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Mobile Plant Health Clinics advise Georgian farmers on plant diseases

Tuesday, June 8
On June 7 the opening ceremony of the Plant Health Clinic established by the Institute of Phytopathology in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia and the National Service for Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection, took place in Marneuli at the Lomtagora Farmers’ Company.

There will be four such clinics opened as part of the development project funded by the UK Global Partnership Programme to build capacity in agricultural sciences in Georgia, in which agronomists, phytopathologists and other professionals will help farmers tackle the problems caused by different plant diseases. UK funding has made it possible for four international expert plant scientists to provide additional help to Georgian specialists at the clinics during June 2010.

“The farmers bring samples of their diseased plants to us. We diagnose them and prescribe safe, affordable and locally available pest management solutions,” said Guram Memarne, Director of the Institute of Phytopathology of Georgia. The clinics aim to increase farmers’ first-hand knowledge of the range of diseases encountered in the regions of Georgia and therefore help improve crop production and therefore the socio-economic situation on the ground.

Plant Health Clinics will be opened during the height of the growing season at seven locations across Georgia over the next two years. In 2010 they will be opened in Kobuleti, Marneuli, Gardabani and Sighnaghi. Dedoplistskaro, Kutaisi and Akhaltsikhe will receive this service in 2011.