Knowledge Product

How to Operate a Plant Clinic?

A systematic methodology for plant clinic operation has been developed for its easy execution in the field level. The operation of the plant clinic in general follows following steps.

Preparation for clinic operation

Before operating plant clinic by any organization, first they should ask following questions to themselves. And if all the questions have viable answers then further step could be taken to operate plant clinic.

a.     Why the plant clinic is necessary in the locality?

b.    If the clinic could help the resource poor farmer?

c.     What follow-up procedure will be executed for its sustainability?

d.    If the area is highly prone to pest?

e.     If the organization have human resource (plant doctors) for organization of the plant clinic?

After these short checklists to identify some strength and opportunity of clinic to be organize the organization could step forward and should manage the activities accordingly on the following heading for smooth and effective running of plant clinic.

1.     Sharing among staffs including executive committees about plant clinic operation

2.     Planning meeting and consultative sharing with group leaders at field

3.     Development of handbills to disseminate information among clients and stakeholders

4.     Necessary background information collection, preparation of fact sheet, photo sheets, register and prescription sheet.

5.     Further use the following checklist for necessary adjustment.

SN

Adjustments

Obligatory

Better if have

1

Plant Doctor

 

 

2

Register

 

 

3

Prescription Sheet

 

 

4

Photo sheet

 

 

5

Lenses

 

 

6

Microscope

 

 

7

Soil testing kit

 

 

8

Transparent tea cup/ glass

 

 

9

Sharp Knife

 

 

10

Secateurs

 

 

11

Table, Chair

 

 

12

Rope

 

 

13

Sample of some problems

 

 

14

Sample of some pesticide

 

 

15

Sample of Traps

 

 

16

Plastic bag

 

 

 

Selection of plant doctors

While selecting plant doctors they should be highly motivated in the field of plant health services, they should be experienced leader farmers, individual from the field of agriculture studies and the individual who have taken the training on "How to become a plant doctor?" In general following could be plant doctors for plant clinic operation.

         Independent Agriculture Specialists/ Agro vet dealers

         Independent Agriculture Scientists (Soil, Entomology, Pathology ,Horticulture and Agronomy)

         Agriculture specialists from GOs/NGOs

         Progressive farmer/ Individual from farmer's group/CBOs in plant health services.

         Students from agriculture field.

         Trained individual on How to become a plant doctor?

Orientation to plant doctors

Before operation of the plant clinic, the doctors who were directly involving in the clinic and handling the plant samples should be given with some specific idea while prescribing, suggesting and how to handle the situation while operating the clinic. Though the doctors who have taken the training of different module of "How to become a plant doctor?" are well acquainted with the procedure followed in the clinic but other professional specialists in plant health problem might be lacking in this side. So a general orientation should be taken before the clinic operation. They are also assisted on how to fill up the register and prescription sheet.

During the orientation and planning meeting of plant doctor, a common strategy is to be made for problem identification and recommendation. All plant doctors should be advised to follow the specific procedure. Before informing the consequence of problem, plant doctors should interact adequately with the farmers about the problem that he/she experienced. While observing and listening the farmer's queries, detail information like age of plant, past crop in the field, availability and use of irrigation, other agro-inputs, first incidence and current severity of such problem should be gathered completely from the client's side. Furthermore, uses of any preventive or curative measures if applied should be asked. Fully utilizing the knowledge and experience of plant doctors, problems should be identified and all suitable recommendations should be made considering the information obtained from farmers. Besides writing on prescription note, farmers are provided with the information on nature of problem, causal agent characteristics and necessary approaches to follow.

 

While operating the clinic?

1.     Listen Carefully to the farmers queries

2.     Gather more information on crop history and crop husbandry practice followed by the farmer

3.     Be precise in talking with the symptoms and problems in friendly manner

4.     Do not recommend haphazardly and be sure in diagnosis so that your prescription assure farmer to follow the clinic next time.

5.     Give priority in local resource utilization if possible. This kind of recommendation will make farmers independent in crop protection and for sustainability of the approach.

Publicity given before/during plant clinic operation

The clinics are publicized in different ways depending on the region it where it is operated and the medium that the people accessed fast. Radio being the most used source of information in the region, adverts and radio programs being used to publicize the clinics in some clinics operated by SECARD Nepal which is one of the actor in the field of plant service in Nepal. This however is not enough, more IEC material like pamphlets, flyers, and posters should be printed in the language the locals understand and distributed to them for easy reading and reference. Similarly, if possible wall painting could be an effective source to disseminate the information in some places.

 

Post Clinic follow-up

After organizing the clinic, there should have a good follow-up procedure which could help to find out the strength and weakness of plant clinic operation. The follow-up is done to

1.     Gather information from technical staff and plant doctor about the clinic operation and scenario of plant clinic operation

2.     Evaluate the farmer's perception on the initiative and efficacy of the recommendation.

3.     Farmer's adoption index of the recommendation. How much farmers practically applied the recommendation in practice.

4.     Farmers behavior of repetition in the regular and mobile plant health clinic

5.     Pattern of use in agrochemicals and local resources

6.     Farmers response repetition need of the clinic