Plantwise is being implemented and coordinated in Brazil by EMBRAPA in collaboration with Empaer and the local government of Mato Grosso. Last year, faculty members from the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) at Lagoa do Sino campus, in Buri, São Paulo State, expressed their interest in incorporating the plant clinics approach into their extension services in order to provide technical assistance to the small farmers concentrated in that region, and expand the Plantwise programme to the São Paulo state. UFSCar is a higher-public education institution that has been recognized for the quality of their students and their research, as well as for the outreach to farmers through extension activities. Established in a 643 hectares farm, the UFSCar campus at Lagoa do Sino opened in 2011 and is one of the four campuses that make up the UFSCar. The region where UFSCar at Lagoa do Sino is located is characterized for large-industrialized farming operations as well as small family-owned farming operations.
Responding to this demand, on May 16 and 17, the Plantwise team in Brazil implemented the “How to
Become a Plant Doctor: Field Diagnostics and Plant Clinic Operation” training module at the UFSCar Lagoa do Sino campus. The training module was offered to 9 students and 7 faculty members from the university. This training is the first of the two modules that are necessary to become a plant doctor and to run a plant clinic.
Professor Waldir Cintra de Jesus Júnior sees the implementation of the plant clinic as an extension tool to reach more farmers, as a teaching tool where students can develop skills to help farmers and as a research tool to map and predict plant health problem outbreaks. He believes that the Plantwise programme fits in the curricula offered by the university.