9 October 2019 – The Bolivian Government has praised the CABI-led Plantwise programme, which helps farmers grow more and lose less to crop pests and diseases, for contributing towards the country’s efforts to increase its local, regional and national food security.

Dr Yelitza Colmenarez (fourth from right) with Mr Luis Alberto Alpire Sánchez (centre) receiving recognition for Plantwise from the Bolivian Government

Dr Yelitza Colmenarez (fourth from right) with Mr Luis Alberto Alpire Sánchez (centre) receiving recognition for Plantwise from the Bolivian Government

Mr Luis Alberto Alpire Sánchez, Secretary for Agriculture, delivered a resolution to Dr Yelitza Colmenarez, Plantwise Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Mr Ricardo Rodriguez, National Coordinator of Plantwise, thanking CABI for increasing sustainable production in the Santa Cruz Department – one of the most important agricultural production areas in Bolivia.

Bolivia is rich in agriculture with key food crops including potato, corn, rice and grains, vegetables and fruits while coffee, sugar, cotton and cocoa form the basis of the country’s abundant cash crops. Livestock, forestry and fishing are also assets which Bolivia enjoys. However, like any other country it is at risk from agricultural pests and diseases.

CABI’s work in Bolivia started in 1999 with the Potato Integrated Pest Management project. The Global Plant Clinic concept was then implemented in 2000 – leading onto the arrival of the Plantwise programme and its plant clinics and plant doctors in 2010. Since then CABI has worked with partners to establish 47 plant clinics and trained 384 plant doctors who help farmers diagnose plant pests and diseases before offering advice on how to tackle them.

Plant clinic in Santa Cruz

A Plantwise plant clinic in Santa Cruz helping farmers grow more and lose less to plant pests and diseases in Bolivia

Dr Colmenarez, who also received personal recognition for her role as regional coordinator, said, “It is very rewarding to hear from the Bolivian Government of their appreciation for all the years working with plant doctors and key partners in Bolivia, contributing to improving the technical assistance to farmers and with food security in the country.”

Highlights of the Plantwise programme in Bolivia for 2018, as featured in the Annual Report, include 5 new plant clinics established, 13 plant doctors trained and 5 factsheets on various pests and diseases drafted.

In addition, two new pests – Cosmipolites sordidus, which attacks bananas, and the moth Achaea ablunaris have been identified by plant doctors with the assistance of the Diagnostic Laboratory of Saavedra. A national pest alert and plant health ‘rallies’ were then organized with Senasag National Plant Protection Organization for the management of these pests.

Additional information

Find out more about the Plantwise programme, including the full list of donors and partners, from the website.

Read about the highlights of Plantwise’s work in Bolivia from the Plantwise Annual Report 2018.

See in the video below Dr Colmenarez interviewed on the TV programme ‘Santa Cruz Agropecuario’:

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