The idea behind plant clinics sprung up, unplanned, in Bolivia in 2000, when the research organisation CIAT Santa Cruz opened a diagnostic laboratory in a small town as part of a study of potato pests. Its vital role in the community soon became clear.
Supported by Plantwise, 32 plant clinics have now been set up across Bolivia. Known as Postas para plantas (plant posts) these serve over 6,000 farmers from nearly 900 villages, many of which are remote. Most of the problems plant doctors see are those affecting potato crops, which are a staple food and a cash crop in the high Andes.
Political division and interference are prevalent in Bolivia, which makes it challenging for our team to implement plant clinics in further regions and develop a national programme.
Knowledge Bank page for Bolivia