Since 2001 Funica has promoted new approaches to extension through the
Funds for Technical Assistance (FAT) striving for creative, timely,
flexible advice, cost-efficiency and impact.
In 2005, FUNICA and the Global Plant Clinic established four pilot
mobile plant clinics (Puestos para Plantas) in the Segovias, northern
Nicaragua, to respond to farmer demand for advice on plant protection.
At a plant clinic, 'plant doctors' examine sick plants, make a
diagnosis and give a management recommendation. This simple community
service is based on local skills, designed to meet the specific needs of
clients quickly and at low cost. It is a public service, open to
This book presents experiences from the first year and some tools on how
to manage a mobile plant clinic. With the skills and networks now in
place, there is a good foundation for the clinic model to be spread to
other parts of Nicaragua.
This book first appeared in Spanish. In this
English version, the authors have reduced some of the text but it
remains faithful to the original. Much has happened in Nicaragua since
the Spanish edition was published. There are 6 new clinics, mentioned
briefly in chapter 3; farmer demand for assistance continues to
increase; the network of diagnostic laboratories is helping more plant
doctors; more training courses have been held; and a book of 31 fact
sheets for farmers (hojas volantes) has been produced by the plant
Fundación para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Agropecuario y Forestal de Nicaragua (FUNICA), Nicaragua, 47 pp.
Puesto para Plantas in Nicaragua. ‘A clinic where you can bring your sick plants’.