mayor de San Simón
  • Saúl Colque
    • Facultad de Ciencias Agrícolas, Pecuarias, Forestales y Veterinarias, Universidad Mayor de San Simón
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s12571-009-0033-z

Cite this article as:
Bentley, J.W., Boa, E., Danielsen, S. et al. Food Sec. (2009) 1: 371. doi:10.1007/s12571-009-0033-z

Abstract

Smallholder farmers need information on plant diseases. Ten plant health clinics (Postas para Plantas) evolved in Bolivia after 2000 and are still operating due to the efforts of three local institutions. The plant clinics receive any problem, on any crop, and give written and verbal recommendations, immediately if possible. Many clinics are held at weekly farm fairs, where villagers from many surrounding communities can seek help. The clinic staff write fact sheets for farmers on common problems. From 2000 to early 2009 the clinics received more than 9000 queries on over 100 crops with potato comprising two thirds of the queries, followed by peach, tomato and broad bean. Potato tuber moth and potato weevil were by far the most dominant plant health problems in the high Andes, but not in lowland areas. The diversity of crops and problems are a big challenge to the clinic staff. With basic training and practical experience they learn to diagnose most problems. However, they need access to expert support to solve some of the more difficult problems and improve the quality of advice. Preliminary results show cases of poverty alleviation, reduction in pesticide abuse, increased harvests and other benefits. The plant health clinics in Bolivia enabled extension and research to reach more farmers with a timely low-cost service.

Keywords

Plant health clinicsBoliviaNational plant healthcare systemsResearch/extension linksGlobal plant clinic

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. & International Society for Plant Pathology 2009