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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Plant clinics in Asia

Plant clinics in Asia

Plant clinics in Asia: reducing the use and risks of pesticides (PDF)

One of the key aims of the Plantwise programme, led by CABI, is to reduce pesticide misuse. Through plant clinics, farmers are provided with a range of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) options by plant doctors who emphasise pest monitoring and prevention options before direct control measures.

Country surveys carried out in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam in 2017 revealed that, after attending plant clinics, both men and women farmers had reduced the frequency of pesticide applications on their crops, replaced the most toxic chemicals with safer alternatives, increased the use of non-chemical options to tackle pests and diseases, stopped applying pesticides on the advice of friends and agro-dealers, and reported a dramatic decrease in health problems.

  • Farmers have dramatically reduced the number of pesticide applications on their crops. While the number of farmers not spraying at all increased from 2.1% to 19.3% after visiting a plant clinic, the number of farmers who applied pesticides at least three times per crop dropped from 73.6% to 29.55%.

  • After receiving advice from plant doctors to stop using the most toxic chemicals, farmers are using safer alternatives.

  • With a greater understanding of the health and environmental costs of pesticides, increasing numbers of farmers have switched to non-chemical cultural methods (49.5%, up from 14.75%).

  • After visiting a plant clinic, farmers are much less likely to rely on their own experiences or the advice of agro-dealers regarding pesticide use.

  • After visiting a plant clinic, farmers reported a dramatic drop (81%) in health problems experienced as a result of pesticides.

  • 100% of men and women stated that they were happy with the performance of plant clinics.