CAB International


Women farmers consult female plant doctor in Vietnam

Plant clinics in Vietnam 

CABI works with The Southern Horticultural Research Institute (SOFRI) amongst others to set up plant clinics in Vietnam. Our staff gave the first training course for plant doctors in 2007. SOFRI implemented the clinic idea and opened one in May 2007 at their headquarters at My Tho, Tien Giang province. Hundreds and hundreds of fruit farmers receive advice and information on plant health through the permanent fruit clinic based at SOFRI and the mobile clinics that bring the service to more remote districts. From May 2007 until August 2008, the plant doctors received 322 queries. Queries cover many fruit crops, vegetables and flowers, such as citrus, durian and leaf onion.  

Recent Progress

  • So far over 25 plant doctors have been trained to run clinics
  • Local surveys have been led to find out where national support can be gained for diagnostic services, building links between key plant health actors
  • Rice-focused training supported for plant doctors by the Rice Department of Thailand

In addition to the fixed clinic in My Tho, more than 11 mobile plant clinics have been held in the same period in communities as far away as 200 km. SOFRI receive queries through their mobile clinics, a 'phone service and agricultural fairs. They have assisted approximately 1500 clients through these additional services.

Case study


Mr Duc, Longan Farmer from Vietnam

Mr Duc, Longan Farmer

Mr Duc is a Vietnamese Farmer who grows longan in his 1.3 hectare orchard. 4 years ago he noticed that witches broom was beginning to infect his crop – he estimated that around 10% of the trees were infected. Since then it has spread throughout his entire crop and he is unable to bring in the $7,000 which his crop used to earn. He is attending the plant clinics in order to get some help in containing and preventing the disease, so that he can continue to farm. 

Ms Han, one of the Plant Doctors, has been lecturing the farmers on the best methods of controlling the disease. Ms Han’s department have discovered that the disease is caused by a bacterium being spread by a tiny mite and she is educating the farmers on how best to control it.

Watch the highly organized way in which a plant clinic operates in the Mekong Delta. This work was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)...


Monitoring progress and quality of plant clinic services

CABI visited My Tho in 2008, which included a 3-day workshop for plant doctors on ‘Monitoring Progress and Quality of Plant Clinic Services’. This is a new course based on previous experiences from Nicaragua and Bangladesh...Read the report for a summary of activities and achievements >