After finishing the last module you should now have developed an effective and practical IPM approach for your area. But, the question now becomes - So What? Your ideas will not make any difference if you cannot get this information to the farmers you serve and convince them to adopt some or all of your recommendations. That's what the 2nd rule of IPM is all about. Just to refresh you memory, the second rule of IPM is that "Farmers should have ownership of the relevant knowledge so that they can understand the outcome of the pest management options available to them".
In this module we want you all to think about making a difference with your IPM ideas. We will first look at some key characteristics of an effective IPM program and then at some examples of initiatives undertaken to get information to farmers and improve their ability to make rational, informed decisions about their pest management tactics. We will also ask you to review several general publications related to agricultural extension to give you additional ideas on how to bring about change at the farm level.
There are many implications of embarking on a path leading to wide-scale IPM adoption. Below we have listed some basic factors to consider in planning an IPM program.
Promoting IPM is not easy but, as we said, if you cannot get the needed information to farmers and convince them to adopt the associated practices then your work counts for nothing. Government, non-government and development agency and other farmer education efforts have been using a range of techniques over the years to get the word out and empower farmers. Much of what they do in this area is what has traditionally been known as Agricultural Extension - essentially a means of introducing new knowledge and ideas into rural areas in order to bring about change and improve the lives of farmers and their families. Extension is a process which occurs over a period of time and, through educational activities, works with rural people, supports them and empowers them to confront their problems more successfully.
In the promotion of IPM, some of the most recent success stories have come from strategic extension campaigns, participatory activities and traditional Extension approaches. Area-wide management approaches have been particularly effective for cotton pests in Australia and many individuals and organizations are now looking into the use of modern information and communication technologies to promote IPM.
We will go into more detail on these approaches in the following lessons.
Strategic extension campaigns (SECs) use mass media convey research findings and recommendations in a simplified form in order to motivate attitude change. SECs have been shown to achieve rapid impact because they reach large numbers of farmers in an area all at once, including remote locations normally not visited by extension trainers. One of the most effective SECs used to promote IPM practice is IRRI’s ‘‘Forty Days’’ SEC. Forty Days SECs are being fielded in several countries in order to reduce unnecessary insecticide use in early-season rice. Their main objective is to rectify farmers’ mistaken belief that leaf-feeding insects, particularly leaffolders, cause severe yield loss. This belief leads them to apply insecticides during the early stages of the crop even though they are not necessary. These applications may even trigger outbreaks of BPH and other secondary pests.
A brief overview of this SEC can be found on the site below.
Additional references on SECs
Community IPM takes the farmer field school approach to a broader level and attempts to empower farm communities to organize and implement their own IPM activities. Instead of using trained facilitators to teach farmer field schools, farmer leaders become the main instigators of IPM training and promotion. Farmer groups are encouraged to analyze problems, design field studies and carry out experiments.
Additional information on community IPM can be found through the following links.
For additional information on IPM training you might want to also check out these sites.
Although the Training and Visit system of Extension has largely been discredited as an effective way to promote IPM, good ideas can be found by looking at some of the tried and true Extension methodologies developed over the years. Below are links to two excellent resource sites with extensive information on various Extension methods and Extension training.
The concept of area-wide management for pests has captured the attention of growers as a means of managing pests in a coordinated manner, to reduce the over-all costs of pest control and to help manage insecticide resistance. The advantages of growers getting together to manage pests are many. The aim of area-wide management is to have neighbours in a region working in harmony rather than against each other, whether deliberately or inadvertently. An area-wide management strategy can be regarded as an integrated pest management strategy undertaken on a very large scale or area-wide - a farming systems approach to pest management. Cotton growers in Australia have joined together in area-wide efforts to control Helicoverpa and Heliothis and the approach is increasingly being used for other pest problems. Visit:
Information and Communication Technologies
A major problem rural populations have traditionally faced has been their inability to access needed information and knowledge. This has been the driving force behind both traditional Extension activities as well as the newer, more participatory approaches like the farmer field school and Community IPM programme.
But now, with the explosion of new information services, even remote areas in many developing countries are able to take advantage of global information sources. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are, more and more proving their value in addressing the information and knowledge needs of rural people. While reaching farmers with these tools is still not widespread, they are being successfully used to deliver information to and from intermediary information providers such as universities, government offices, telecenters, NGOs and libraries.