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Plant Disease Extension in Mexico

Hector Lozoya-Saldana: Univ Auto Chapingo

<div>Mexico is located in a tropical-subtropical region (14-32° N latitude), with agricultural regions throughout the country, mostly rain-fed (74% of the area), with mild winters and year-round exposure to plant diseases. Agricultural extension in Mexico was formally created in the early 1950’s, copying the US “Land Grant” model that lasted as such for about 30 years. Nowadays, the lack of a formal Federal Extension Service regarding plant health is made up for by State Committees, coordinated by the Federal Plant Health Agency. It includes a number of officers strategically posted in every State according to the intensity of the agricultural activities, through Programs or working plans, one each per State, and 20 current “Campaigns”, based on the economic importance of the crop and/or the pest (insects, weeds, diseases), like coffee rust and the coffee borer beetle, citrus viruses and Huanglongbing, avocados, cotton, sorghum, bananas, agaves, etc. In addition, this service is also offered at most of the 38 INIFAP Experiment Stations (equivalent to the USDA-ARS), with seven general extension models. Also, more than 50 local universities provide assistance to farmers, and most of the plant pathologists of these institutions comprise the Mexican Society of Phytopathology, founded in 1967, with about 300 active members. Alternative extension models are continuously proposed according to regional socio-economic particularities.</div>

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