The following guidelines consider relatively large-scale establishment of PHCs, usually at country level. This approach offers significant advantages in facilitating access to expert support. Single or small groups of PHCs can be run independently, but establishing links will require more effort.
Getting started: Planning should ideally start with the Ministry of Agriculture and the NPPO. This will strengthen sustainability but can also be a lengthy process. It should be possible to start pilot PHCs with individual organisations, pending official government support. Early results help to demonstrate the clinics’ wider value and encourage official support and investment.
Identifying operators: The functions and features of a PHC need to be clearly described and discussed with potential operators before launching. Extension providers are often concerned about the extent of their knowledge of crop protection, yet familiarity with farmers and agriculture is equally vital in framing advice. It is important to discuss PHC results and experiences with staff as well as their managers, so that the value of PHCs to organisations is clearly understood.
- Scoping study of organisations working in plant health at national and regional levels to assess roles and interactions
- Piloting of PHCs with first-time organisations
- Consolidation – regular clinics are run by confirmed operators
- Scaling-up – the number of clinics expands and new operators take part
- Sustainability – stable operation of plant clinics as part of a functioning plant health system.
This is an ambitious series of steps for countries to complete, and requires strong overall leadership and support at high level within government, as seen in Kenya, for example.
BOX 2: Training of plant doctors
Coordination: The Plantwise programme has national coordinators seconded from public organisations, supported by CABI counterparts (7)