News story, 19 June 2012
First Plantwise plant clinic opens in China
China’s first Plantwise plant clinic has been successfully established in Rongjiang town, Xing’an county, Guangxi province, Southwest China. At the first session a large number of local farmers arrived with problem crop samples to consult the plant doctors; Han Chuyuan, a vineyard owner, travelled more than 40km with his samples of pest-damaged vines and grapes.
This clinic will be open weekly for farmers at a fixed site to provide timely and professional diagnostic services and integrated pest management recommendations.
With financial support from MoA and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Staff in CABI’s China office have already helped to set up four plant clinics in China and will complete another five by the end of June, in collaboration with Institute of Plant Protect, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (IPP-CAAS), local partners from Xing’an Plant Protection Station (XAPPS) and Beijing Plant Protection Station (BPPS).
Peng Haomin, the head of XAPPS, strongly believes the plant clinics will reduce the misuse of chemical pesticides. He pointed out that for many farmers, agrochemicals dealers are their first and only source of advice on pest problems. Because the farmers urgently need effective control, the dealers will usually recommend fast-acting chemicals, some of which are highly toxic.
Gu Peiyun, a plant doctor in Yanqing district of Beijing, said that Plantwise will encourage a more sustainable approach: “When I give a recommendation to a farmer, I consider the environmentally friendly control methods, such as cultural control, biological control, and physical control, to have the highest priority.”